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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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Non-professional/home tests

Archivers



Phenom puts up a good show here, but not the best. Phenom X3 8450 looks good again.

Encoding



A hopeless situation for Phenom, even extra cores are of no help here.

Games



At last! If we compare Phenom with budget models of Core 2 Duo, the former is a very good processor for games! To all appearances, it improves its positions owing to larger total volume of caches (exclusive at that). The victory of Core 2 Duo E7200 partially proves this assumption - its cache is 1 MB larger than that of the E4x00 family.

Non-professional photo processing



It's all hopeless for Phenom again. Not its type of tests.

Total non-professional score



The total non-professional score proves our previous conclusions. In general, Phenom is not the best choice. It makes sense to buy these processors for certain applications, if you know that they perform well in them.

Estimated power consumption*

* We actually measure power consumption of the on-board VRM, so our readings may be higher, because VRM is not 100% efficient.

Idle



100% load



On one hand, Phenom consumes much less power, as its clock rate is lowered. On the other hand, it's just "a victory over itself". It cannot compete with Intel processors here.

Conclusions



The main idea of this article has originated from the assumption that our total score really reflects average performance, and that it can be used for rough estimates. We selected Intel's processors for their performance, not for any architectural, frequency-related, or ideological reasons. We think that we've achieved the intended effect: the final chart shows that upper and lower Phenoms (X3 and X4) are spread among the Core 2 Duo E4x00 family and the new representative of budget Core 2 Duo series (E7200).

On the whole, performance of modern AMD Phenoms fits well into this group of Intel processors. However, if we analyze their results in certain tests, the situation may change drastically. These very moments are the most interesting ones: it's crystal clear that Phenom is generally outscored by the E4x00 family even considering the price/performance ratio. But there are certain tests where this is different. To all appearances, that's what you should pay attention to, if you are considering Phenom as your choice - perhaps those tests include applications that you use so often.

Memory modules provided by Corsair Memory.

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