Outperformed again, but not fatally.
The tendency remains: Phenom X3 8750 is outperformed by Core 2 Duo E6600, but not fatally.
A very small defeat. AMD fans, who like to play games, will certainly ignore such an insignificant lag and won't abandon their favorite platform.
Non-professional photo processing
All Phenoms are not doing well in this group of tests. But it did not come as a surprise again, if you knew about test results of Phenom X4 in the previous article.
Total non-professional score
So many coincidences in Phenom tests... The same here: having earned different scores, Phenom X3 8750 is outperformed by Core 2 Duo E6600 exactly by 6 points - both in professional and non-professional tests.
Estimated power consumption*
* We actually measure power consumption of the on-board VRM, so our readings may be higher, because VRM does not have the efficiency factor of 100%.
If you compare Phenom X3 with Phenom X4, you may even be pleased: 94 W versus 130 W. However, we cannot compare Phenoms with Core 2 Duo/Quad dry-eyed.
AMD stirs up mixed feelings in many people, but all of us, both fans and adversaries, admit one thing: this company always manages to wiggle out of any kind of trouble. :) This time it came up with a decision correct in terms of both technology and marketing. Ok, they screwed up their quad-core processors (unfortunately, the competitor offers such products as well, so direct comparisons are possible, and they do not favor AMD), but they still get their share of the pie with an original solution, not available from their competitor. It will be more difficult to compare them, and there will be more chances to confuse common users. We'll not be surprised to hear something along the lines of: "AMD offers three cores vs. competitor's two cores in this segment; so, applications, where Intel CPUs outperform ours, are too old to use all cores properly," as an argument for Phenom X3.
In fact, each joke holds a grain of truth: have a look at the test results in Adobe Photoshop, or better still, in the x264 encoding test (see the spreadsheet with detailed results). No one doubts that three AMD cores (operating at the same frequency as two cores from Intel) in a well-optimized application have a real chance to win, even if a single core is weaker than competitor's. The main problem here is that there are very few such applications now. Even the share of software optimized for two cores hardly reaches one fourth by the most optimistic estimates. To say nothing of three or more cores. The recent comparison of dual-core and quad-core processors has dotted all i's.
Having analyzed the aforesaid, we start to understand the positioning of Phenom X3: it's a processor for fans, optimists, and eccentric people. AMD fans will be buying X3 (that's right, we think it will be X3, not X4) because it's inexpensive (they got used to it), it's not much slower than equally-clocked dual-core processors from Intel (they will reconcile themselves to it), and in some cases it's even faster (a matter to be proud of and to scorn Intel fans in forums). Optimists will buy Phenom X3 in hopes that the share of programs optimized for 3+ cores will grow, so that their decision sometimes becomes strategically correct. Eccentric people will install such processors only because three cores are cool - they are not just two or four cores.
Speaking of common users, which are neither biased to the manufacturer nor optimistic about software development trends, nor want to surprise everybody with their PC configurations, Phenom X3 will probably become just another processor with a popular $200 price tag. There is nothing special about this processor, but it's not a bad choice either.
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