Enter The Dragon: AMD Phenom II X4 940

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LAME MT and Kribibench v1.1

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Once again, shorter times equate to better performance.

The new Phenom II 920 and 940 are clearly the fastest AMD processors in our LAME encoding tests, but they can't quite catch Intel's Core 2 Quads or Core i7 processors.  Even the 2.66GHz Q9400 outpaces the 3.0GHz Phenom II X4 940 here. 

Kribibench v1.1
CPU-Bound 3D Rendering

For this next batch of tests, we ran Kribibench v1.1, a 3D rendering benchmark produced by the folks at Adept Development.  Kribibench is an SSE aware software renderer in which a 3D model is rendered and animated by the host CPU and the average frame rate is reported.  We used two of the included models with this benchmark: a "Sponge Explode" model consisting of over 19.2 million polygons and the test suite's "Ultra" model that is comprised of over 16 billion polys.

Once again, the new Phenom II processors are unable to catch their Intel-built competitors.  Interestingly, the Phenom X4 9950 pulls ahead of the X4 920 here, likely due to the 9950's higher clocked memory controller, which offers up more bandwidth.  The Phenom II X4 940's much higher core clock allows it to overcome the bandwidth deficit, however.

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