Power Consumption

The original Phenom was hardly power efficient. Especially in a dual-core configuration the 7850 has a fairly wasteful L3 cache built on a 65nm manufacturing process; if you care about thermal output or power consumption the Athlon X2 7850 is no match for the Pentium E5300. The latter is built on the same 45nm process as Intel’s Core i7 and is incredibly mature at this point.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption (x264 HD 1st Pass)

At idle our Athlon X2 7850 and Pentium E5300 systems consumed the same amount of power, but under load the 7850 needed an extra 40W.

Final Words

Sometimes the comparisons you think may be most difficult are the easiest to call. The competition at $70 is actually pretty well defined. Intel has the advantage in nearly all of our non-gaming tests; the E5300 is anywhere from 0 - 20% faster in most cases than the Athlon X2 7850. On top of the actual performance advantage, there’s a power advantage too. With the E5300 you’re getting a 45nm chip that can be cooled by a very low profile heatsink or kept nearly silent with a larger one. In either case you’ll have a cooler running computer, slightly lower power bill, and a more pleasant experience come summer.

If you’re building a gaming box however, the recommendation shifts entirely the other way. The Athlon X2 7850 is the clear winner in gaming performance, significantly outperforming the E5300. In gaming tests the E5300 is simply too cache starved and without an on-die memory controller, each trip to main memory is too costly to compete with the 7850.

The only difficulty comes in if you do both of these things - if you’re building a machine that will be used for demanding 3D games and other CPU intensive work. In that case it boils down to which you care about more and whether or not power consumption matters.

Quite possibly the most interesting take away from this review is that with the Pentium E5300 Intel delivers, at $74, a CPU that is faster than the original Core 2 Duo E6400. And as such, it's also faster than every single Pentium 4 ever made. If you're looking to upgrade from an older Pentium 4 system, it'll cost a lot less than you might guess.

Gaming Performance
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  • evanwhat - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 - link

    Please revisit this debate with overclocking factored into the picture.

    Many thanks,
    -Evan
    Reply
  • Patrick Wolf - Monday, May 4, 2009 - link

    Why even bother with single core CPU's anymore? Why can't you throw a $50 Celeron e1400 in there? How does it compare to the lower end X2's and P4's? Reply
  • orenlevy - Saturday, May 2, 2009 - link

    It seems you are benching the wrong hardware! You are far from the market guys.... the whole story is changing when comparing low end mobos. like G31or n73 for Intel. And 740V\g or 780G for AMD. It change totally the latency timing specially in Intel setup-there is no on die controller.
    Reply
  • agawtrip - Friday, May 1, 2009 - link

    people who buy these CPUs are those on a budget.
    you only have two setups here - budget setups

    intel e5200/e5300 + 9300/9400 boards
    AMD x27750/7850 + 780G

    now which is faster and has a lower price?

    9300/9400 boards are faster than 780g but on a higher price. then if you're really on a budget you'll have to go for AMD set-up. if you still have some extra cash, you can put it on a video card, or extra memory or go for tri-core which will give a real nice performance, faster than OCed e5200/e5300.

    Reply
  • dingetje - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    sorry to say this, but leaving overclocking out of the equation means: FAIL Reply
  • bigsnyder - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    The article keeps referencing the e6400 as a comparison, but I don't see it in the charts from the original core 2 duo review. Am I missing something here? Reply
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I don't wanna toot a moral high-horse, but... I noticed the word "crippled" in the article; why on earth (aside from being cheap or broke and needing a better job) would you waste money on a crippled piece of hard ware.

    Let me break this down: So a manufacturer produces a product X with 4 cores or whatever. Now they say "hey we've created this product and want a certain amount of compensation." So, the cost of production, advertising blah blah is all factored into this selling price. 4 cores yadda yadda...

    Now some really smart mofo says "hey we can sell the same exact product from the same fab line, but we'll just 'disable' the other cores and rebadge it as a lower model, even though it costs us little to nothing to do this since it's all the same hardware!!!" Sweet deal for AMD/Intel etc.

    Can you see where this is going? I would never buy something that someone purposefully disabled cores that are on the chip, that could be active and working perfectly, but they've decided to be greedy (not necessarily bad) and disable them unless you pay another higher fee. So all someone (them) has to do is flip a switch or connect some traces and boom you have the true product as intended. So in essence, it costs them little to nothing to cripple this thing, yet charge a bit less for another “product,” which in reality is NOT another product, it's the same dang thing but crippled.

    Smart business practice yes... good for the consumer's wallet? No. Profits Vs Consumers. Often times consumers (cattle) find themselves rationalizing or justifying these shady profit-practices, BUT ask yourselves; would they or do they have much concern for your wallet... Yes they do, they are concerned with getting as much money from you as they can regardless of performance or not. 2 active cores or 4... they don't care so long as you're paying as much as they can get.. It costs them X to make this CPU, and they want to find a reasonable profit margin Vs costs of production, but yet they can still sell you the SAME hardware, just switched off at a MUCH lower price??? WOW these guys are deviously intelligent. Can’t say the same about many of their customers…

    :-/
    Reply
  • chowmanga - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    You're missing the point of disabling cores and selling them for cheaper price. Silicone yields aren't 100%. A lot of times these cpu's come out with defected so rather than scrapping the whole thing, they rebadge it them and sell them for cheap. They aren't necessarily "active and working perfectly" Reply
  • kopilka - Saturday, January 16, 2010 - link

    Athlon outside competition, Athlon won the market!
    http://www.safegeneric.com">http://www.safegeneric.com
    Reply
  • Doc01 - Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - link

    Athlon has surpassed all expectations, Athlon outside competition.
    <a href="http://www.salesgeneric.net">http:...
    Reply

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