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The Performance Summary

At $199 and $285 the obvious comparison points are Intel’s Core i5 750 and Core i7 860. We’ll dive into the complete performance tests in a bit, but if you’re looking for some quick analysis here’s what we’ve got.

Single threaded performance is squarely a Lynnfield advantage. Intel’s quad-cores can turbo up more and Intel does have the advantage of higher IPC.

Phenom II X6 vs. Intel's Lynnfield Processors
  Cinebench R10 (Single Threaded) Cinebench R10 (Multithreaded) 3dsmax r9 x264 HD - 2nd Pass Left 4 Dead
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3951 18526 13.7 28.5 fps 127.2 fps
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 3547 16268 12.7 25.1 fps 111.5 fps
Intel Core i7 860 4490 16598 15.0 26.8 fps 131.0 fps
Intel Core i5 750 4238 14142 13.4 21.0 fps 130.0 fps

Highly threaded encoding and 3D rendering performance are obviously right at home on the Phenom II X6. The 6MB L3 cache and lower IPC does appear to hamper the Phenom II X6 in a couple of tests but for the most part if you need threads, the X6 is the way to go.

Applications in between generally favor Intel’s quad-cores over the Phenom II X6. This includes CPU-bound games.

None of this should be terribly surprising as it’s largely the same conclusion we came to with the Athlon II X3 and X4. If you run specific heavily threaded applications, you can’t beat the offer AMD is giving you. It’s the lighter or mixed use workloads that tend to favor Intel’s offerings at the same price points.

AMD’s Turbo: It Works AMD’s 890FX Chipset & The Test
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  • JGabriel - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I agree with your approach, Anand. As a customer, and for a general review, I'm most interested in what performance I can get without increasing the core voltage and power consumption.

    Pushing the overclock seems more suited for a separate article, or for sites specializing in overclocking or gaming.

    .
    Reply
  • GullLars - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    +1 on more overclocking testing. It could be a new article dedicated to investigating OC vs stock against the i5 cpus. Also, i remember seing some results for powerconsumption pr performance on different clocks and voltages, that would be interresting to see for the PII x6.
    I would also like to see what effect just bumping the FSB up from 200 makes, and how high you get it with stable turbo modes. Finding the max stable FSB with lowered multiplier gives a hint to how far it can clock, and how far the non-BE versions can clock.

    I'm considering a a 1090T BE or 1055T to replace my 9850BE (too hot, and won't OC) untill bulldozer chips come out. If the 1055T can take a 20-25% FSB increase and stay stable, that would be my choice.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Ask and you shall receive: http://anandtech.com/show/3676/phenom-ii-x6-4ghz-a... Reply
  • jav6454 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I miss when Intel was on the run for the market... AMD's 6-core does well, but it'd marginally better than a 4-core from Intel... true you get more cores, but is them small performance worth it? I think not. Reply
  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Overclocking it is definitely interesting, and it would be nice to know whether it's power consumption is much lower or not. It's a lower bin, so it should have slightly higher power consumption at the same clock, but it does have a much lower clock. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    We didn't have an actual Phenom II 1055T, we simply underclocked our 1090T and lowered the turbo core ratios to simulate one. This is why we don't have power consumption results for it either.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • adrien - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    I find the results of the 7zip compression benchmark a bit weird. I own a Phenom II X4 955 and I'm currently compressing something (800MB) in a windows7 virtual machine with only two cores (way to go MS!). Still, I'm getting something more than 2MB/s (and this virtual machine has crappy disk I/O, maybe less than 4MB/s sustained). LZMA is slower on data that compresses badly so it's not possible to draw conclusions but overall, it still looks weird.

    Which version of 7zip is being used? 4 or 9? And which minor version?
    Also, are you using LZMA or LZMA2? IIRC, LZMA can only use 2 threads while LZMA2 can use more (maybe powers of two, not sure).
    Also, I think that the 64bit versions are faster. I guess you're using 64bit binaries but it's better to check (running 32bit software on 64bit OSes indeed has a cost), maybe like 5% to 15%.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    I'm using 7-zip 9.10 beta and LMZA compression in order to compare to previous results, which unfortunately limits us to two threads. In the future we'll start transitioning to LMZA2 to take advantage of the 4+ core CPUs on the market. Today I offer both the benchmark results (max threads) and the compression test (2 threads) to give users an idea of the spectrum of performance.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • adrien - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    OK, very good. Thanks. :-)

    That explains why the deca (and actually quad) cores don't benefit much from that. It'd probably deserve a mention on the chart or next to it.
    Reply
  • adrien - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Not decacores but hexacores of course. Too early in the morning I guess. Reply

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