AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition for AM3

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Performance

Benchmark Comparison: Q9650 vs. X4 955 BE
Test
Q9650
X4 955 BE
@ 3.00 GHz
@ 2.83 GHz
Time
Power (AC)
Time
Power (AC)
Time
Power (AC)
Stock
UV*
NOD32
2:23
88W
2:54
88W
2:27
128W
118W
WinRAR
2:51
98W
2:54
98W
3:05
128W
116W
iTunes
3:20
92W
3:32
91W
4:34
137W
123W
TMPGEnc
3:07
118W
3:16
116W
2:52
167W
149W
3DMark2006
3329
3322
3315
PCMark2005
9061
8667
9004
*CPU undervolted from 1.350V to 1.225V. C&Q left enabled.

Our real-world benchmarks reveal that the general performance of the X4 955 BE is more or less equivalent to that of the Q9650 underclocked to Q9550 speeds. The X4 955 BE was noticeably faster during the NOD32 anti-virus test and when encoding VC-1 video with TMPGEnc. The Q9650 at 2.83 GHz had a slim margin of victory when archiving files with WinRAR and and thrashed the X4 955 BE when encoding AAC with iTunes. 3DMark was close while PCMark favored the X4 955 BE by only 4%.

Power consumption was higher than the Intel. While the X4 955 BE performs at a level similar to its Intel rival, it does so with higher power draw, between 30W and 51W more during our timed tests. Undervolting cut this difference by a fair amount, but the Intel setup still had a sizable advantage.

Benchmark Comparison: X4 955 BE vs. Other Phenom II's
Test
X4 955 BE (3.2 GHz)
X4 810 (2.6 GHz)
X3 720 (2.8 GHz)
Time
Power
Time
Power
Time
Power
Stock
UV*
NOD32
2:27
128W
118W
3:05
109W
2:47
112W
WinRAR
3:05
128W
116W
3:32
104W
3:16
111W
iTunes
4:34
137W
123W
5:38
112W
5:13
118W
TMPGEnc
2:52
167W
149W
3:29
137W
5:08
130W
3DMark2006
3315
3288
3273
PCMark2005
9004
7756
7738
*CPU undervolted from 1.350V to 1.225V. C&Q left enabled.

Compared to the AM3 processors in AMD's lineup, the X4 955 BE is not surprisingly the fastest. The X4 810 loses out in most of our timed tests to the X3 720 BE, a result of the higher clock speed and the fact the majority of our timed tests are not multithreaded. Our test suite is representative of "general" use; most applications still don't take advantage of the extra cores.

Benchmark Power Consumption (Watt-hours)
Test
Q9650
X4 955 BE 3.2 GHz
X4 810 2.6 GHz
X3 720 2.8 GHz
3.0 GHz
2.83 GHz
Stock
UV*
NOD32
3.50
4.25
5.23
4.82
5.60
5.20
WinRAR
4.66
4.74
6.58
5.96
6.12
6.04
iTunes
5.11
5.36
10.43
9.36
10.52
10.26
TMPGEnc
6.13
6.32
7.98
7.12
7.95
11.12
*CPU undervolted from 1.350V to 1.225V. C&Q left enabled.

Multiplying the average system power draw by the amount of time it took to finish our timed tests gives us a rough approximation of how much energy was actually used. The X4 955 BE system used more power than the 2.83 GHz Q9650 system, even during the tests it won, and even when the X4 955 BE was undervolted. For a system that is in moderate to heavy use for lengthy amounts of time, the number of extra watt-hours will certainly add up. With the increased power consumption also comes heat — the Zerotherm heatsink we utilized for both platforms felt much hotter when cooling the X4 955 BE.



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