AMD Phenom X3 8750 Tri-Core Processor

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Somewhat surprisingly, AMD's new Phenom X3 8750 performed exactly as a triple-core CPU should in our battery of benchmarks.  When the chips were first announced, we weren't sure how today's applications would react to a non-symmetrical multi-core processor, but all of the applications we tested behaved normally and simply took advantage of the additional processor resources.

Throughout  testing, the Phenom X3 8750 performed in-line with our expectations, outpacing the dual-core chips more often than not, and falling behind the quad-cores in all of the multi-threaded applications.  Despite a huge clock speed disadvantage, the Phenom X3 8750 was able to outpace the 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 in a handful of tests, and in all but a couple of tests it was faster than the 3.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+ as well.

AMD's new Phenom X3 8750 puts AMD is in an interesting position.  Before we explain that, let's get some particulars out of the way...


As you can see, AMD is pricing the X3 8750 and its lower clocked siblings at $195 and below in lots of 1000. That makes the chip we tested here today about $5 cheaper than the lower-clocked, 2.2GHz quad-core Phenom X4 9550, $20 cheaper than the similarly clocked Phenom X4 9750, and about $30 more expensive than AMD's fastest dual-core chip, the Athlon 64 X2 6400+.  You'd expect the Phenom X3 8750 to be more affordable than AMD's current quad-core chips, but the prices are so close at the moment, there's no reason not to spend the extra 20 bucks for the extra core offered by the 9750 in our opinion, provided you've got a motherboard that can handle its 125W TDP.  In light of Intel's current offereings, the Phenom X3 8750 is about $30 and $95 less expensive than the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Q9300, respectively, and right on par with the Core 2 Duo E6850 or E8400. So again, if you've got the budget, the additional investment required for a quad-core chip makes sense considering how much faster they are with the right application workload.

At under $200 though, we think the Phenom X3 8750 could appeal to two completely different audiences, and for two totally different reasons.  In the mainstream space, the Phenom X3 8750 could easily be used in a budget PC  when paired with an AMD 780G-based motherboard.  In that usage model, you could have an AMD triple-core with arguably the best IGP available to-date, versus an Intel dual-core with an inferior IGP.  If you're planning to build a PC and use integrated graphics, the Phenom X3s and 780G make a great combo.

Considering how well the Phenom X3 8750 overclocked, and the relatively low price of AMD 790FX-based motherboards and DDR2 memory, the X3 8750 should also appeal to modders on a budget.  In this space, the choice isn't as clear cut because Intel's recent price cuts and the excellent overclockability of its processors make them extremely attractive.  However, AMD's platform is significantly more compelling than it was just a few weeks ago, thanks to the release of B3 Phenoms and these new tri-core processors.



  • Good Value
  • Good Performance
  • Tri-Core "Just Worked"
  • Solid Overclocker
  • Ran Cool
  • Priced too close to similarly clocked AMD quad-core
  • Relatively high power consumption

Related content