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AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.

February 1, 2013



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For today's tests we have prepared two groups of processors. The first includes Phenom II old-timers AMD has repeatedly cut prices on. The second is composed of the newer, budget Intel Ivy Bridge processors. Let's see what is preferable these days.

Testbeds

CPU Phenom II X4 955 Phenom II X4 960T Phenom II X6 1075T
Core Deneb Zosma Thuban
Process technology, nm 45 45 45
Core clock (std/max), GHz 3.2 3.0/3.4 3.0/3.5
Cores/threads 4/4 4/4 6/6
L1 cache (sum), I/D, KB 256/256 256/256 384/384
L2 cache, KB 4 x 512 4 x 512 6 x 512
L3 cache, MB 6 6 6
Uncore clock, GHz 2 2 2
RAM 2 x DDR3-1333 2 x DDR3-1333 2 x DDR3-1333
GPU - - -
Socket AM3 AM3 AM3
TDP, W 125 95 125

Phenom II X4 955 is the most competitive AMD CPU for its price, if you build a PC with a discrete video (otherwise you should consider A6-3670K). For the same money Intel offers only dual-thread Pentiums, which isn't enough for thread-hungry tasks.

As a mid-range CPU of the Phenom II X6 lineup, 1075T will shed more light on its capabilities.

Phenom II X4 960T is an interesting model as well. It's Thuban-based but has two of its cores locked. In our sample, we overrid it easily by changing one parameter in the UEFI Setup, and got us almost a Phenom II X6 1075T, with just 100 MHz lower clock rate in the Turbo mode. Phenom II X4 960T is also interesting in the nominal mode, promising to be a little slower than Phenom II X4 955 under full load and similar to Phenom II X4 965 in few-threading tests.

CPU Pentium G2120 Core i3-3220 Core i5-3330
Core Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge
Process technology, nm 22 22 22
Core clock (std/max), GHz 3.1 3.3 3.0/3.2
Cores/threads 2/2 2/4 4/4
L1 cache (sum), I/D, KB 64/64 64/64 128/128
L2 cache, KB 2 x 256 2 x 256 4 x 256
L3 cache, MB 3 3 3
RAM 2 x DDR3-1600 2 x DDR3-1600 2 x DDR3-1600
GPU HD Graphics HD 2500 HD 2500
Socket LGA1155 LGA1155 LGA1155
TDP, W 55 55 55

Pentium G2120 is included in tests for being priced similarly to Phenom II X4 955 and being the lowest-end Ivy Bridge processor.

Core i3-3220 is the basic Ivy Bridge in the Core i3 lineup, so we add it as well.

As for Intel Core i5-3330, its release was a total surprise. Boxed version being only $8 cheaper than Core i5-3470, it can hardly catch up. Maybe it was released as a successor to i5-32xx processors. Anyway, testing Core i5-3330 is going to be interesting, because it has become the basic quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU. At the same time, it features 3GHz nominal core clock and the Turbo mode, being similar to Phenom II X4 960T and X6 1075T.

Socket Motherboard RAM
LGA1155 Biostar TH67XE (H67) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (2x1333; 9-9-9-24)
AM3+ ASUS Crosshair V Formula (990 FX) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (2x1333; 9-9-9-24-2T, Unganged Mode)

Of course, Ivy Bridge supports faster DDR3-1600 RAM, but a move from DDR3-1333 won't provide any recognizable performance boost to the Core i3 series, so we'll keep to the lower clock rates for now.


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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, testbeds

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: Tests cont'd, final thoughts



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