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AMD Unleashed: Four CPUs, Two GPUs, All Overclocked

Comparison To The $625 PC

One advantage of running the entire SBM test suite, plus using the Radeon HD 4870 and the Radeon HD 4870 X2, is being able to see how these four AMD processors stack up against chips used previously in the SBM series. Some variances still exist, since we used newer drivers here.

To compare actual test scores, readers will need to check back to the older SBM articles. But to make it easier, the charts have been reworked by replacing the most expensive AMD processor’s blue bars with data from the January/February $625 PC. All percentages are now based upon the stock $625 PC scores.

For a savings of $10, the Athlon 7750 consumes more power, while delivering almost as much stock performance as Intel's E5200. But for those willing to add an aftermarket cooler for a higher level of overclocking, it’s clear that the Pentium E5200 is in a whole different league in terms of both attainable clock speeds and outright performance potential. 

Running nearly as fast out of the box, the E5200 is unable to keep pace with the Phenom X4 9950 BE. But the situation changes when it reaches a 500 MHz higher overclock. The two overclocked processors each manage the same number of victories, but massive victories in MainConcept, WinRAR and AVG allow the quad-core Phenom to reach a higher overall combined score. The little E5200 does remarkably well, though, since for $80 more, a 3.4 GHz quad-core Phenom represents about the very best air-cooled performance one could expect from that whole generation of AMD processors. 

Taking a look at AMD's latest-generation chips, the Phenom II X3 720 BE tops this group when comparing both stock and overclocked performance. At 3.67 GHz, it manages seven victories and is handed five loses versus the 3.9 GHz dual-core Pentium Wolfdale. While its outright lead can’t be denied, at exactly twice the price, it isn’t able to take the price/performance crown away from the E5200. If the extra $70 is not a big issue, one should definitely consider stepping up to a Phenom II X3 720 BE or a Core 2 Duo E8400. But if the budget is tight, this extra CPU expense could mean too great a sacrifice in other desired components, such as graphics. 

  • setting aside 1366 and AM3

    In 2 or 3 years when QX9770 chips start showing up for $250-$300.

    Will AMD have a cheaper socket AM2+ compatible chip on the market that will outperform it?

    If so, AMD would be a nice alternative.
    Reply
  • setting aside 1366 and AM3

    In 2 or 3 years when QX9770 chips start showing up for $250-$300.

    Will AMD have a cheaper socket AM2+ compatible chip on the market that will outperform it?

    If so, AMD would be a nice alternative.
    Reply
  • In 2 or 3 years Intel will have 16 cores on a single cpu, and amd tech will, as always, be useless, outdated, and worthless... Just like they are now.
    Reply
  • radguy
    So did I miss somthing or where does it say what each of these processors is overclocked to. I get that the p2 x3 720be is at 3.67 but what about the rest of them. Am I missing it somewhere (very possible) or do I have to look back at your previous articles to figure it out? shouldn't that be on the test systems and configuration page. I am trying to sort through the data.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    Nice article Paul and some exhaustive work! Don't overlook the 780G/SB710 that also feature ACC for a price of $72
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157154
    making the Phenom2 x3 720 a viable option in the SBM budget category. I'm also going to be curious about the new Phenom2 x2 and Athlon2 x2 processors that are coming out June 2nd.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    Has anyone noticed the benchmarks for the i5's on anandtech yet?
    Reply
  • nerrawg
    Great article guys - love the comparisons to the SBM machines - really gives some insight into CPU and GPU scaling and how much to spend on your processor versus your graphics for gaming builds. Thanks!
    Reply
  • Sihastru
    apache_livesHas anyone noticed the benchmarks for the i5's on anandtech yet?
    I did. Considering the pricing scheme of the i5 (so close to AMD) and it's high performance numbers (so close to the i7) AMD is in big trouble.

    Intel will shift all the processors that are now under the i7 (even if the 920 is rumored to become EOL, one step down on it's portfolio, which means high end Intel dual cores, will go into or under the mainstream, where AMD already has a hard time.

    This doesn't make me very happy, even if I am an Intel fanboy. Aggressive pricing schemes are overrated. AMD needs something new. Now.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... BIG THX to the Tom's crew... was not so hard after all? ... now, thx to YOU, we have a info about intel, nVidia and AMD/ATi solutions... how they stack up in price/performance/cost of ownership... NICELY DONE!!!
    Reply
  • erdinger
    Yes thanks, many people complained in the system builder marathon and you listened to the complaints... great.
    Reply