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Lower- and Higher-End Phenom X3/X4 Processors

On the background of Core 2 Duo E4x00 series.

July 23, 2008



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The idea of this article was born quite unexpectedly. We were browsing a summary of test results and saw that results of two different CPU groups were so interwoven that we were tempted to compare them, even though these groups differed so much. First of all we made charts. This made things even more interesting! So, we decided to write this article. Don't be surprised, its main participants will be AMD Phenom X3 8450/8750 and Phenom X4 9550/9850 on one hand, and Core 2 Duo 4300/4400/4500/4600/4700 (the entire E4x00 family) as well as the new Core 2 Duo E7200 on the other hand.

In this article we deliberately won't make deep analytical conclusions or discuss architectural peculiarities and reasons of either phenomenon. This article is written for users that must make a choice. What they need is numbers, not words.

Some of you may be insulted to see the top AMD Phenom X4 9850 compared to Intel Core 2 Duo E4x00. But we did not want to ruin the Phenom image, really. Judging by test results, this Core 2 Duo series performs as the closest competitor to Phenom X3/X4.

Hardware and Software

Testbed configurations


CPU Motherboard Memory Video
Intel Core 2 Duo ASUS Maximus Extreme Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN GeForce 8800 GTX
AMD Phenom X4/X3 ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe Corsair TWIN2X4096-9136C5DF GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Memory: 4 GB (4 x 1 GB modules)
  • HDD: Samsung HD401LJ (SATA-2)
  • Coolers: Thermaltake TMG i1, Thermaltake TMG A1
  • Power supply unit: Cooler Master RS-A00-EMBA.

Processor Phenom X3 8450 Phenom X3 8750 Phenom X4 9550 Phenom X4 9850 Core 2 Duo E4300-4700 Core 2 Duo E7200
Core name Toliman Toliman Agena Agena Conroe Wolfdale
Fabrication process, nm 65 65 65 65 65 45
Core clock, GHz 2.1 2.4 2.2 2.5 1.8/2.0/2.2/2.4/2.6 2.53
Number of cores 3 3 4 4 2 2
L1 cache, I/D, KB* 64/64 64/64 64/64 64/64 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB** 3x512 3x512 4x512 4x512 2048 3072
L3 cache, KB 2048 2048 2048 2048 - -
FSB clock***, MHz 533 (1066) 533 (1066) 533 (1066) 533 (1066) 200 (800) 266 (1066)
Multiplier 10.5 12 11 12.5 9/10/11/12/13 9.5
Socket AM2+ AM2+ AM2+ AM2+ LGA775 LGA775
Heat dissipation**** 95 W 95 W 95 W 125 W 65 W 65 W

* Per single core in multi-core processors.
** "X x Y" means "X KB per each of Y cores".
*** In AMD processors it's memory controller bus frequency.
**** Specified differently in Intel and AMD processors, so a direct comparison would be incorrect.

Software


Application 64-bit Multi-threaded*
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 + +
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 + +
Autodesk 3ds max 9 SP2 + +
V-Ray 1.5 SP1 + +
Autodesk Maya 2008 Ultimate + +
NewTek Lightwave 3D 9.2 + +
SolidWorks 2007 SP0.0 + +
PTC Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 M120 + -
UGS NX5 5.0.0.25 + +
Wolfram Research Mathematica 6 + +
MapleSoft Maple 11 - +
MathWorks MATLAB 2007 + +
Adobe Photoshop CS3 10.0 - +
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 + +
Apache HTTP Server 2.2.8 - +
PHP 5.2.5 - +
MySQL Community Server 5.0.51a - +
ACDSee 10 Photo Manager - +
xat.com Image Optimizer 5.10 - -
IrfanView 4.10 - -
XnView 1.93.4 - -
Paint.NET 3.30 + +
7-Zip 4.57 + +
WinRAR 3.71 - +
UltimateZip 3.2 - -
FLAC 1.2.1 - -
LAME-MT 3.97 + +
Musepack MPC Encoder 1.16 - -
Nero Digital Audio Encoder 1.1.34.2 - +
Ogg Encoder 2.83 (Lancer) - +
Canopus ProCoder 3.0 - +
DivX Codec 6.8.2 - +
XviD Codec 1.1.3 Final - -
x264 Codec rev 807 - +
VirtualDub 1.8.0 - +
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Patch 1.5) - +
Call of Juarez (Patch 1.1.0.0) + DX10 Enhancements Pack - -
Crysis (Patch 1.2) + +
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Patch 1.006) - +
Unreal Tournament 3 (Patch 1.2) - +
Company of Heroes (Patch 1.71) - +
World in Conflict (Patch 1.007) - +

* Means that two or more simultaneously active threads are actually present during tests; not just the fact that a process generates several threads.


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