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Testbeds Configurations

For our extensive testing of the new dual-core Callisto and Regor processors we decided to compare them not only against the competing Intel solutions but also against their predecessors from AMD, even though they may fall into a slightly different price segment. Therefore, we were working with three different platforms that were configured as follows:

1.  Socket AM3 platform:

  • CPUs:
    • AMD Phenom II X3 710 (Heka, 2.6 GHz, 3 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • AMD Phenom II X2 550 (Callisto, 3.1 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • AMD Athlon II X2 250 (Regor, 3.9 GHz, 2 x 1024 KB L2).
  • Mainboard: Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (Socket AM3, AMD 790FX + SB750, DDR3 SDRAM).
  • Memory: Mushkin 996601 4GB XP3-12800 (2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1600 SDRAM, 7-7-7-20).

2.  Socket AM2 platform:

  • CPUs:
    • AMD Athlon X2 7850 (Kuma, 2.8 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2, 2 MB L3);
    • AMD Athlon X2 6000 (Brisbane, 3.1 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2);
    • AMD Athlon X2 6000 (Windsor, 3.0 GHz, 2 x 1024 KB L2).
  • Mainboard: Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (Socket AM2+, AMD 790GX + SB750, DDR2 SDRAM).
  • Memory: GEIL GX24GB8500C5UDC (2 x 2 GB, DDR2-1067 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15).

3.  LGA775 platform:

  • CPUs:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 (Wolfdale, 2.93 GHz, 1067 MHz FSB, 3 MB L2);
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 (Wolfdale, 2.8 GHz, 1067 MHz FSB, 3 MB L2);
    • Intel Pentium E6300 (Wolfdale-2M, 2.8 GHz, 1067 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2);
    • Intel Pentium E5400 (Wolfdale-2M, 2.7 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5Q Pro (LGA775, Intel P45 Express, DDR2 SDRAM);
    • ASUS P5Q3 (LGA775, Intel P45 Express, DDR3 SDRAM).
  • Memory: GEIL GX24GB8500C5UDC (2 x 2 GB, DDR2-1067 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15).

Besides the above listed parts, all testbeds also included the following identical hardware and software components:

  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 4890.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Vista x64 SP1.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 9.1.0.1007;
    • ATI Catalyst 9.5 Display Driver.

I have to point out that we decided to use a fully-functional Socket AM3 platform equipped with DDR3 SDRAM in our today’s test session even though we are testing relatively inexpensive dual-core AMD CPUs. We made this decision because DDR3 SDRAM prices have recently dropped significantly and this type of memory started spreading aggressively over the market. However, we continue testing LGA775 processors on a platform equipped with DDR2 SDRAM, because it is impossible to use high-frequency memory with Core 2 Duo and Pentium processors which bus can only be 1067MHz at the most as a result of specific limitations implemented in the chipsets for them. Nevertheless, during LGA775 processors overclocking when we could use memory faster than 1067MHz, we replaced our Asus P5Q Pro mainboard with a similar solution - Asus P5Q3 – equipped with DDR3 SDRAM DIMM slots.

 
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