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AMD's Piledriver And K10 CPU Architectures Face Off

Results: Synthetics

We’re going to shoot through the performance tests in the same order as last time, starting with 3DMark 11, and once again focusing on the Physics and Combined modules.

For the most, part these processors place in our chart according to their cost. And while overclocking helps somewhat, only the Athlon X4-750K is able to ascend the hierarchy. The Athlon II X4 640 trails behind, seemingly suffering from its lack of L3 cache. Even overclocked to 3.6 GHz with a 2400 MHz CPU-NB frequency, it gets smoked by the stock 3.4 GHz Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.

Our overclocking efforts yield impressive gains in SiSoftware Sandra's Arithmetic component. Sporting three active modules, the FX-6350 sits alone and unchallenged at the top. 

Check out the difference in the architectures, though. Piledriver shines in the integer-heavy test, since each module features two cores, but trails in Whetstone due to a shared floating-point unit.

This chart may appear unsorted, but we're ranking each configuration by the average of its three scores.

A look at hashing performance puts the Athlon X4 750K slightly above the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. The older K10 architecture lacks the hardware-acceleration of AES supported by Vishera and Trinity.

We used DDR3-1600 at CAS 8 timings for all five processors, making apparent the improvements AMD made to its memory controller that improve bandwidth.

Overclocking the RAM and CPU-NB frequencies further augment memory throughput, though we don't expect serious gains in our real-world benchmark workloads.

You can't tell from the chart, but we measured these gains incrementally, so we know that the Athlon X4 750K gains as much through CPU-NB overclocking as it does from the jump to DDR3-1866. In contrast, the Athlon II X4 640 doesn't gain anything from a CPU-NB boost of 400 MHz.