In the course of our reviews on processors, we have accumulated a number of test system configurations for both the AMD and Intel platform due to the intrinsic differences between them. Hence, be prepared for a lengthy listing of the various setups used. For instance, our recent review kit from Intel for the Core i7 saw the following configuration, featuring an unprecedented 3GB of DDR3 memory:-
For this review of the Phenom II, we have taken our previous tested results for the Core i7 processors (965, 940 and 920), with all of them having HyperThreading enabled. Additionally, for the 940 and 920 models, we've enabled and Turbo Mode since this is a fixed amount of overclock that works out of the box. We didn't enable Turbo Mode for the 965 version since the multiplier is unlocked and it's really under the discretion of the user on how fast he wants to run the system. This system also had 3GB of DDR3 memory at DDR3-1333, which is obviously an advantage over the other test setups below and something that readers should take note. Since most consumers are likely to equip any Core i7 system with 3GB of memory due to its triple channel memory controller, we have kept with this configuration.
For the Intel Core 2 Extreme (QX9770 only), the setup is as follows:-
For the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and Core 2 Duo E8500, the setup is:-
For the AMD Phenom X4 9950, the setup is as follows:-
Finally, for the star of our review today, the Phenom II. Our sample from AMD is the unlocked Black Edition X4 940 which is clocked at 3.0GHz. The benchmark results we got for the 920 are derived by downclocking this chip. We have also used the same Dragon platform touted by AMD minus the Radeon HD 4800 graphics card.
Instead, we have gone with our usual GeForce 8800 GT 512MB for most of the benchmarks but changed it to the Zotac GeForce GTX 260 for the two game benchmarks, World in Conflict and Crysis. This switch came about after our testing with the Core i7 showed that our GeForce 8800 GT seemed to be a bottleneck on that test bed, something that we had mentioned here. Therefore, compared to the original Phenom test bed, this new system featured a newer chipset (790GX instead of FX) and had its memory running correctly at DDR2-1066 instead of DDR2-800.
Hence, here's the rest of the AMD test configuration for the Phenom II:-
The following benchmarks were used in this review:-