Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Processor AMD Athlon X4 845: 2M/4T, 3.5 GHz, 65W, Carrizo Cores
AMD Athlon X4 860K: 2M/4T, 3.7 GHz, 95W, Kaveri Cores
AMD Athlon X4 760K: 2M/4T, 3.8 GHz, 100W, Richland Cores
AMD Athlon X4 750K: 2M/4T, 3.4 GHz, 100W, Trinity Cores
Motherboards ASUS A88X-Pro
Cooling Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
Power Supply Antec 1200W High Current Pro
Memory GeIL Super Veloce 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C11 Kit
Memory Settings JEDEC @ 2133 C10 for X4 845
JEDEC @ 1866 C9 for X4 860K/X4 760K/X4 750K
Video Cards ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G
MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB
MSI R9 285 Gaming 2G
ASUS R7 240 2GB
Hard Drive Crucial MX200 1TB
Optical Drive Viewsonic VX2270XMH-LED 22-inch FHD
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit SP1

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Thank you to AMD for providing us with the R9 290X 4GB GPUs. These are MSI branded 'Gaming' models, featuring MSI's Twin Frozr IV dual-fan cooler design and military class components. Bundled with the cards is MSI Afterburner for additional overclocking, as well as MSI's Gaming App for easy frequency tuning.

The R9 290X is a second generation GCN card from AMD, under the Hawaii XT codename, and uses their largest Sea Islands GPU die at 6.2 billion transistors at 438mm2 built at TSMC using a 28nm process. For the R9 290X, that means 2816 streaming processors with 64 ROPs using a 512-bit memory bus to GDDR5 (4GB in this case). The official power rating for the R9 290X is 250W.

The MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G runs the core at 1000 MHz to 1040 MHz depending on what mode it is in (Silent, Gaming or OC), and the memory at 5 GHz. Displays supported include one DisplayPort, one HDMI 1.4a, and two dual-link DVI-D connectors. 

Further Reading: AnandTech's AMD R9 290X Review

Thank you to ASUS for providing us with GTX 980 Strix GPUs. At the time of release, the STRIX brand from ASUS was aimed at silent running, or to use the marketing term: '0dB Silent Gaming'. This enables the card to disable the fans when the GPU is dealing with low loads well within temperature specifications. These cards equip the GTX 980 silicon with ASUS' Direct CU II cooler and 10-phase digital VRMs, aimed at high-efficiency conversion. Along with the card, ASUS bundles GPU Tweak software for overclocking and streaming assistance.

The GTX 980 uses NVIDIA's GM204 silicon die, built upon their Maxwell architecture. This die is 5.2 billion transistors for a die size of 298 mm2, built on TMSC's 28nm process. A GTX 980 uses the full GM204 core, with 2048 CUDA Cores and 64 ROPs with a 256-bit memory bus to GDDR5. The official power rating for the GTX 980 is 165W.

The ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB (or the full name of STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5) runs a reasonable overclock over a reference GTX 980 card, with frequencies in the range of 1178-1279 MHz. The memory runs at stock, in this case 7010 MHz. Video outputs include three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI 2.0 connector and a DVI-I.

Further Reading: AnandTech's NVIDIA GTX 980 Review

Thank you to Cooler Master for providing us with Nepton 140XL CLCs. The Nepton 140XL is Cooler Master's largest 'single' space radiator liquid cooler, and combines with dual 140mm 'JetFlo' fans designed for high performance, from 0.7-3.5mm H2O static pressure. The pump is also designed to be faster, more efficient, and uses thicker pipes to assist cooling with a rated pump noise below 25 dBA. The Nepton 140XL comes with mounting support for all major sockets, as far back as FM1, AM2 and 775.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Cooler Master Nepton 140XL Review

Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU. The AX1200i was the first power supply to offer digital control and management via Corsair's Link system, but under the hood it commands a 1200W rating at 50C with 80 PLUS Platinum certification. This allows for a minimum 89-92% efficiency at 115V and 90-94% at 230V. The AX1200i is completely modular, running the larger 200mm design, with a dual ball bearing 140mm fan to assist high-performance use. The AX1200i is designed to be a workhorse, with up to 8 PCIe connectors for suitable four-way GPU setups. The AX1200i also comes with a Zero RPM mode for the fan, which due to the design allows the fan to be switched off when the power supply is under 30% load.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Corsair AX1500i Power Supply Review

 

Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX200 SSDs. Crucial stepped up to the plate as our benchmark list grows larger with newer benchmarks and titles, and the 1TB MX200 units are strong performers. Based on Marvell's 88SS9189 controller and using Micron's 16nm 128Gbit MLC flash, these are 7mm high, 2.5-inch drives rated for 100K random read IOPs and 555/500 MB/s sequential read and write speeds. The 1TB models we are using here support TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 (eDrive) encryption and have a 320TB rated endurance with a three-year warranty.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Crucial MX200 (250 GB, 500 GB & 1TB) Review

Thank you to G.Skill for providing us with memory. G.Skill has been a long-time supporter of AnandTech over the years, for testing beyond our CPU and motherboard memory reviews. We've reported on their high capacity and high-frequency kits, and every year at Computex G.Skill holds a world overclocking tournament with liquid nitrogen right on the show floor. One of the most recent deliveries from G.Skill was their 4x16 GB DDR4-3200 C14 Kit, which we are planning for an upcoming review.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Memory Scaling on Haswell Review, with G.Skill DDR3-3000

Thank you to Corsair for providing us with memory. Similarly, Corsair (along with PSUs) is also a long-time supporter of AnandTech. Being one of the first vendors with 16GB modules for DDR4 was a big deal, and now Corsair is re-implementing LEDs back on its memory after a long hiatus along with supporting specific projects such as ASUS ROG versions of the Dominator Platinum range. We're currently looking at our review pipeline to see when our next DRAM round-up will be, and Corsair is poised to participate.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Memory Scaling on Haswell-E Review

AMD's Carrizo Thoroughly Tested Part 2 Benchmark Overview
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  • The_Countess - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - link

    actually bulldozer on 14nm would have been a completely different beast. it would have allowed AMD to use far more transistors per core while still making it way smaller in terms of size. that would have allowed AMD to create a far wider execution core, eliminating most of its bottlenecks.

    the high latency cache would probably still means it wouldn't be great for games but for everything else it would be a far more competitive design.

    it is also 14nm that will allow zen to make such a massive leap in IPC's as it will be a very wide Core, while still being pretty small, something that just can't be done on 28nm.

    bulldozer might not have been the best idea, but being stuck on 32/28nm for so long made all it's issues infinitely worse.
    Reply
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    "Well better late than never for Andantech,"

    There was no point in Adanantech writing this review, because it is a chip for those people too stupid to wait until Zen. Zen is the only thing that matters.
    Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    @nandnandnand: "There was no point in Adanantech writing this review, because it is a chip for those people too stupid to wait until Zen. Zen is the only thing that matters."

    Now, because this review exists, people as yet uninformed have concrete data to avoid decisions that might make them look (as you put it) stupid. There is very much a point.
    Reply
  • Byte - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Zen will probably be the RX480 in the CPU world. Better performance, still trounced by the competition, but competently priced. Reply
  • looncraz - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    That would be an improvement on the current situation. AMD is pricing their CPUs quite poorly right now.

    An Intel Celeron G3900 is $50 right now. AMD's closest competition is the A6-7400k - at $55.

    Both are dual cores, both are 65W, both have middling (but usable) graphics performance... quite similar at first glance... except the Intel runs at 2.8Ghz and the AMD runs at 3.5Ghz w/ 3.9Ghz turbo and can rather easily exceed 4Ghz when overclocked.

    Sounds like AMD should be taking home the gold on that one, until you find that the Celeron is nearly 25% faster in single threaded programs and is ~40% faster in multi-threaded programs... Bad deal going for the AMD... especially since the same board that hosts the Celeron can accept much faster CPUs and the AMD board simply doesn't have notably more powerful options available - you can upgrade to a quad core, but you won't be getting better single threaded performance no matter how hard you try. You might break even around 5Ghz, if you can manage it...

    AMD has a 40% clock-speed advantage out the gate, but loses by a large margin.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    You know what's funny? The fact that if I want to get a CPU that's faster than the FX-6100 I bought almost 5 years ago I still have to pay more than what I paid for it. Sure, Intel gives better single thread performance but I'd get fewer cores and no overclockability. Then there's the fact that I've been running that original Bulldozer with a 20% OC and it seems more stable than at stock clocks.

    Comparing single data points tells nobody a thing. Anyway, isn't that A6 in your comparison unlocked? :P
    Reply
  • wumpus - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    I'm sure you missed an FX-8320 sale, or you really nailed the low point. Unfortunately Intel can match AMD's performance at nearly the same price, and is cutting off AMD's air supply that way. Reply
  • artk2219 - Monday, July 18, 2016 - link

    Whats crazy is that Microcenter sells the FX 8320E's for $89.99. They also have a motherboard bundle option that you can get for $125 to $170 depending on which board you choose. Theoretically you can get a processor, motherboard, cooler, and memory for the price of a non-K core I5, or just a motherboard and processor for the price of an I3. The unfortunate thing is that not everyone has a microcenter near them, but for the ones that do you can get quite the deal, especially since those 8320E's will easily OC to FX 8350 levels, and more likely 4.2 to 4.6 from a stock clock of 3.2 Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    From the leaks plus AMD's vague announcements, all points to AMD's Zen is going to be quite late (right into 2017). Why put use 28nm "placeholder" for AM4 if Zen is due soon? Also Global Foundries only has 14nm LPP which is a low power process. That may mean the frequency is going to be low (just look at the chips made on 14nm LPP like Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, or even AMD's latest Radeon RX480). Reference http://semiengineering.com/high-performance-and-lo... quote "The “LP” processes are optimized for low power and feature design rules targeted for the lowest leakage, support lower operative voltages, and tend to have the slowest transistors of the three options". Reply
  • wiboonsin - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting http://www.fanaticrunningwear.com/ Reply

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