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Testbed and Methods

Most of our today’s article will be devoted to comparing the performance of Phenom II X3 processors against identically priced dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo. However, in order to draw a more complete picture we have also added the results for the junior quad-core CPUs from AMD and Intel. Besides, we have also included into the summary diagrams the performance numbers for the previous generation triple-core Phenom X3 based on the old 65nm core.

As a result, we used the following hardware and software components to build our testbeds:

  • CPUs:
    • AMD Phenom II X4 810 (Deneb, 2.6GHz, 4MB L3);
    • AMD Phenom II X3 720 (Heka, 2.8GHz, 6MB L3);
    • AMD Phenom II X3 710 (Heka, 2.6GHz, 6MB L3);
    • AMD Phenom X3 8750 (Toliman, 2.4GHz, 2MB L3);
    • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 (Yorkfield, 2.33GHz, 333MHz FSB, 2 x 2MB L2);
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale, 3.0GHz, 333MHz FSB, 6MB L2);
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 (Wolfdale, 2.93GHz, 266MHz FSB, 3MB L2);
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 (Wolfdale, 2.8GHz, 266MHz FSB, 3MB L2).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5Q Pro (LGA775, Intel P45 Express, DDR2 SDRAM);
    • Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (Socket AM2+, AMD 790GX + SB750, DDR2 SDRAM).
  • Memory: GEIL GX24GB8500C5UDC (2 x 2GB, DDR2-1067 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15).
  • Graphics card: ATI RADEON HD 4870.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista x64 SP1.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 9.1.0.1007;
    • ATI Catalyst 9.1 Display Driver.

Although new AMD Phenom II X4 810, Phenom II X3 720 and 710 processors are designed for Socket AM3 form-factor and support DDR3 SDRAM, we are going to test them in a Socket AM2+ system equipped with DDR2 SDRAM. We made this particular choice of a platform, because these processors positioned for the mainstream price segment will most likely be used in this particular type of systems, because this is the most logical solution from the economical standpoint. Moreover, DDR2 SDRAM was also used in the LGA775 platform that is why it made perfect sense to go with Socket AM2+ for our today’s Phenom II tests.

 
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