SYSMark 2007 Performance

Our journey starts with SYSMark 2007, the only all-encompassing performance suite in our review today. The idea here is simple: one benchmark to indicate the overall performance of your machine.

SYSMark 2007 - Overall

If we only look at the AMD numbers in this chart, there's a pretty nice lineup going on here. The Athlon II X2 250 is slower than the Athlon II X4 620/630, which is slower than the Phenom II X3 730 and all are slower than the Phenom II X4 955. The performance lines up with the pricing, so all is good.

The problem with these cheap quad-cores has always been that you give up a lot in order to get four cores at a low price. The Athlon II X4 appears to break the mold however. The Athlon II X4 620 is priced at $99 and it performs like a $99 CPU. With the exception of the Core 2 Duo E7500 whose high clock speed makes it do unsually well here, the 620 is balanced. You get a reasonably high clock speed and enough cache to be competitive, both at a good price.

You'll see in the individual tests below that performance varies between competitive and underwhelming depending on the task. Anything that can take advantage of four cores does well, otherwise the smaller L2s of the Athlon II X4 hurt it a bit.

SYSMark 2007 - E-Learning

In applications that aren't well threaded, you'll see the Athlon II X4 perform less than stellar - but the same is true for all lower end quad-core CPUs. Even the Q8200 is outperformed by the E6300 here. Situations like this are validation for Intel's aggressive turbo modes on Lynnfield.

SYSMark 2007 - Video Creation

Any strenuous video encoding however will seriously favor the Athlon II X4. Here we find the $99 620 tying the Core 2 Quad Q8200, and the 630 outperforming it - all at a lower price.

SYSMark 2007 - Productivity

We're back to needing higher clock speeds and larger caches to compete. Being a quad-core processor isn't easy.

SYSMark 2007 - 3D

Index Adobe Photoshop CS4 Performance
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  • Eeqmcsq - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    The L2 cache in the Athlon II X4s are the same as the Phenom II X4, 512KB per core, 2MB total. It is only on the Athlon II X2s that the cache was doubled to 1MB per core, 2MB total. Reply
  • TA152H - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Oh, OK. I guess I should actually read the charts.

    Thanks.

    Hmmmmm, I wonder why they overclock so poorly. It doesn't make much sense. You'd think it would use less power, and generate less heat. Strange.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Two options: 1) New die, takes time to get the mix perfect for better yields/higher clock speeds, or 2) the chip isn't using super high frequency/high leakage transistors to maximize performance. It could be designed to hit lower frequencies.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Eeqmcsq - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    The skeptic in me says bad design problems, like the first Phenoms. That could also account for the multiple delays and pushbacks on the Athlon X4s. But in all seriousness, I have no idea. Reply
  • Eeqmcsq - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Found this on another site. Perhaps you can check and confirm:

    "...the imprint "AADAC” identifies the CPU as a Propus."
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    My 620 is an AADAC while my 630 is an AACYC. I will ask AMD to confirm :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Spoke with AMD this morning. The OPN does not indicate whether or not the chip has a disabled L3. It's just luck of the draw, there's no way to tell by looking at the chip itself.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Doormat - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Please upgrade to a more modern x264 benchmark. I'd recommend a recent handbrake snapshot (http://handbrake.fr/snapshot.php)">http://handbrake.fr/snapshot.php). The nehalem optimizations should boost performance dramatically and are a better representation of what people would get with current encoders. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    I agree completely, the question is more one of when we make the transition. There's a lot of historical data we need to compare to. You'll see a slow transition to new tests especially with the final version of Windows 7.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Lunyone - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Finally we have quad cores at about $100!! Hope that this will spur on better pricing on all fronts! Go AMD, we need the competition to drive down better pricing. Now only if you would drop down the PhII x4 955/965 pricing to compete better with the i5 750!! Reply

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