Socket AM3: AMD's Phenom II Gets DDR3

Benchmark Results: Productivity

Intel rules our 3ds Max rendering project by a commanding margin. Given its threading optimizations, it's hardly a surprise to see AMD's Phenom II X4 940 sneak in second place, followed by the rest of AMD's quad-core offerings. The triple-core X3 720 ties Intel's dual-core E8500. Meanwhile, the older X3 8750 is outclassed by the dual-core chip.

Another threaded test, WinRAR favors AMD's 2.6 GHz Phenom II X4 810 over the triple-core X3 720 BE, despite the X3's clock speed lead. Interestingly, the X4 810 also outperforms our simulated X4 910, even though it has 2 MB less L3 cache. Considering the only other difference between the two setups is DDR3 memory running at 1,333 MHz, we have to give credit to the more modern memory technology here.

WinZip runs on two cores, which is why the 2.8 GHz X3 turns in better times than the 2.6 GHz X4 810 does (not to mention the 3.16 GHz Core 2 Duo beating every other processor tested).

Our AVG test is able to take advantage of our quad-core contenders. Intel's Core i7 runs away with a strong lead and AMD's quad-core chips all place close to each other behind it. As you start taking away cores, the X3s fall further behind and Intel's dual-core Core 2 Duo E8500 places last.

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  • kelfen
    Cheering the underdog in hopes for better compitition to benifit the consumer!
  • groo
    I sure don't see the point of spending cash on DDR3 unless you are also spending cash on i7. I woudn't mind a CPU that can handle DDR3 in the future, but there sure isn't a reason toupgrade to it at today's memory prices.
  • Aatish
    nice review... but....
    strangely AMD is performing better than core i7 920!
    what did I miss? in previous benchmark done by you guys showed AMD performing quite less than what I see in this benchmark! can anyone clear my confusion? please!:)
  • Commlock
    Very good test indeed that shows, IMHO, to go with an overclocked Core i7 if DDR3 is to be preferred. Otherwise, sticking with DDR2 RAM, an AM2+ MoBo and A Phenom II 940-like CPU seems the best optimized system. However, concerns can be put forward on the continuity of the system in couple of years' time, where simply upgrading without major component changes can be discussed.
  • sohei
    an AM2 mobo is compatible with AM3?
  • I understand the fact that you guys compare cpu's in the same price region plus whats available to you and the socket upgrade and all that. But i would really like to see how the AMD 940 Black Edition compare to Intel Corei7 EE 965. And maybe include the corei7 940 to. An all out performance battle with just the benchmark figures that counts
  • waffle911
    The 940 runs at 3 GHz. The 920 and 720 both cruise at 2.8 GHz. But the 910, 810, and 710 all run at 2.6 GHz. There goes the idea that each increment of 10 corresponds to 100 MHz. The 805 chugs along at 2.5 GHz.

    Looks to me like every increment of 10 in the designation yields a 200MHz clock increment, and 5 being 100MHz. But then either the 940 should actually be the 930. Then again, Volvo's recent product nomenclature doesn't add up, either. the V50 is the wagon variant of the S40, and the V70 was the wagon variant of the S60, but is now of the new S80. But they can't change it to V90 because then the Cross-Country variant of the V70 would have to be called he XC90 instead of XC70—but they already have an XC90 SUV. Digging themselves into a hole of consumer confusion, AMD and Volvo both.

    But why is AMD shafting early adopters by shutting out AM2+ PhenomII from the AM3 platform without even offering an AM3 920/940?
  • Well, can't agree with socket chart.
    Let's see (long run)
    AMD&Intel: Socket 7 (intel up to some 266MHz?, AMD up to 550MHz)
    Intel Slot 1 - with FCPGA adapters up to some 1200MHz?
    AMD SlotA - with socketA adapters up to some 1600MHz?
    PPGA s370 ~ 600MHz?
    FCPGA (coppermine) 1100MHz
    FCPGA2 (tualatin) 1500MHz?
    Guess what...PPGA/FCPGA/FCPGA2 were the same socket (s370).
    Now...SocketA ranged from 800MHz Durons to 2GHz AthlonXP 3200+
    P4 start was with socket 423, but intel soon abandoned it for 478, however there were some adapters for some CPUs which allowed s478 CPUs to work on s423 mobos.
    AMD with A64 introduced single channel DDR platform on s754. Later in 939 there was enhancement with dual channel and dual core. But then DDR2 appeared with quite low prices - so they moved to AM2.
    Intel brought LGA775, but most chipsets for Prescott couldn't handle Core 2, later C2D FSB800MHz chipsets couldn't handle FSB1066 and 1333MHz C2D/C2Q cpus. And now we get LGA1366, 1156 and some more for the same familly. Well, I guess intel is more disruptive than AMD. I can put PhenomII 810 AM3 to my AM2 mobo on M1695+NF3, some NF3 ASRock users can do that too. AM2/2+/3 is on the best way to be worthy SocketA successor.
  • raden_muaz
    I've been waiting for so long for this phenom ii to come.
    At last, phenom beats i7 in some kind of way.

    Anyway, I never bought Intel for years because:
  • sohei
    there are 5 sokets technically but 2 physically
    my question is : somebody try a am2/am2+ with a am3 cpu?
  • t85us

    what did you expected from intel ? guess who they are ? the same who (probably) massacred your (i think) nation.
    that's why i won't ever buy anything that is related to intel
  • nerrawg
    Nice to see some OC friendly chips from AMD!
  • raden_muaz
    I do expect Intel to excel far better than AMD (I'd love to buy an i7, but I just can't)

    About the massacred nation - I'm a Malaysian - they massacred my muslims brothers in Gaza.
  • VTOLfreak
    There's something funny about these i7 920 scores. I replaced a Q6600 OCed to 3.2GHz for a i7 920 and the 920 wiped the floor with the Q6600 3.2GHz without any overclocking. So how can a E8500 with only 2 cores at 3.16GHz outrun a i7 920?

    After I overclocked my i7 920 to 3.6GHz, my old Q6600 rig started looking like a mule in comparison.
  • sohei
    e 8400,e 8500 are better in games comparative with q 6600 (with stock clocks)
    it is easy to synchronize 2 cores at 3 ghz than 4 at 3 ghz
    this is the problem with multicore technology ...n+1 cores = n-1 efficiency's like engines you want torque or speed?
    in games GHz are more important than other things
  • sohei
    this amd cpus are great!with stock voltages you can pass 3 ghz easily ..... yaaaamaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    a new species of velocity raptor
  • neiroatopelcc
    So in theory I could buy a new 720BE cpu and use it in my old tforce 550 (nforce 550 chipset) board?
  • jameskangster
    Ok, I must be missing something here. I compared the AM3, AM2+ reviews from Tom's Hardware and Anandtech (, and the results seem to contradict each other specifically relating to the game benchmarks. I understand there are subtle differences in the configuration setup, but i7 performs not so favorably according to Tom's Hardware's benchmarks, whereas at Anandtech's review, it pretty much stays on top in every benchmark.
  • t85us
    well, theoretically that's the plan.

    I'm also wondering, if my asus m2a-vm mobo will support these new cpus. that would be great
  • jameskangster
    I apologize for keep posting other site's reviews, but it just bugs me that the other site's have different results posted compared to Tom's Hardware. Extremetech's review (,2845,2340569,00.asp) benchmarks are also similar to Anandtech's results. Although, they use Nvidia 9800 GTX. Maybe Tom's Hardware could review its performance tests and systems setup?
  • neiroatopelcc
    I'm in no position to judge who are right, but ever since the first i7 review it's been clear that the old core2 processors deal better with most games. If that's due to lack of optimization for new features, or if i7 just isn't a gamers cpu I can't tell. But toms hardware has consistently shown that core 2 does better in games than i7. If they're right or wrong I cant say though. I don't have both platforms at home to play with.
  • jameskangster
    I totally agree about old Core2 processors performing better than i7 in most/certain games. I just didn't understand how i7 performed worse than AM3, AM2 + Phenom II according to Tom's Hardware's benchmarks when at other tech site's performance reviews, i7 have consistently done better than the AMD solution. Again, I could have missed something, but like you I don't have all the right platforms to do my own benchmarks...
  • sohei
    Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding
    h264 : ..96 sec
    toms 98 sec
    man 2-3 % difference?

    look again
  • jameskangster
    To Sohei:
    I was talking about the gaming performance benchmarks, if you read my comments.