The flip-side is that AMD doesn’t have a cheap dual-core Phenom to compete with Core 2 Duo, which is undoubtedly the reason for the introduction for the tri-core X3.
On paper, Phenom has significant advantages if you want to make your multi-core processor highly efficient and especially if you want to gang up a number of multi-core CPUs in a workstation or server.
Testing Phenom presented us with a dilemma as the natural partner is the AMD 790FX chipset, which supports the quad-core processor with up to four GPUs in CrossFireX mode. We get the impression that gamers aren’t the least bit fussed about CrossFireX, and decided that it made more sense to focus on the budget nature of Phenom by testing with an Asus M3A-H motherboard with AMD 780G integrated graphics.
The memory controller in Phenom supports 1066MHz DDR 2 memory so we used 2GB of Corsair Dominator CM2X1024-9136C5D that runs at speeds up to 1142MHz. The Asus' Bios gives a choice of enabling or disabling the TLB fix in the B3 Phenom but we left the fix enabled throughout our testing.
AMD makes quite a feature of its Cool‘n’Quiet power-saving technology, which certainly has some benefits. However, it requires you to leave the voltage settings locked to automatic. This makes the prospect of overclocking distinctly unlikely so we did an initial set of test runs on each CPU with Cool‘n’Quiet enabled and a second run with the technology turned off. After that, we tried to overclock each Phenom by raising the 200MHz reference clock as far as it would go which, to be frank, wasn’t very far but we’ll come to that shortly.
retail prices show AMD quad same prices as Core 2 duo
I have just checked my hardware supplier and see that around the £100 pound mark I can either get:
An Intel Dual Core
An AMD Phenom Quad Core
Forget the Mhz speed
Anyone who shells out their £100 for the Dual Core (Intel) when they can get a Quad for the same price (AMD) must be smoking crack!
Who is responsible for those charts?
Lets compare the chips at the same clocks speed, 4 bars, that I don't have to spend 5 minutes on each graph.
If you want to test Cool n' Quiet on v. off, do it in a separate test, with one processor.
As Leo notes in the comments above, he turned the fix off and it made no difference.
Even AMD admits enabling the fix has no impact on B3 performance.
Ground control to the register, do you have shares in Intel?
The whole point of the B3 release is to fix the TLB issue. It is no surprise your results were poor and overclocking barely worked, the TLB fix forces the CPU to read system memory instead of on chip cache! Re-run the test with the "fix" off and then you will see this chip as it was intended!!!!
Thanks for the update Leo. I read elsewhere that turning off the B2 fix at motherboard level may be necesary, but depens on your motherboard and in some cases it may be necesary to flash your BIOS with the latest version.
Out of the three or four other reviews I read they managed between 2.8 and 3GHz with a stable system. Personaly I prefer to leave things as they are.
One of the problems I've seen is finding Windows software that I might use and that properly multi-threads (having said which the previous comment seems to imply UT3 might).
Anyway, I've decided to buy a B3 stepped quad core and will run some tests with Apache, Sybase and so on. So, more server oriented tests.