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AMD Phenom II 720 and 810 AM3 Review

ajmatson    -   February 8, 2009
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Testing:

Since there are no AM3 boards currently available and the Socket AM3 processors are backwards compatible with AM2+ 790GX based boards with a BIOS update, we will be running the testing using an AM2+ board with DDR2 memory. Once DDR3 based AM3 boards are available we will revisit the testing for this processor on the new platform and update the scores here. To test the AMD Phenom II X3 720 and the X4 810, they will be put through a series of scientific and video benchmarks designed to push the processor to the maximum. They will then be compared to other processors on the market to give you a nice understanding of where it sits among the competition. As a note, due to limited time constraints and hardware availability the video benchmarks will be limited to a select batch of processors instead of the full line. All hardware, unless otherwise noted, will be run at stock speeds, timings, and voltages to prevent any variables from interfering with the scores.

 

Testing Setup AMD CPU's:

 

Testing Setup I7 CPU's:

  • Processor: Intel Core I7 965 133x24, Core I7 940 133x22, Core I7 920 133x20
  • Motherboard: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58
  • Memory: Qimonda 3x1GB DDR3 1066MHz 7-7-7-20 1.5v
  • Video Card(s): NVIDIA GTX 260 (216)
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
  • Opticals: LG DVD-RW
  • O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

 

Testing Setup Core2 CPU's:

 

Comparison CPUs:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.727GHz (213x17.5) 1.520v
  • System Memory: Mushkin Redline PC2-1000 @ 852MHz (5-5-5-12)

Since this is a Black Edition processor you have a lot more flexibility when overclocking to get the highest stable speeds possible. To start off, I raised the voltage and the multiplier 1x at a time until I could no longer stably boot into Windows. Once I hit the wall I backed down the multi by .5x until I was able to boot and run tests stably. Then I started raising the the bus speed while increasing the voltage even more to compensate. Once the system again became unstable I backed off on the bus speed until I could pass tests with no errors. At the end of the process the result was 3.727GHz, which equated to 213MHz with a multiplier of 17.5 at 1.520 volts. Since the stock is 2.8GHz, this is almost a 1GHz overclock, or about a 33% overclock.

 

 

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 3.315GHz (255x13) 1.50v
  • System Memory: Mushkin Redline PC2-1000 @ 1020MHz (5-5-5-12)

Since the Phenom II X4 810 is not a Black Edition processor the multiplier is locked and cannot go above a pre-set maximum. With this brick wall you have to take a different approach when overclocking processors like this one. First off, I always set my voltage to the maximum specified operating voltage for the processor, which for the Phenom II is 1.5 volts. Then I take my HyperTransport link and drop it down a bit so as I raise my CPU speed it will stay around the stock settings. I then raised the CPU speed 5MHz at a time and re-adjust the HT link multiplier as needed. Once I could no longer boot stable I backed off a few MHz at a time until I could boot and remain stable again. For the AMD Phenom II X4 810 I was able to achieve 3.315GHz, which was 255MHz x 13.

 

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SpecviewPerf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02
  7. Cinebench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.55
  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis - Warhead
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty World At War
  5. Dead Space 
  6. Fall out 3 
  7. Left For Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing (Apophysis, WinRar)
  5. Testing (Specview 10, PcMark Vantage)
  6. Testing (Sandra 2009 Professional)
  7. Testing (Sciencemark, CineBench 10, HD Tune)
  8. Testing: Far Cry 2
  9. Testing: Crysis-Warhead
  10. Testing: BioShock
  11. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  12. Testing: Dead Space
  13. Testing: Fallout 3
  14. Testing: Left For Dead
  15. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  16. Testing: 3DMark Vantage Professional
  17. Conclusion
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