THG Tuning Test: Core 2 Extreme vs. Athlon 64 FX-62


The benchmark charts will surely cause many readers' eyes to light up. What we show you here applies to high-end systems for 2007.

We put the AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 up against the Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor. With careful optimization, the performance of an Intel Core 2 Extreme system can be increased by a substantial average of 16.8 percent (though this is where a look at our test applications is required). The Athlon 64 FX-62 only managed a performance jump of less than half that figure, 7.2 percent, with equally careful optimization. When compared head-to-head, the overclocked Core 2 Extreme outperformed its AMD counterpart by nearly 30 percent across the board.

A quick look at the power consumption we measured during our testing also shows that an overclocked Intel system under heavy load requires 29 fewer watts than the AMD unit, while delivering 30 percent more performance. The strengths of the overclocked AMD system showed up at the other end of the usage spectrum under light or idle loads. In that case, the AMD system consumed 29 fewer watts than did the Intel Core 2 Extreme.

We also took a look at our lab engineers' notebooks. Raising the FSB and memory clocks on the Intel system increased memory throughput from 5.7 to 7.3 GB/s. AMD's integrated memory controller enabled memory throughput for the Athlon 64 FX-62 to increase from 9.3 GB/s to a record-breaking value of 10.7 GB/s.

Want an comparison of a more mundane, everyday sort? Try this on for size: the overclocked Intel system compressed an entire 2.5 hour movie on DVD in under 6 minutes! This involved converting from DVD9 to DVD4.7 formats. The real strengths of the Intel Core 2 clearly lie in the video realm: the Intel system converts a 2 hour movie into the well-known DivX format in 93 minutes, whereas the AMD system takes 155, or just more than one hour longer, to complete the same task.

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