iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






AMD Phenom II X3 720 / X4 810 / X4 920 Processors

Aimed at leadership in the budget segment.

February 17, 2009

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All performance factors are important in this group of tests, memory speed probably being the most relevant here. So, processors with an integrated memory controller should be faster, provided their cores are robust enough, of course. And Phenom II backs up this theory.

Total professional score

The new processors from AMD outperform their competitors in all three groups.


Three processors demonstrate identical results, even though they all have a different number of cores. It indicates that archivers prefer larger caches to the number of cores.


We could have made a similar conclusion here, some codecs use multiprocessing very well, for example, x264. The others are not so skillful. In fact, this group of software has a great potential for multiprocessing. It's partially implemented already. New codec versions were released, while our method of testing didn't change. So, quad-core processors have a great potential to break away from their competitors. Phenom II X3 proves againthat it can perform faster than its competitors now and that it can benefit from future optimizations.


Games require the speed of CPU-RAM data exchange and computing power, of course. And Phenom II apparently demonstrates a more attractive combination of these parameters versus its direct Core 2 competitors. As graphics quality increases, CPU computations in modern games grow more complex just as GPU computations or even more. So it makes no sense to test a new processor in Middle Quality modes of a game that runs well on an old processor. Unfortunately, such tests are still published from time to time in the media. They may lead their readers astray, because they offer different CPU load (both quantitative and qualitative). In primitive computations in Low Quality modes a processor acts only as a "GPU controller". So bottlenecks in this case differ from situations, when High Quality computations load other CPU units.

Most games in our test procedure do not use multiprocessing very well, so the triple-core 720 model almost catches up with the 920, which differs only in the number of cores. But even here we can say that game developers will use multiprocessing benefits. You can take GTA IV, as the best example -- it will be added to the future version of our test procedure.

Non-professional photo processing

In integer tests Intel processors have a good chance to make up for their loss in other tests. As many utilities from this group do not use multiprocessing, even a triple-core Phenom II is weaker than its competitor, which also happens in just one group of tests (CAD/CAM).

Total non-professional score

We have general parity here.

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Page 1: Introduction, platform

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: More tests

Page 4: Conclusions

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