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Testbed and Methods

We tested the new Phenom II X4 965 processor together with the previous top model from the same family - Phenom II X4 955. These two AMD solutions will be competing against two CPUs from Intel. The first one is Core 2 Quad Q9550, which is the closest alternative in terms of price. The second one is Core i7-920, which is a little more expensive than the top AMD processors, but was chosen as a representative of Nehalem microarchitecture also used in the upcoming Lynnfield CPUs.

As a result, we ended up putting together the following testbeds:

  1. Socket AM3 platform:
    • CPUs:
      • AMD Phenom II X4 965 (Deneb, 3.4 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
      • AMD Phenom II X4 955 (Deneb, 3.2 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Mainboard: Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (Socket AM3, AMD 790FX + SB750, DDR3 SDRAM).
    • Memory: 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 7-7-7-18 (Mushkin 996601).
  2. LGA775 platform:
    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (Yorkfield, 2.83 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6 + 6 MB L2);
    • Mainboard: ASUS P5Q3 (LGA775, Intel P45 Express, DDR3 SDRAM);
    • Memory: 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 7-7-7-18 (Mushkin 996601).
  3. LGA1366 platform:
    • CPU: Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem, 2.66 GHz, 4.8 GHz QPI, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8 MB L3);
    • Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 (LGA1366, Intel X58 Express);
    • Memory: 3 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 7-7-7-18 (Mushkin 998679).

Besides the hardware components listed above, all test systems also included the following:

  • ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card.
  • Western Digital WD1500AHFD HDD.
  • Microsoft Windows Vista x64 SP2 OS.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 9.1.0.1007;
    • ATI Catalyst 9.7 Display Driver.
 
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