AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 BE Processors

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and X4 810 processors performed very well in multiple categories.  According to their respective benchmark scores, both processors are competitive with similarly priced offerings from Intel, trading victories depending on the application being tested.  Overall though, Intel still has the performance edge clock-for-clock and core-for-core.  The X3 720 Black Edition, however, finished well out in front of even a higher-clocked 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo in multi-threaded applications, due to the X3's third processor core.  Both the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and X4 810 processors were also very good overclockers, and they were quite power friendly as well.


Although we showed you only two new Phenom II processors in this article, AMD is announcing immediate availability of the following five new AM3-packaged Phenom II processors today, the Phenom II X4 810, the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition, and the Phenom II X3 710, at prices of $175, $145, and $125, respectively, in 1K quantities, and the Phenom II X4 910 and Phenom II X4 805 (pricing wasn't available for the X4 910 and X5 805 as of this publication).  At these prices, and with the excellent overclockability these processors have shown, we suspect they will be very popular with the enthusiast and gaming communities.  The Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition is an especially enticing product.  Couple this unlocked processor with an inexpensive 790GX based motherboard and 4GB of DDR2 RAM, and you've for yourself a killer overclocking and gaming platform, for right around $300.  That third core in the X3 also offers marked performance benefits over most dual-core CPUs in multi-threaded applications, which is something rather important to consider.  These new processors have also proven to run cool and consume less power, relatively speaking, making them well suited to quiet or HTPC system builds too.

The flexibility of the AM3 platform, with its support for DDR2 and DDR3 memory types, is also a big plus.  Existing owners of socket AM2+ plus motherboards looking to take advantage of AMD's latest processor offerings can rest assured that these new chips will plug right into their existing systems and just work, with no need to upgrade any other components.  And new system builders, in the market for an affordable, high performing platform have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of motherboards and memory types, at multiple price points.  If you want the best AMD has to offer, you've got the 790FX and DDR3; want to save a few bucks and there's always the 790GX (or other 7x0 series chipsets) and more affordable DDR2.

They may not break any performance records in their stock form, but the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and X4 810 processors are definitely worthy of consideration at their respective price points and are excellent additions to AMD's affordable processor line-up.  They also offer a glimpse at what AMD has in store with, higher-clocked, future AM3 processors.  Using DDR3 memory with these processors resulted in performance gains across the board.  We can't want to see what a fully loaded X4 Black Edition can do when overclocked to almost 4GHz with some speedy DDR3-1600 memory.  Fun times lie ahead.


  • Good Performance
  • Highly Overclockable
  • Low Power
  • Very Affordable
  • Compatibility with AM2+ and AM3


  • Not Quite as Fast as Core 2
  • Confusing Naming Convention


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