Final Words

It has taken AMD more than long enough, but the company is finally in a situation where its processors are competitive in the performance mainstream market segment. The Phenom II X4 955, 945/940 and the Phenom II X3 720 are all very competitive at their price points. Compared to the Core 2 Quad Q9550 the new X4 955 generally comes out ahead.

From a longevity standpoint, the AM3 platform is much wiser to invest in than LGA-775. Intel has already shown all of its cards there, and there aren't going to be any faster Core 2 Quads - just cheaper ones. By the end of this year Intel will begin transitioning to LGA-1156 and 775 will start fading away. By contrast, AMD's Socket-AM3 is going to be the flagship for the company for all of 2009 and it'll continue to live on into 2010. If you're choosing between Socket-AM3 and LGA-775, AMD has made that choice very easy - Phenom II is the way to go if you're concerned about a long term upgrade path, not to mention that the chips are generally cheaper than their Intel equivalents.

Where the situation gets tougher is when you look at the $245 Phenom II 955 vs. Intel's $284 Core i7-920. The i7 route costs you another ~$40 on the CPU and another $10 - $70 on the motherboard depending on what AM3 board you get for the 955. For around $100 extra you can go with an i7-920, which is anywhere from 0 - 40% faster than the Phenom II X4 955 depending on what application you're looking at. Now if you're budget constrained then the i7 isn't really an option, but as applications and workloads become more threaded the i7 could be a wiser long-term purchase.

The cheaper Phenom II parts, especially once you get down to the X3 720, don't really even touch the i7's price points so the comparison isn't really valid there. But the 955 is getting dangerously close to the cost of an entry level i7 platform, and if you don't already have an AM2+ motherboard the i7 may be worth considering. Especially now that DDR2 and DDR3 are much closer in price.

Power Consumption
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  • dragonsphere - Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - link

    I read articles like this all the time for multiple websites. I am a professional application performance tester and I can tell you that most of these articles are junk just to stir up the masses. Most of their statistics are based on averages. This means that 51% of the time they are wrong. Have you noticed that none of them show confidence tests to prove that their data is accurate? Also they don't use 90th percentiles. I think this is due to the lack of the tools that they are using to generate these sub-standard statistics. Until the software they are using is more precise I would consider these tests to be junk science. Reply
  • cal954 - Saturday, May 2, 2009 - link

    Thanks for all the information. I used this model to build my first computer, although no matter what I try to do, my CPU-Z never shows me the multiplier being anything but 4.0 and I can't get my core speed above 800 even w/ CnQ disabled. Reply
  • Hamlet2000 - Saturday, May 9, 2009 - link

    You need to update your bios on your motherboard. I had the exact same thing with my new Phenom II 955 build on a Gigabyte board. Once you update, go into your bios and set the clock at 200 x 16. You'll notice the speed difference right away - it's a smoking fast CPU! Reply
  • Edgemeal - Monday, April 27, 2009 - link

    Geez, some of you people make it sound like AMD has to have the fastest CPU in the market or they just aren't any good or something!

    AMD knows what their chip/PC parts are worth in the market place and their price/performance fits in very nicely. I applaud AMD, without them you'd be reading about the new $900 2GHz P4s right about now LOL!
    Reply
  • swapnadip - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    Either AnandTech is Intel fan or Intel pays them hefty Loyalty.

    If not, then why every other reviewieng site shows AMD PHENOM 2 X4 955 BE defeating Core i7 940 on evey computing prospects.

    On some instances it has bashed on Core i7 965 extreme.

    This is pretty much biased and helping INTEL play their MONOPOLOY in this sector. In today's market, no two rivals can have their top of line product bearing differences of Day and Night like shown in this review.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • swapnadip - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    Either AnandTech is Intel fan or Intel pays them hefty Loyalty.

    If not, then why every other reviewieng site shows AMD PHENOM 2 X4 955 BE defeating Core i7 940 on evey computing prospects.

    On some instances it has bashed on Core i7 965 extreme.

    This is pretty much biased and helping INTEL play their MONOPOLOY in this sector. In today's market, no two rivals can have their top of line product bearing differences of Day and Night like shown in this review.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • swapnadip - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    Either AnandTech is Intel fan or Intel pays them hefty Loyalty.

    If not, then why every other reviewieng site shows AMD PHENOM 2 X4 955 BE defeating Core i7 940 on evey computing prospects.

    On some instances it has bashed on Core i7 965 extreme.

    This is pretty much biased and helping INTEL play their MONOPOLOY in this sector. In today's market, no two rivals can have their top of line product bearing differences of Day and Night like shown in this review.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • iFX - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+
    PII 940 BE = $189.99 on Newegg right now and for the last week+

    ----

    Why is it every AMD article on this site has errors?
    Reply
  • wowo - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    how x264?x264 benchmark 2.0 is very old .

    it is 819,but new x264 is 1139.intel is better for 1139 a lot.

    please test wirh new x264.
    Reply
  • ultrageek1111 - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    you know what they say about black processors... Reply

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