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We'll be pairing the AMD Phenom X3 8750 Triple Core Processor with the MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Motherboard. A Seagate Barracuda 1TB will handle the storage duties and a GeForce 8800GTX running ForceWare Release 169 for our video needs. Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit is the OS of choice, fully patched up to the time of testing. 4 x 1024MB of Corsair's DDR2 was set to 800MHz, configured in Dual Channel mode for testing. Keep in mind our Vista version only supports 3GB.
The comparison CPUs will be an AMD Phenom X4 9600 and Intel E6600 (paired with a Gigabyte P35 DDR2 board). Both processors were ran at stock speed. All the hardware peripherals was identical. We chose the X4 for the sole reason that the price point is very close to the X3 8750 we're looking at today. The E6600 matches the clock speed of the X3 8750 (2.4GHz).
The software used is as follows:
- A good indicator of CPU/Motherboard performance is version 4.2, by Xavier Gourdon. We used a computation of 10000000 digits of Pi, Chudnovsky method, 1024 K FFT, and no disk memory. Note that lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.
- We used an Animatrix file, titled , and a WAV created from VirtualDub. The movie was then converted it into a DVD compliant MPEG-2 file with a bitrate of 5000. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.
DVD Shrink - We ripped the War of the Worlds bonus feature off the disk at 100% and compressed the file from the hard drive to 70%. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.
- Photoshop is perhaps the defacto standard when it comes to photo editing tools. Given that it is so popular, we incorporated DriverHeaven's latest test into our review process. Lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars @ 640x480 and Crysis @ 800x600 at LQ Settings - While higher resolutions tax the video card, lower resolutions rely on CPU and subsystem speed. Higher scores are better. We used Guru3D's Crysis benchmark tool and the for ETQW.
All benchmarks will be run a total of three times with the average scores being displayed. Any system tweaks and ram timings were configured to the best possible for each platform. Despite the slight differences between the motherboards, we matched the tweaks as close as possible. The drivers otherwise were identical.
The X3 8750 slips behind the X4 9600 by a small margin, but is is also behind the E6600.
Here we're seeing the power of multiple cores. The X4 still finishes on top, but the X3 has a much better showing relative to the comparison CPUs from the last test.
The results mirror the TMPGEnc test with the X3 8750 landing right in the middle.
The E6600 edges out the X3 8750 in Photoshop, and both are well behind the X4.