AMD Phenom X3 8750 Reviewajmatson - April 22, 2008
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With all of the hype around the latest and greatest Quad Core processors out there, there is a jewel in the mainstream world that is being overlooked. The Dual Cores have been the dominator in workstations and mid-range computers for some time since the release of the Core 2 Duo and the Athlon X2 processors. Dual Core has been the way to go for everyone from business users up to gamers who either did not want to jump on the Quad Core bandwagon, either for monetary or even for performance reasons. That is all about to change soon with the release of a new processor that does not use two cores or even four cores. What else could it be, you ask? Well, imagine a processor with three cores!
That's right, AMD has created a new line of processors based on the Phenom series with a Triple Core design called the X3. Today, we are taking a look at the AMD Phenom X3 8750 which is a three core processor running at 2.4GHz. Will the Triple Core design fill the gap between Dual and Quad Core processors? Will current Dual Core users benefit from the new X3 technology if they switched from current Dual Core CPUs? The new AMD Triple Core Phenom X3s are going to be priced below current Quad Core CPUs, right about where current Dual Core CPUs are at, so price already makes it an interesting selling point. The Phenom X3s are part of the AMD "Cartwheel" platform, which includes the new AMD 780G motherboards, to make a powerful mainstream computer built for the majority of users on the market today.
The Phenom X3 8750 that I received to evaluate came shipped in an OEM case directly from AMD. The case protects the processor from damage during transit. The black casing has two foam cushions on the inside and hug the CPU to protect the pins from bending or breaking off. Since this is an OEM processor, there is no heatsink or documentation provided, so an aftermarket cooler will be needed when installing it into a motherboard.
The Phenom X3 is manufactured using a 65nm process and has a max TPD of 95W. The X3 series also uses HyperTransport 3.0 and has an Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller which operates up to 1.8GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management. With the Triple Core design, the Cache breaks down to 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (384KB total L1 per processor), 512KB of L2 data cache per core (1.5MB total L2 per processor), and 2MB (shared) of L3 cache. As an enthusiast, this make me wonder right of the bat how well will it push the limits and overclock. I have always been told by mentors that multiples of two are better for computers when trying to overclock. The best way to find out is to put it through its paces.