Comparing Sockets: 939 vs. 940 vs. 754

To get a clearer idea of exactly what Socket 939 brings to the performance table, we brought some real test results to some of the speculation that has been brewing on the web as to whether 939 is really faster than 754. We suspect our objective tests of Socket 939/940/754 will fly in the face of some of the absurd speculation and sloppy test results that are being posted about the new Socket, but the truth is rarely as exciting as controversies created to stand out from the crowd.

The comparison is simple - there are the 3 sockets that all have processors that can run at 2.2Ghz. To keep the comparison as fair as possible we tested the 3 sockets -754, 940, and 939 with 3 processors with 1MB of on-chip cache all running the same 2.2GHz speed . This gave a head-to-head comparison of the single-channel memory controller of Socket 754 to the Dual-Channel Registered Memory of 940 to the latest Dual-Channel Unbuffered Socket 939.

Sockets were compared using the standard motherboard test suite to give a broad comparison of performance. General Performance was compared using Veritest Multimedia Content Creation 2004 and Business Winstone 2004. results were also compared in PCMark 2004.

General Performance - 2.2GHz & 1MB Cache

General Performance - 2.2GHz & 1MB Cache

Winstones are usually very static at a given CPU speed on a processor. Even wide variations in memory bandwidth and graphics performance rarely have much impact on the Winstone scores. The increases in Winstone scores were only 2.6 to 3% from 754 to 939, but the pattern was very consistent with 939 the fastest, 940 close to 939 and 754 slower than either socket for dual-channel memory. PCMark 2004 was an even more modest spread of 1.4% from slowest to fastest 2.2GHz.

High End Workstation Performance - SPECViewperf 7.1.1

Workstation performance is more sensitive to memory bandwidth, and we do see a wider range in variation among the 2.2GHz processors in SPECviewperf. 754 to 939 ranged from +6.5% in UGS to an 11.4% increase in DX. Considering the CPU's are all the same core at 2.2GHz this is a wide variation just from different memory controllers. The pattern was the generally the same fastest to slowest of 939-940-754, except 940 did outperform 939 in a couple of the SPECviewperf benchmarks.

Development Workstation Performance Comparing Sockets: Gaming Performance
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  • gherald - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Search for 939 on newegg.com folks, you will be pleasantly surprised! Now if we could just find a motherboard...

    I had been hopping this launch would bring the 754 prices down a bit to, say, $220 for a 3200 and $350 for a 3400, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen quite yet what with 939 starting out at $500 for the 3500 and $700 for the 3800... *sigh* ... more waiting... perhaps prices will come down by the time true PCIe motherboards are availeable.
    Reply
  • amdfanboy - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Go AMD !! Reply
  • nserra - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    "Everything here is graphics card limited even at 1024x768, but perhaps in the near future when we upgrade the video card we use in CPU and motherboard tests..." i have said this at xbit site and I say it here again!
    What about lowering games resolution and details it may help! There is a detail level in almost every game, it may help. You are testing a processor not the video card! I don't want benches in a processor review that limit the differences between processors.
    fx53 35 fps vs xp3000+ 34fps, what a difference!
    Reply
  • JGF - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    #22 while I certainly agree these new prices are too high I dont agree with the wholesale gutting of prices that you're recommending. AMD deserves some decent margins, they shouldnt have to give their product away all the time. Thats unhealthy business and has really hurt amd in the past. I want a healthy amd and for that they are going to need some fatter margins on some sku's. Reply
  • RyanVM - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Found a typo on page 13: "Winstones hare usually very static..." should be "Winstones are usually very static..." Reply
  • XRaider - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    What the heat issues with these newer AMD cpu's? I believe I read on that French site that the new AMD's are putting out alot of thermal wattage! 100+ Can anyone confirm this? I believe the P4 3.4 puts out around 102 - 104 watts! That's alot. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    I found a couple of typos if anyone would care to correct them:

    p.13

    Workstation performance is more sensitive to memory bandwidth, and we do see a wider range in variation among the --3.2GHz-- (THAT WOULD BE 2,2GHz) processors in SPECviewperf.

    The pattern was the generally the same fastest to slowest of 939-949-754 (THAT WOULD BE 939-940-754)

    p.14

    Since we have found the performance of the Dual-Channel Socket 940 and the Single-Channel 754 to be close when hey (THEY)ran...

    Anyway these new S939s suck a$$. Well actually their prices do. Here's what I suggest: retire Athlon XP socket A, introduce it as Socket 754 but only higher models, price 20% up, bring S754 down 33% and S939 down 50%, retire FXs. These prices now are insane.

    AMD are you listening? Of course not.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    "i'll be getting a Dual Channel for sure when the arrive. Pair that with a nice new X800 XT from ATI and i'll be sitting pretty with the flexibility of upgrading for awhile"

    Horses for courses I guess...I'll be getting one too, but I think I'm going nvidia because they appear to have a better handle on 64bit drivers...
    JMHO
    Reply
  • vedin - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Sure would be nice if they released something more along the lines of a 3000-3300+ for 939 this year. Maybe then my brother can finally be nice and justified with an upgrade without having to spend a lot. Reply
  • Icewind - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Hmmm, well i'll be getting a Dual Channel for sure when the arrive. Pair that with a nice new X800 XT from ATI and i'll be sitting pretty with the flexibility of upgrading for awhile.

    Thanks again AMD, im anxious to get out of this P4 setup I have now.
    Reply

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