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  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - link

    I didn't want to believe it but you really ARE biased towards Intel! After all the harm they've caused in this industry how could you be? Do they threaten to stop sending you testing material if you don't sound like they're the second coming of Christ and AMD is just a second-rate company? Reply
  • computerfarmer - Monday, February 01, 2010 - link

    Good article.

    Trying to find these to buy. AMD Athlon II x4 635 is the only one I have found available (newegg.ca). I live in Canada.

    Are the rest of them expected soon?
    Reply
  • th3rdpartynation - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    I want to build a WHS and the 3 things I consider most important are Video Encoding performance, Low Power, and Price. That being said I have narrowed it down to Athlon II X4 vs Core i3. A matchup I would love to see would be an undervolted Athlon II X4 vs. an Overclocked Core i3. If not then maybe everybody could tell me which they recommend?

    Reply
  • blowfish - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    for the video encoding part, that's easy enough - just check out "Bench", and factor in your underclocks and overclocks, since encoding scales fairly well with clock speed for a given cpu.

    Price is easy enough to figure out.

    The i3's probably have the best power/performance.
    Reply
  • jackylman - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    As a fan of silent computing, the 45W TDP quad-core 910e is the most exciting chip in this round, and I don't see it in the power consumption graphs. Disappointed.. :( Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    You see in the charts that:
    - idle power isn't that much different between the AMDs
    - at load they consume about their "ACP" (former TDP)

    So if you're not running under load the choice doesn't matter. If you run under load you could take any of the current 45 nm CPUs and lower its ridiculously high stock voltage of 1.4 V to maybe 1.2 V at 2.6 GHz. That should get you to maybe 80 W instead of 65 W for the specially binned chips. Close enough I'd say. If it's still too loud: go to 2.5 GHz and lower the voltage again.

    BTW: Core i3/5/7 can be even more energy efficient if you don't push them to 4 GHz.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link

    ACP that AMD use now not very helpful 95w/65w may had just be 125w/95w,

    the Athlon II are far better on heat output (X2 more so) then the Phenom II or the older hotcake 9xxx Phenoms (guessing most due to L3 cache)
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    ... but for some purposes you have to look at an o'c system being more efficient, since CPU is only a fraction of total system power consumption and we are free to turn a system off when the tasks are completed. Reply
  • jackylman - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    errr 65W Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    If you are a supposed fan of silent computing, I'm surprised you aren't aware that you are better off buying a "standard" AMD CPU for much less and undervolting and underclocking to get even better results (ie. cooler and lower-power-consuming) than buying AMD's e-series (like MrSpadge describes). Reply
  • mindless1 - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    Not necessarily, some e-series run any given frequency at a lower voltage, so by the same token whatever a non-e can do undervolted, an e- might do a bit higher speed at same voltage.

    Further, not all boards allow undervolting much, if at all, especially when you're trying to build a very small system. Big system with full mATX or ATX board with full o'c features, and silent fans is something just about any Tom, Dick, and Harry can build with no need to pick an e-series or undervolt a regular CPU.
    Reply
  • play2learn - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Not everybody have up to date CPU:s. Anand, it would be fun if you sneak in an old processor like pentium 3, 4 or Pentium D next time. Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Anand did just that back in when Phenom II X2 and Athlon II X2 were released:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    It was an embarrassment, no self-respecting hardware geek should be using that crap when the cheapest CPU and motherboard on the market today buries that stone-age technology.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    ... but to many geeks, it's the love of tech, not the ePenis you claim by virtue of your system performance.

    I mean really, there is a point where even a geek takes a sensible position about what is appropriate for the work or play they actually do. Would you be amazed to know I still have a Celeron 500MHz fileserver running? The geek in me made it right in the first place including beefed up mobo capacitors, very open heatsink that takes years to get appreciable dust in it, filtered intake/positive pressure, and a few others things faster, but inferior for the purpose, systems have today.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    lol, meant ... DON'T usually have today. Reply
  • play2learn - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    You have a point there. But then there are people like me that's still not satisfied with today's technology and just sit and wait and wait for that ultimate experience to show up. If you want me to buy a new system today (which is not going to happen) I need to be humiliated more than once. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Won't it skew the graphs (eg. a bar too long to fit or a bar too small to be visible) Reply
  • NJoy - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Sure it would. Last week just out of curiosity I decided to run CinebenchR10 on a Dell Precision with dual Xeons (PD 3Ghz based, 4 threads) against C2D E8400. Guest what? Over 4 minutes for Xeons whilst about 2:20 for C2D. Humiliation... Reply
  • mattscottshea - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    These are assumptions made by current naming standards. However, if these were to hold true, it would be quite a coup by AMD as there current unreleased top of the line 975 will run at 3.6GHz with 4 cores at 140W using the C3 stepping.

    AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3.6GHz 6 cores / 125W (D1 stepping?)
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 3.2GHz 6 cores / 95W
    AMD Phenom II X6 1035T 2.9GHz 6 cores / 95W
    AMD Phenom II X4 960T 3.3GHz 4 cores / 95W
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    LOL. Naming conventions are there to lure people into buying just when you break the convention (*looking at the greenteam*)

    Anyway, their process has not magically changed - otherwise todays CPUs would be more energy efficient. And a new stepping is not going to turn the world upside down.. maybe a gain of 5% power at similar settings and a slightly higher clock speed at similar power levels.

    And today you're getting 4 cores at 3.4 GHz for 140 / 125W. They'll be lucky and need heavy speed binning to get 3 GHz at 140W for the best 6-core CPU.
    Reply
  • blowfish - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    And today you're getting 4 cores at 3.4 GHz for 140 / 125W. They'll be lucky and need heavy speed binning to get 3 GHz at 140W for the best 6-core CPU.

    Well that depends on the process - it might well be feasible at 32NM.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    But these CPUs aren't going to be 32 nm. I'd even bet a beer on that. Reply
  • blowfish - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    yes, you're right. I sniffed around a bit online and it seems like they're going to use 45NM, so it's hard to see anything much more than 3GHZ, and even then only on a very mature 45NM process. The die size is also huge - bigger than the Intel 975 EE, so prices will also be well above mainstream. Reply
  • blowfish - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Anand, since anyone doing x264 encoding is interested in the total time required, rather than the times for the first and second passes themselves, don't you think it would make sense to simply combine the two charts into one overall one?

    The AMD's seem to do well on the first pass, but less well on the second, and whilst that might be of some interest, it's the overall that's actually of any use in determining the ranking order of different cpu's for anyone building an encoding pc.

    As ever, love the reviews though!
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Which would be better for a home/ small business server with a base Linux OS and virtualized Windows file server, Linux web and SQL servers?

    The Athlon II X4 555 or the Core i5 530? I have the drives, power supply, and case, but I'd need to get a MB, Processor, and 8GB memory.
    Reply
  • ChristopherRice - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    You would find either of these would do a fine job of that. Really you can throw together an old p4 to do that type of work. All you need to ensure is that you have the ram to support your applications. Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Not for the things I would be looking to do with it: SQL server and web server as virtuals for web based POS/ Accounting/ inventory system, or a Virtual machine based streaming web server for music and movies around the house or on mobile devices that would use wireless networking to connect and update.

    Imagine: turning on your tv, pulling up your home Hulu type app, and bringing up the movie or tv show you want to watch.

    or

    Imagine: a small store, using thin clients as cash registers and e-mail, iPhones as inventory and ordering modules, centralized printing with nightly backup and RAID 1 mirroring.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    Well why didn't you just say so in the first place?! Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    oops, I meant the Athlon II X4 635, not 555 (getting these stupid numbers mixed up. Why not go with regular clock rate and core count?) Reply
  • Pastuch - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    A huge number of us own a Core2Duo E8xxx series CPU. Can you please post the benchmarks of one of them in this review to give us an idea of how it compares to an overclocked I3 530 or Phenom 2 555? Thanks. Reply
  • Nfarce - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    "A huge number of us own a Core2Duo E8xxx series CPU. Can you please post the benchmarks of one of them in this review to give us an idea of how it compares to an overclocked I3 530 or Phenom 2 555? Thanks."

    Actually you can take their data on the E7500 here and extrapolate the information from that vs. where an E8600 (or whatever) is in other similar tests and then plug it back in here.

    At least, that's what I do. It doesn't take much time and usually there's a reason why AT will leave a certain chipset out (not sure why they chose the E7500 here over an E8500 however).
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    not sure why they chose the E7500 here over an E8500 however

    Because the E8000 series is in a different pricing universe compared to the CPUs discussed here. They should not under any circumstances be considered by any buyer in today's market.

    But indeed you can use the E7500 as a good baseline. The clockspeed is nearly the same so the performance will be marginally better than the E7500 based on larger cache and faster FSB, but not by a whole lot.
    Reply
  • Tamdrik - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Wow, is the newer X58 platform that much more energy efficient than the X48? I was shocked to see the Core i3 system at load consuming less power than the Pentium E6300 at idle, especially considering the latter is a 65W TDP part, which is less than the i3 at 73W. I think the GT280 by itself idles at around 50W, so the rest of an X58 system idles at under 40W (presumably including ~10W or so of PSU losses) vs. twice that for an X48? That's crazy. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Anand seems to have completely forgot that X58 chipsets only run LGA1366 CPUs. The test page should show either a P55 or H55.

    The TDP of the Clarkdale's are with iGPU, so it'll fare better comparatively against Core 2 with discrete GPUs.
    Reply
  • ET - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    The Athlon II X2 255 beats the Phenom II X2 555 BE in Far Cry 2, and it's slower and has less cache. So what's its secret?

    BTW, it looks from these benchmarks that the slowest CPU works well for these games. I wonder if there's a larger difference in the minimum frame rate.
    Reply
  • nubie - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Latency.

    The Phenom X2 is a cut-down X4 with level 3 cache.

    The Athlon II X2 is a designed Dual-Core with no level 3 cache (and LARGER level 2 caches per core.)

    Anandtech did a review on the Athlon II X2:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    I for one had been waiting about 5 years for them to come out with this chip. And it is about time. The 65nm process never got 1MB level 2 Cache per core, we had to stick with 90nm and wait for these 45nm chips.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Actually, "ET" is right - something very weird is going on.

    Compare:
    Athlon II X2 250 @ 3.0GHz - 36FPS
    Athlon II X2 255 @ 3.1GHz - 45.8FPS

    That's got to be the most magical 3% clockspeed bump in the history of the PC.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    I am not seeing what you are talking about. I see 45.8FPS for the X2 255, but there is no 36FPS except for the quad-core. I don't see Athlon II X2 250 on any of these graphs...

    Anyway, I agree with nubie that the Athlon II X2 is the real gem in AMD's current lineup with the jacked-up clockspeeds and huge L2 cache per core. These allow for fantastic systems at unbelievable prices!
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    The benchmarks were taken from Bench (Anandtech’s CPU benchmark repository). Just so what’s going on is a bit clearer:

    Phenom II X2 550 BE @ 3.1GHz – 41FPS
    Phenom II X2 555 BE @ 3.2GHz – 43.6FPS
    100MHz gets you 2.6FPS or 6%

    Athlon II X4 630 @ 2.8GHz – 40FPS
    Athlon II X4 635 @ 2.9GHz – 40.2FPS
    100MHz gets you 0.2FPS or 0.5%

    Athlon II X3 435 @ 2.9GHz – 40FPS
    Athlon II X3 440 @ 3.0GHz – 42.8FPS
    100MHz gets you 2.8FPS or 7%.

    Athlon II X2 250 @ 3.0GHz – 36FPS
    Athlon II X2 255 @ 3.1GHz – 45.8FPS
    100MHz gets you 9.8FPS or 27%.

    To quote Firefly’s Jubal Early – “Does that seem right to you?”
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    I conclude that I still wouldn't use 4 cores for anything... Reply
  • SmCaudata - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    It is very good to look at the CPU vs CPU cost for performance but look at the total cost. Comparing these chips isn't that fair really. I can go to Microcenter and pick up an x4 620 for $90 and get my choice of 2 motherboards from $20 - $60. Even without these package discounts the AMD motherboards are much cheaper. The cheapest Intel boards are dipping in the low $90s right now for the i3s and i5s. You do get a few added features with the H44/H57 boards but it is a big price difference in the end. I personally have owned intel for my last 3 builds but at the low end it isn't nearly as close of a competition as your article points out. Heck, even P45 boards are still in the $90 range for one with needed features. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    BTW look at this deal, http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.asp...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.asp...

    It's not much. Sure you can get 785G boards for $42 after rebates and MIR. $138 USD total for 785G and X4 620. But the Intel is still a good platform for them money. Board comes down to $71 after rebates any how. I guess you can compare the $100 boards with AMDs $85-105 dollar 785G/790GX boards. You get quad-core, but a slower processor.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    And you would really trust a $20 motherboard? Reply
  • formulav8 - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Yes I would and do. I've built many upon many computers and $20-$50 mobo's work very well. Its not like the older days. Manuf like ECS even make the higher end boards for the higher end names. I believe Abit is one of their customers.

    So yes a $20 mobo works just fine. Obviously don't expect all of the bells and such, but the bang for the buck systems is definitely on AMD's side.

    They give me a nice profit margin. Which is always a good thing. :)


    PS: Apart from my own desktop and my wifes desktop which both uses Intel chips, customer builds has been using AMD for quite awhile now do to the bang you get from them.


    Jason
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    Abit had their own manufacturing, now they are owned by contract manufacturer USI or Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd.

    ECS is a contract manufacturer (ODM) like all the others but mostly makes low end stuff especially under their own brand. (ECS/PC Chips). And of course supplies the OEMs. I wouldn't rank them higher then any of the others.

    Companies like EVGA, XFX and BFG are factory less and their products are produced (mostly) by Foxconn. They are of course also american companies so theres no surprise there.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    From a stability point of view, I've had better luck with cheaper motherboards, since they usually have very limited overclocking options. Cheaper boards also tend to run a little slower, but as i said I've always found them to be stable, since there is not much than can go wrong. Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Agreed, motherboard costs should be taken into account. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Did you guys try and unlock the cores? I was a lucky sod that managed to get an Athlon 2 X4 620 to have all of it's cache unlocked, essentially turning it into a Phenom 2 X4 910 but at a much lower price. Reply
  • PCWizKid - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    I unlocked all 4 cores on the Phenom II X4 555 BE , check out my review here http://tinyurl.com/phenomii555">http://tinyurl.com/phenomii555 Reply
  • v12v12 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Wow... I don't know how old you are, but that was an excellently narrated review. Very few, if any hang ups or awkward pauses; you seem to have a talent for that... could be worth something to you in the future buddy. All these tech-TV shows/websites need competent reviewers and such for shows like CES etc. Could have a future out there doing something unusually nice!

    As for the 555... WOW now that's a legendary sized unlock! Where have chips like these been lately, in AMDs line up? I haven't seen something like that from AMD since the L1-L2 bridge Pen/super-glue gap-able AXPs and unlocked mobile XP-Ms. That was quite a long time ago... haha.

    Hope AMD comes with more than a few fancy OC tricks though... then again, Intel's pet project group will take notice of this very unusually easy unlock trick, and hopefully release a special batch of chips as retort. Gotta love CPU competition, esp when OC'ing potential comes into factor for the Manus... b/c really, they could completely lock up all these chips for no OC'ing period... so they do occasionally toss use nuggets.

    ...OC 4 Life.
    Reply
  • Eeqmcsq - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    I'm surprised AMD will release a 95W TDP X6. I hope the clock speed sacrifice isn't too bad on those. Reply
  • AmdInside - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Dumb question but none of these processors will work on older AM2 plus motherboards? Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    Pardon the yelling, but this is the only answer that matters:

    SEE THE SUPPORTED CPU LIST ON YOUR MOTHERBOARD'S SUPPORT PAGE

    Many old boards don't get BIOS updates. Some do, but you won't know until you check.
    Reply
  • nubie - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    It all depends on the board and manufacturer bios support.

    If your motherboard is recent (within 1-2 years old), or has a bios update from the manufacturer, then it will work.

    Apparently some older boards don't have room on the bios chip to support AM2+ or AM3 processors as well as maintain backwards compatibility, it is a shame.

    (I probably just have the rare board that isn't upgradeable.)
    Reply
  • nubie - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Oops, you said AM2+ , but you spelled out the plus

    AM2+ is guaranteed to support AM3 processors.
    Reply
  • Rand - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    I can't imagine why they wouldn't, their predecessors all did and there is nothing in the C3 stepping Phenom II's themselves that prevent it. Reply
  • AmdInside - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Well, I wasn't sure if these were AMD3 only or AM2/AM3 processors. Reply
  • Slaimus - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    There are no such thing as AM3-only processors. AM3 processors work in AM3 and AM2+ boards.

    All AM3 motherboards are AM3-only, and will not work with AM2 processors.
    Reply
  • Rand - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    What is the stock VCore on the X4 910e? Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    The link referencing hardware C1E on page 1 is broken. Reply
  • Jovec - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    Also, I'm not sure the X2 255 belongs in the Thuban chart. Reply
  • forum123 - Friday, May 07, 2010 - link

    Able to unlock Athlon II X3 440 to Deneb core Phenom II x4 B40. No L3 cash though. Interesting enough the voltage automatically went up to 1.472V which on stock cooler raised the temperature up to 46-48C idling. Lowered to 1.275V (not stable at 1.25V), idles at 37-39C, does not go over 50C on load. Wonder how much the power consumption increased from 95W for 3 cores when unlocking the 4th core.
    Anyways, it's a good marketing strategy for AMD to release unlock-able processors, which can additionally overclock. Hooks you up.
    Reply
  • Vaavazodu - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - link

    Hey Guys, This is my first comment of question Ever, I want to buy a PC with good stability and Speed , I m gonna use it for bussiness and gaming, which Processor should I choose..

    i have some options..

    PHENOM ii x4 945
    Phenom ii x3
    phenom ii x2 higest
    Or
    Athelon ii x4

    Plz get me info.. and show me what to buy...
    Reply

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