What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

AMD Phenom II X4 840 & X4 975 Black Edition Processors Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06 / 3DMark Vantage

Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06 / 3DMark Vantage




Futuremark 3DMark06


3DMark06 v1.2.0
Graphic Settings: Default
Resolution: 1280X1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3Dmarks
Comparison: Generated Score

The Futuremark 3DMark series has been a part of the backbone in computer and hardware reviews since its conception. The trend continues today as 3DMark06 provides consumers with a solid synthetic benchmark geared for performance and comparison in the 3D gaming realm. This remains one of the most sought after statistics, as well as an excellent tool for accurate CPU comparison, and it will undoubtedly be used for years to come.


chart21.jpg


Futuremark 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage v1.0.2
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280X1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3Dmarks
Comparison: Generated Score

3DMark Vantage is the follow-up to the highly successful 3DMark06. It uses DirectX 10 exclusively so if you are running Windows XP, you can forget about this benchmark. Along with being a very capable graphics card testing application, it also has very heavily multi-threaded CPU tests, such Physics Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes it a good all-around gaming benchmark.


chart22.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Far Cry 2 / X3

Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Far Cry 2 / X3



Crysis


Crysis v1.21
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: High
Global Settings: DX10 / 64-Bit

Test 1: Ice benchmark_CPU2 demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Still one of the most hardware intensive game on the market today, Crysis has been chosen for its obvious ability to be able to showcase the differences between platforms and to showcase just how far one will need to go in the quest for maximum performance. The game also features the renowned CryEngine, the power behind the incredible graphics, which is expected to be foundation of future titles.


chart23.jpg



Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2 1.02
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: Very High
Global Settings: DX10 Enabled

Test 1: Ranch Long Demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Far Cry 2 is the hot new new first-person shooter from Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and the first game to utilize the new visually stunning Dunia Engine, which will undoubtedly be used by numerous future games. Using the included Benchmarking Tool, we ran the Long Ranch demo in DX10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings set to very high.


chart24.jpg


X3: Terran Conflict


X3: Terran Conflict 1.2.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
Antialiasing 4X
Anisotropic Mode: None
Glow Enabled

Game Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


chart25.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead / Particle Simulation

Gaming Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead / Particle Simulation



Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead (Latest Update)
Resolution: 1680x1050
Filtering: 4X MSAA / Anisotropic 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Shader Detail: Very High
Test 1: HWC Custom Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Left 4 Dead is the latest disorienting, fast-paced zombie apocalypse mega-hit from Valve. L4D uses the latest version of the Source engine with enhancements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation. We test here at 1680x1050 with in-game details set to their highest levels, with MSAA 4X and AA 8X. For benching, we used a pre-recorded 20 minute timedemo taken on the No Mercy campaign during The Apartments mission.


chart26.jpg



Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark


Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
Default
Comparison: Particle Performance Metric

Originally intended to demonstrate new processing effects added to Half Life 2: Episode 2 and future projects, the particle benchmark condenses what can be found throughout HL2:EP2 and combines it all into one small but deadly package. This test does not symbolize the performance scale for just Episode Two exclusively, but also for many other games and applications that utilize multi-core processing and particle effects. As you will see the benchmark does not score in FPS but rather in its own "Particle Performance Metric", which is useful for direct CPU comparisons.


chart27.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Resident Evil 5 / World in Conflict

Gaming Benchmarks: Resident Evil 5 / World in Conflict



Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5 1.0.0.129
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Shadow Detail: High
Texture Detail: High
Overall Quality: High
Test 1: Built-in Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


chart28.jpg


World in Conflict


World in Conflict v1.010
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Anisotropic Filtering: 4X
Graphic Settings: Very High
Test 1: Built-in Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

One of the most visually stunning real-time strategy games in recent history, World in Conflict can really push systems to the brink, which is what we attempt by running the game in DirectX 10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings maxed out. For this test we used the in-game benchmarking tool.


chart29.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Power Consumption / Temperature Testing

Power Consumption / Temperature Testing



Power Consumption



For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the respective BIOSes and the Windows Vista power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced.

For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter.

For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter.

For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, while simultaneously loading the GPU with OCCT v3.1.0 GPU:OCCT stress test at 1680x1050@60Hz in full screen mode.

chart30.jpg


Temperature Testing



For the temperature testing, we used both the stock AMD CPU cooler and a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme (TRUE). The system was left to idle for 15 minutes, and then we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs for 15 minutes. The ambient temperature was 23°C/73.4°F. Keep in mind that the thermal sensors in most modern processors are not really accurate at measuring idle temperatures, hence the very small delta between the room temp and the idle results.

Phenom_II_X4_840_975_39.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results



After achieving some pretty great results with our Phenom II X6 1100T, we were looking forward to continuing our positive Phenom II overclocking streak. Below you will find our OC'ing achievements, which were all accomplished with up to 1.45V vCore, up to 1.35vNB, and up to 1.66Vdimm. We elected for relatively modest voltages since we wanted these frequencies to represent realistic and safe 24/7 overclocks. Obviously, some samples will be better than ours and some will be worse. Overclocking is a game of chance, although patience and skill obviously helps a little bit too.

Highest Stable CPU Overclock


Phenom II X4 975 - Click on images to enlarge - Phenom II X4 840

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we were able to achieve our highest stable Phenom II clock speed yet, 4.17Ghz at 1.45V with enough stability to pass 5 hours of Prime 95 Blend and one hour's worth of LinX. Pretty dam good!

We weren't quite as successful with our Phenom II X4 840, but generally speaking Propus-based chips have never really exhibited particularly great overclocking capabilities. We have only seen a few rare chips break the 4Ghz barrier, with most falling in the same 3.7-3.8Ghz range that we achieved.



Highest Stable CPU Northbridge Overclock


Phenom II X4 975 - Click on images to enlarge - Phenom II X4 840

After some surprisingly strong results from our Phenom II X6 1100T, we were hoping to achieve some very high northbridge clock speeds on the Phenom II X4 975 BE, but regrettably it fell a little short of our expectations. Ironically, even the lower-end Phenom II X4 840 proved to be a slightly better performer in this respect. Nevertheless, if you can increase your Phenom II's northbridge frequency from 2000Mhz to 2700Mhz, do so since the performance improvements are very worthwhile.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


We have said this time and again but it needs to be repeated: AMD has built up an impressive array of value-oriented processors and many of them bring excellent performance to the table for their respective prices. Both the Phenom II 975 BE and 840 continue this tradition and they fit into AMD's current lineup quite well. However, a lineup based almost exclusively upon value will only go so far since a large, influential and very lucrative portion of the market wants performance leadership as well.

As you can see in the tables below, these two new AMD models are quite competitive with the similarly-priced processors that Intel has on the market right now. The Phenom II X4 975 BE struggles against the Core i5-750 in lightly-threaded workloads and most games, but can match or surpass Intel's offering in applications that utilize all four cores. The Phenom II X4 840 also loses badly in lightly-threaded applications, but really leaves the 2-core/4-thread Core i3-540 behind when its four real cores can be put to good use. The lack of L3 cache does ensure that the X4 840 is always second best in games though. Overall, the conclusion to this review should be fairly straightforward, but it is not.

975tableth.jpg
840tableth.jpg

Click on images to enlarge

We would be remiss in our duties if we didn't take into consideration that Sandy Bridge just launched yesterday. Although we haven't had the opportunity to test the lower-end offerings ourselves, we know that the Core i5-750's replacement is the $184 Core i5-2400 and the i3-540's replacement is the new $117 Core i3-2100. In both cases, these new processors will be 10-20% faster than their predecessors, while also being slightly cheaper. This really takes a certain luster away from what AMD have launched today, particularly the Phenom II X4 975. Based on our comparison tables, we can tell with a great deal of certitude that the Core i5-2400 will be the faster of the two in our benchmarking suite, pretty much across the board. The Phenom II X4 840 on the other handle will fair comparatively poorly in lightly-threaded workloads, but should sneak out a few victories over the i3-2100 in four-threaded applications.

If you're building a new system from scratch, go for a Sandy Bridge processor, there's no doubt about it's performance superiority and great Bang-for-the-Buck. However, if you currently have an AM2+/AM3 system with a single or dual-core processor, we have absolutely no qualms recommending the new Phenom II X4 840. It would be a $100 well spent in our opinion and is also forwards compatible with the upcoming AM3+ boards. Having said that, if you are an AMD enthusiast with an eye towards the higher-end Phenom II X4 and X6 models, we would recommend that you wait a bit, since we suspect that AMD is going to do a few price cuts in the not too distant future.

 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top