The launch of the new Phenom II processors that are built using the latest 45nm process became an important milestone not only for AMD Company, but also for the entire computer industry. The architectural improvements introduced in Phenom II, their increased clock frequencies and larger L3 cache raised the performance of AMD solutions to a completely new level. As a result, when we tested the first representatives of the quad-core Phenom II X4 family, we could even declare a new round of competition between AMD and Intel in some segments. However, there are not that many segments yet, where they can compete. So far, there has only been fair competition only in the budget quad-core processors market. Phenom II X4 processors from the 800 and 900 lineups seem to be a pretty acceptable alternative to the junior Intel Core 2 Quad solutions, which is a significant step forward for AMD.
Of course, the new 45nm Phenom II processor core will allow AMD to stand out in some other market segments. We have already discussed the company’s plans concerning the adoption of 45nm manufacturing technology in CPUs from different market price segments that feature different number of cores, frequencies and L3 cache size. So far these plans have been partially put into life. Namely, Phenom II family already includes not only quad-core models. Besides Phenom II X4 900 and 800 series, AMD is serving the users their “signature” dish – triple-core processors aka Phenom II X3. These CPUs allow AMD to put partially defective quad-core dies to good use offering the customers a very attractive transitional solution. It is, in fact, extremely acute now that the multi-threaded calculations concept is setting in relatively slowly.
From the multi-threaded calculations standpoint, these triple-core processors can barely be regarded as an alternative to any of the Intel offerings. But judging by their prices, Phenom II X3 may be of interest to those users who aim at mainstream computer systems. In other words, it may make perfect sense to compare new-generation triple-core AMD processors against dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo, and the table below illustrates that nicely:
AMD didn’t feel comfortable positioning their Phenom II X3 processors as competitors to top dual-core solutions from Intel, but they considered it absolutely justified to compare them against the junior Intel Core 2 Duo E8000 or top solutions in the E7000 series. Taking into account this situation, we decided to carry out another test session devoted solely to triple-core Phenom II processors. So, our today’s article will discuss the performance and other consumer features of triple-core AMD processors manufactured with 45nm process. Right now they are represented by two Socket AM3 solutions: Phenom II X3 720 and Phenom II X3 710.