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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  • Exar3342 - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    $50 is pretty trvial in the overall cost of the computer. Even a relatively cheap system with a O/S and a acceptable graphics card would be $400-500. This difference is only ~%10 of the overall cost, and yields a performance increase of 20-40% and is more efficient.

    You are thinking small, think bigger.

    With the Athlon X4 at $100 and the i5/i7 at $150-250, there is really no reason for anyone to buy a brand-new PhII system at all. If you want cheap, get the Athlon X$; if you want fast, get the i5/i7.
    Reply
  • Patrick Wolf - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    "With the Athlon X4 at $100 and the i5/i7 at $150-250, there is really no reason for anyone to buy a brand-new PhII system at all."

    You are thinking big, think smarter. And the i5 is $200, not $150.

    The price per performance scales linearly. An Athlon X4 w/ mobo and DDR2 < PhenomII X4 w/ mobo and DDR2 < i5/i7 w/ mobo and DDR3.

    You get what you pay for.

    And less we forget, DDR3 isn't exactly cheap yet. And the new 1156 boards are starting at ~$100.
    Reply
  • lopri - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    To all those who worry about AMD's finance: Why do you care?

    It has been a great mystery to me throughout many years. Sure I understand the need for competition which benefits everyone in a free market, but there are other things that can ensure fair competition. Worrying about a corporation's profit margin is not the first on the list. I'd leave that to the management and shareholders.
    Reply
  • Smidge - Thursday, September 17, 2009 - link

    Competition is important, both for driving prices down, and driving development. As I recall, Intel started their whole tick-tock releases of architectures in response to starting to lose the lead in the processor market. As well as that they were reportedly sitting on a bunch of tech advances until they'd sold enough of their previous gen stuff. The cost savings are especially obvious when you think of how prices tend get slashed whenever the competition releases a new product, especially if it outperforms products in a higher price bracket.

    Now remember that AMD are the only real competition in both the CPU (x86_64) and graphics markets for Intel and Nvidia respectively. Both markets have an extremely high barrier to entry. Well, with the requirement of probably billions in startup investment and decades of processor research, it's more like a nigh-impenetrable barrier to entry. So if AMD were to go under, Intel and Nvidia would both have monopolies in their respective markets for a long time to come.

    I think it's perfectly fair to worry about AMD's finances given how much it would suck for us consumers if they were to go under (as they were close to doing before the globalfoundries spinoff). As I would worry if Intel or Nvidia were struggling. Though Intel seem to be sitting on a boatload of cash so that's not much of an issue.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Just noticed on the benchies that the Athlon II at 2.8GHz was pretty close to the Phenom II at 3.2GHz... If you compared the two at the same clock, what does the 6MB L3 get one across the board?? In a lot of cases, seemed to be very little. Just one of those charts with percentages side by side would be cool! Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    That chart is in the middle of the first page - a breakdown of the SysMark results at 2.8GHz. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    Right, that's just SysMark.. Sometimes he has a chart from top to bottom with all the benchmarks.. Reply
  • fitten - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    In the Cinebench R10 section:

    "the Q8200 is the slowest chip here." when it is clearly in the middle of the pack. I think it should be "the Q8200 is the slowest quad core chip here."
    Reply
  • fitten - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    My bad... that is talking about the single-threaded performance, not the multithreaded performance. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - link

    I'm curious about the NB overclocking on these chips. Few have been able to achieve stable NB speeds over about 2.6 ghz on Phenom IIs. How far could you push the NB on your 630? Or 620, for that matter? Reply

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