Enter The Dragon: AMD Phenom II X4 940

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Our Test Systems and SiSoft SANDRA

 

How We Configured Our Test Systems: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set memory timings for either DDR2-1066 (AMD) with 5,5,5,15 timings or DDR3-1333 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel). The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head 

System 1:
AMD Phenom II X4 940

(3.0GHz Quad-Core)
AMD Phenom II X4 920
(2.8GHz Quad-Core)
AMD Phenom X4 9950
(2.6GHz Quad-Core)

MSI DKA790GX Platinum
(AMD 790GX Chipset)

2x2GB Corsair PC2-8500
CL 5-5-5-15 - DDR2-1066

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)

System 2:
Core 2 Extreme QX9770

(3.2GHz - Quad-Core) 
Core 2 Extreme QX9650
(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)

Core 2 Quad Q9400
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P5E3 Premium
(X48 Express Chipset)

4x1GB Corsair DDR3-1800
CL 7-7-7-20 - DDR3-1333

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)

System 3:
Core i7 Extreme 965

(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 940
(2.93GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 920
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Intel DX58SO
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x1GB Qimonda DDR3-1066
CL 7-7-7-20 - DDR3-1066

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA XII SP2a
 Synthetic Benchmarks


We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA XII, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran six of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA XII suite with AMD's new Phenom II X4 940 processor (CPU Arithmetic, CPU Multimedia, Multi-Core Efficiency, Memory Bandwidth, Cache and Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running its default clock speeds of 3.0GHz, with 4GB of DDR2-1066 RAM running in unganged mode.



Processor Arithmetic
Phenom II X4 940


Multimedia
Phenom II X4 940


Multi Core Efficiency
Phenom II X4 940




Memory Latency
Phenom II X4 940




Cache & Memory
Phenom II X4 940




Memory Bandwidth
Phenom II X4 940



The various SiSoft SANDRA tests we ran paint the Phenom II X4 940 in a somewhat favorable light.  The chip was the fastest of all of the AMD-based systems by bar, and it held its own against the similarly clocked, Penryn-based Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650, although the Q9650 was faster overall.  The Core i7-based systems simply extended the lead held by the Core 2 Quads.

In the memory bandwidth tests, the Phenom II X4 940 offered up 12GB/s of bandwidth with DDR2-1066 memory attached.  It's going to be interesting to see how that numbers changes when the DDR3-enabled AM3 editions of these processors are released later this year, with potentially higher frequencies.


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