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AMD Phenom II X6 1090T And 890FX Platform Review: Hello, Leo

Benchmark Results: Crysis

Call it strange, but we ran and re-ran these tests. In fact, we formatted, started over, and got the same results. In Crysis, our Phenom II X6 1090T-based platform is simply slower than its quad-core predecessor—likely a result of its lower non-Turbo clock rate.

“But you’re clearly limited by your graphics card here,” you say. Alright, well, we’re using the 2010 reference system’s Radeon HD 5850, but let’s try something else. We’ll drop a Radeon HD 5870, a 5970, and a GeForce GTX 480 in the 1090T-based platform and see how much performance a faster card buys.

Amazing—the “fastest” card performs least-impressively, even at 1920x1080 and High quality settings. This is a combination we’d expect to hit the graphics fairly hard, but something is still screwy on the Phenom II X6 1090T-based platform. Now it looks less like our Radeon HD 5850 was holding back performance and more like the processor or platform is to blame.

Let’s try something else. Using a GeForce GTX 480, we’ll compare the performance of a stock Phenom II X6 1090T and a stock Core i7-930, then overclock the former to 3.7 GHz and the latter to 3.66 GHz (both processors with Turbo enabled). We’d expect to see headroom open up if there’s a bottleneck hampering performance.

Lo and behold, even with the fastest single-GPU card you can buy, the Phenom II X6 doesn’t spring to life. Meanwhile, the overclocked Core i7 leaps forward by quite a bit. This is eerily reminiscent of a gaming piece I wrote back in 2008 comparing high-end AMD and Intel gaming rigs. All else equal, the Phenom X4 I was testing at the time was simply creamed by Core i7 in Crysis.

This one gaming test opened up a ton of additional reformatting, reinstalling, and testing, just to make sure everything was reproducible. The conclusion we’re going to draw early on is that a six-core CPU running at a lower clock rate—Turbo CORE or not—is probably not the way to go for gamers. At any rate, onto Left 4 Dead 2.

  • theDARKW0LF
    Awesome, good thing I waited for this release, hello six cores (first post)!
    Reply
  • dwave
    My 4 core Core2Quad @ 2.83 is still working everything great, so I won't be upgrading. Nice to see the price for 6 cores is very reasonable though!
    Reply
  • This maaayy just be my "conspiracy theory" but please also test nvidia cards with the processors. Not flacking AMD or anything but there could possibly be optimizations and "reverse optimizations" for the processors.

    I just cant remember tom's last review that had an nvidia card with an AMD processor.
    Reply
  • theDARKW0LF
    Lol I was just into the hype at that last post, I didn't even start to read the review, now I think I'll just go back to the Phenom II X4, ah well lol
    Reply
  • Finally this article comes out. I've been waiting since the morning for this. Lol but anyway, good read.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Got some GTX 480 numbers in there as well txt, and the results weren't much prettier.
    Reply
  • englandr753
    Being that I have seemed to changed my use of my pc more toward video editing than gaming I am definitely selling off my Q9550 and going with the AMD X6. I still game some but don't care to have the cutting edge video card atm so this is perfect for me. I'm buying from AMD for my next cpu! Way to go AMD! I still have another Q9550 system so don't think I'm an AMD fan boy but I do love it when AMD gives such a great value for such a great product. Everyone should...
    Reply
  • You know, AMD can make a 48core CPU, but if it performs worse than Intel's 4 core, than it does not matter that it costs only as much as Intel's 4 core.

    In this case, it does not perform better than i7-920, even though the 920 is a 4 core cpu (and no, no one really runs it at 2.66, everyone pushes it at least to 3, since it takes nothing to get it to that speed, and it right away outperforms AMD's 6 core, and has a much better memory throughput).
    Reply
  • englandr753
    Is the X6 1090T not oc'able at all? It would seem there should be some headroom for overclock to some degree. Starting out at 3.2g makes me think you should be able to get fairly close to 4.0.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    englandr753Is the X6 1090T not oc'able at all? It would seem there should be some headroom for overclock to some degree. Starting out at 3.2g makes me think you should be able to get fairly close to 4.0.
    I was able to hit 3.7 with Turbo CORE enabled fairly easily. It might go higher, but I'd argue this probably isn't as much of an overclocking chip as a 965 might be.
    Reply