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AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked

Test Hardware Details

Test Systems 

Here are both of our test systems, for the AMD and Intel platforms.

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Motherboards

The components we used for our recent CPU charts were completely updated to the latest and greatest. For our AMD processors we used an Asus motherboard with an AMD 790FX, and for the Intel CPUs, a Gigabyte X48 motherboard.

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System RAM

We used DDR2-1066 modules from A.Data for all of our AMD processor testing, with timings set to CL 4.0-4-4-12. On the Intel platforms, we used DDR3-1333 with timings set to CL 7.0-7-7-21. Depending on how we clocked the processor, we used tighter timings on the RAM, as specified by the vendor.

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Graphics Cards

To keep the game benchmarks focused on the processor contribution, we used the same high-performance MSI N280GTX-T2D1G-OC for all of our builds; it includes the Nvidia G200 graphics chip.

Hard disks and USB Flash Drive

Our test systems include two 320 GB Western Digital hard disks. These WD32000AAKS drives incorporate only a single platter in the drive, which keeps their power consumption and cooling needs to a minimum. We loaded our Linux systems from a Corsair Flash Voyager USB stick, but our Linux Parcourser Benchmark doesn’t work on Nehalem systems, so we had to forgo the Linux results in these benchmarks.

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Blu-Ray Optical Drive and Sound Card

For our Blu-ray benchmark we used the Pioneer BDC-202BK optical drive. To keep the playback benchmarks across platforms as similar as possible during CPU load testing, we used a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer soundcard on all platforms. It includes its own built-in audio processor to offload the CPU as much as possible during such tests.

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Power Supply and CPU Cooler

To supply our test systems with ample, reliable power, we used an 850 Watt PSU from CoolerMaster. We cooled our AMD and Intel processors with Zalman’s CNPS 9700 LED cooler.

  • one-shot
    YAY!, The day has come! Haven't read it yet. I am excited to see what it brings!
    Reply
  • firedogevan
    why focus on the q6600... wouldn't the q9550 or 9650 be a more accurate comparison given their respective locations in the product lineup?
    Reply
  • dechy
    Yeah, the price comparison table should of included a Q9550, which costs same as i7 920 but with the lower mobo/ram combo price.

    Ends up being the same price as the AMD bundle, but with a good more performance... there goes the whole "AMD price/performance" aspect of this chip.
    Reply
  • one-shot
    Great review. Maybe some overclocking later? There were some pretty high claims about its overclocking potential. I'll wait for AM3 before I retire my E6750.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Coming up soon one-shot--I was working on that one =)
    Reply
  • V3NOM
    who cares about performance/watt? PRICE/PERFORMANCE is the big deal
    Reply
  • The Q9xxx series would trump the PhenomII in all the categories listed above. THG, it was downright *criminal* to have not included the Yorkfield chips in your performance per dollar and performance per watt analysis.
    Reply
  • nashville
    hey bert/tom's:
    good write up: thought id comment on i7 watts:
    "we measured the power consumption directly from the 12 volt rail that supplied the CPU", i read somewhere the only i7 core logic gets power from 12v rail, the uncore/cache part somewhere else. if this is true, you going to do another measurements?
    Reply
  • kirvinb
    I'm so happy to see Intel has some competetion. While these new processors are not mind blowing, they offer some decent performance at the price given. I am sure this will lower the price of the q9400 and q9550, which is exactly what I want to see. Maybe even the i7s price will lower and maybe we will be back in the good days..where intel and amd flipped sides of the powerhouse like every 6 months..!! Good Write Up..
    Reply
  • jj463rd
    On the forums someone mentioned "why did they use DDR2-800 RAM when DDR2-1066 would give better performance for the Phenom II".Wouldn't this skew the benchmarks by a little bit (perhaps 2 to 3%)?
    Reply