AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition for AM3

CPUs|Motherboards
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TEST RESULTS

The Intel setup we have for comparison is comprised of a modestly priced P45 motherboard with DDR3 support, the Asus P5Q3, and an Intel Q9650 processor. While the Q9550 would have been the ideal candidate to do battle with the X4 955 BE, we unfortunately did not have one at our disposal. The Q9650 has a higher clock speed and thermal design power (125W vs. 95W). To make a little more fair, we also tested it underclocked to Q9550 speeds (2.83 GHz). For our AMD platform, we used 790GX motherboard, the Asus M4A78T-E, which happens to have a similar price and feature-set compared to the P5Q3 (except for onboard graphics). Both testbeds utilize 2x2GB of Corsair DDR3 memory, a GeForce 9400GT graphics card, a WD VelociRaptor and an OEM Seasonic power supply.

Test Results: General Power Consumption
Test State
Q9650
X4 955 BE
X4 810
2.60 GHz

X3 720
2.80 GHz
3.00
GHz
2.83
GHz
3.20 GHz
3.20 GHz
UV*
Idle
68W
68W
73W
73W
79W
76W
VC-1
Playback
86W
86W
99W
99W
99W
97W
CPU Load
(half cores)
122W
121W
157W
138W
127W
N/A
CPU Load
(all cores)
142W
141W
201W
172W
159W
153W
CPU + GPU
Load
156W
154W
217W
187W
173W
168W
*CPU undervolted from 1.350V to 1.225V. C&Q left enabled.

Off the bat we see that the Q9650, despite its high TDP used much less power than the newest Phenom II's, and to a lesser extent, the 2.6 GHz X4 810 and even the tri-core X3 720 BE. Underclocking it to the same speed as a Q9550 resulted in negligible power savings. If we assume Intel's TDP ratings are accurate (compared to the rest of their own processors), we can safely guess that a real Q9550 would use even less power.

The X4 955 BE used 5W more when idle and as load increased, so did the gap, topping out at a difference of about 60W when heavy CPU stress was applied. When we tested the X4 955 BE at the minimum voltage at which it was stable (1.225V), power consumption improved significantly, cutting the difference in half. Still a sizable amount, and we haven't even taken into account performance yet.


CPU-Z screenshot: Phenom X4 955 BE: minimum undervolt at stock speed.



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