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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles March 27, 2009





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    AMD Phenom 9900 Performance Preview
    By Vince Freeman :  December 24, 2007

    Benchmark Analysis

    The overall benchmark results of the Phenom 9900 are a real mixed bag, with the processor rising to dizzying heights in some tests and then falling to the ground in others. The revised SANDRA memory benchmark scores offered a very nice surprise, as were the impressive media encoding results. At only 2.6 GHz, the Phenom 9900 acquitted itself very well in the desktop arena, and easily held its own against similarly-clocked Intel quad core processors. Unfortunately, the game benchmarking did not come off as well, and other than a few tests, the Phenom was badly beaten by the Core 2 Quad and Extreme quad cores. PC gaming is still an Intel world, and will likely remain so even if AMD ramps up Phenom clock speeds.

    Total System Power Consumption Testing

    The Phenom 9900 not only represents a core speed increase to 2.6 GHz, but also a jump in the TDP, so it's essential that we run this new processor through our power consumption testing. In order to measure power consumption, we took each of the AMD and Intel reference systems, ran the outlet through a Power Analyzer, and then compiled total system consumption figures (in Watts) for Idle and Load scenarios. In order to keep the systems and results consistent, we used the same configuration for the AMD and Intel processors as listed on the Test Systems page.

    The first test measures the total system power usage when the AMD and Intel processors are set to power-saving mode. For AMD, this means enabling Cool'n'Quiet, while for Intel we need to activate Enhanced SpeedStep. We had a little trouble enabling this on the AMD 790FX platform, and are unsure whether all of the latest AM2+ Cool'n'Quiet enhancements are present in this BIOS version.

    The power usage test was performed after the operating system has loaded, and all of the various software and hardware components have initialized and we hit a consistent power reading. These results show the Phenom 9900 with the highest power consumption of our reference processors, with system consumption about 1.5 times that of an Athlon 64 X2 6000+.

    The second test changes the operating conditions from Idle to Load, and the SANDRA Multimedia CPU benchmark pushes processor usage to 100%, while ensuring that no extraneous hard drive or peripheral activity artificially ramps up the power consumption rates. The results using SANDRA are also incredibly consistent, with the wattage numbers remaining stable through the entire test.

    The Phenom 9900 improves its positioning a bit under our Load conditions, and slides under the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 and within striking distance of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. The numbers are still high, but much better than in the Idle system testing.

    Please keep in mind that these numbers relate to total system power consumption, of which the CPU is only one part. In evaluations like this, relative placing is sometimes more important than the base numbers, which can change based on the platform and peripheral mix.


    Page 1 The Phenom 9900 Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 SiSoft SANDRA XII Memory and Multi-Core Performance
    Page 5 Everest Ultimate Edition 4.2 Performance
    Page 6 CINEBENCH 9.5/10 and WinRAR Performance
    Page 7 MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, and High-Def Video Encoding Performance
    Page 8 3DMark06 Pro, DOOM 3 and FarCry Performance
    Page 9 Quake 4, Prey and Splinter Cell: CT Performance
    Page 10 Company of Heroes, F.E.A.R. and Supreme Commander Performance
  • Page 11 Benchmark Analysis and System Power Consumption
    Page 12 Value and Conclusion


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