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  • AMD Phenom II X3 On Linux

    Phoronix: AMD Phenom II X3 On Linux

    Earlier this year AMD launched the Phenom II series to succeed the original quad-core Phenom processors, with these newer desktop CPUs being built upon a 45nm process, tripling the amount of Level 3 cache to 6MB, and offering support for both DDR2 and DDR3 system memory. Prior to the launch of the Phenom II we had tested the AMD Shanghai Opterons on Linux and benchmarked these CPUs on OpenSolaris too, which were the server/workstation version of this new AMD 45nm core. With the Phenom II series there is the X3 and X4 line-up for triple-core and quad-core processors, respectively. In this article we are looking at how well the AMD Phenom II X3 710 performs under Ubuntu Linux.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13882

  • #2
    Phenom II X4 810

    Just for the record I have Phenom II X4 810 running on a ASUS M4N78PRO motherboard. Onboard Nvidia Geforce 8300 graphics and VIA VT1708s onboard sound. This is a DDR2 motherboard. WD 1TB Green Power SATA hard drive and a Pioneer SATA DVD burner.

    I loaded Ubuntu Jaunty x86-64 and it all ran nicely except the default Nvidia non-free driver would freeze the system if I tried to resize a window with Compiz enabled. This is a driver issue, not just Ubuntu. I enabled the PPA repository (thefirstm) for updated Nvidia drives and now it hums along without error. With Cool'n Quiet enabled it idles along at 800MHz most of the time and makes very little noise with the stock cooler.

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    • #3
      Nice article! Even if AMD isn't the leader as it was back in the Athlon days, it's still cheaper and more accesible for the desktop user.
      Does anyone know how well Phenoms go in energy saving?

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      • #4
        why no core i7 @ 3.6ghz?

        in comparison to your article here:

        http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag..._core_i7&num=1

        the core i7 @ 3.6ghz, only trails in flac and 2gb file encryption but is very close to your margin of error based on the differences in the stock speed i7 results on the same hardware.

        on the other hand in several case the i7 @ 3.6 roughly doubles the performance of x3 @ 3.5ghz...

        not an intel fanboy but lets at least admit that the memory subsystem of the i7 allows it to scale with overclocking much better than the AMD part can.

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        • #5
          Regarding the problems with starting Ubuntu 9.04 from USB on AMD systems, please see https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/350946 for workarounds.

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          • #6
            Hmmm, maybe I'll put off upgrading my rig for another month or two and hop on the Phenom II bandwagon. I was just going to get a cheap AthlonX2 rig to replace my aging AthlonXP rig, but those X3's look impressive.

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            • #7
              Sucks they don't ship the same heatsink with them as they did with the first generation phenoms. I remember how impressed I was with the boxed heatsink of the 9950 BE when I build a rig for a buddy of mine. It's pretty huge and has copper, heatpipes and everything. It's also pretty silent. With the lower tdp of the Phenom IIs I'd guess they would make an awesome and cheap bundle for silent-pc-enthusiasts.
              But I guess it's all about saving money, can't blame AMD on that.

              Anyway the new Phenom IIs are really great cpus, I'd love to update my rig right now... but my E6600 just isn't slow enough to justify an update.
              But I hear AMD is soon gonna present a new mobile platform.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by xianthax View Post
                why no core i7 @ 3.6ghz?
                That is easy, total system cost. It is not always about which is the fastest, but best bang for the buck.

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                • #9
                  Great article. Nice that there's a DDR2-3 upgrade path. I'm running an EE X2 with mtron ssd, and it's great and quiet, but new X3s are much faster now. I'll hold off for a while, 8G of DDR3 is bound to be expensive, but I guess I could get an older AM2+ board. Is it possible to run DDR2 in an AM3 mobo?

                  What should perhaps be mentioned is the speedup due to elimination of IO bottleknecks. An IO bound system with fast cpu will often be slower than a system with fast IO and slow cpu. Increased memory and an SSD may make more sense than a proc upgrade, nice tho the procs are.

                  I'm playing around with the phoronix-test-suite. Is there any way to run all the review tests and have the results shown alongside the results within the review? Would be a great way to determine worthy upgrades.
                  Last edited by benow; 05-26-2009, 06:27 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Apopas View Post
                    Nice article! Even if AMD isn't the leader as it was back in the Athlon days, it's still cheaper and more accesible for the desktop user.
                    Does anyone know how well Phenoms go in energy saving?
                    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16382

                    The new Phenom IIs are 45nm chips, way better than the Phenom Is. Lower idle power usage than an i7, slightly higher at max load. The argument about the Intel chips finishing video rendering quicker therefore being even more efficient is a load of crap unless your computer renders video all day long. Most people's computers idle most of the time only ramping up for short periods.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by grege View Post
                      That is easy, total system cost. It is not always about which is the fastest, but best bang for the buck.
                      did you read my post?

                      core i7 920 clocked @ 3.6ghz doesn't cost anymore than one clocked at 2.66, outside of a better cpu cooler, which considering this is the same system used to benchmark the core i7 @ 3.6ghz a couple weeks ago, was likely already installed...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by xianthax View Post
                        did you read my post?

                        core i7 920 clocked @ 3.6ghz doesn't cost anymore than one clocked at 2.66, outside of a better cpu cooler, which considering this is the same system used to benchmark the core i7 @ 3.6ghz a couple weeks ago, was likely already installed...
                        But, an i7 920 is twice the cost of the X3 720 to start with. Then there is the cost of the motherboard, also roughly twice the price.

                        Nobody is arguing that an overclocked i7 (or even a standard i7) won't beat an X3 in every benchmark, that is not the point of the article.

                        The article is about AMD chips and Linux compatibility.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by benow View Post
                          Great article. Nice that there's a DDR2-3 upgrade path. I'm running an EE X2 with mtron ssd, and it's great and quiet, but new X3s are much faster now. I'll hold off for a while, 8G of DDR3 is bound to be expensive, but I guess I could get an older AM2+ board. Is it possible to run DDR2 in an AM3 mobo?
                          No. but you can run an AM3 Cpu in a AM2+ mainboard and with ddr2, if the mainboard vendor provides the necessary bios-update and the mainboard can handle the wattage. Which would essentialy be the same.

                          Originally posted by xianthax View Post
                          not an intel fanboy but lets at least admit that the memory subsystem of the i7 allows it to scale with overclocking much better than the AMD part can.
                          Let's face it: Memory-speed is not an bottleneck anymore. Great increases in memory-speed like ddr2 to ddr3 or ddr single-channel to dual-channel to triple channel with i7 usualy only lead to neglectable performance increasements (~1%) in most real-world benches.
                          Edit: Yeah, there's of course no arguing about an i7 being faster. But the better memory-performance doesn't play a big role in this.
                          Last edited by Zhick; 05-26-2009, 07:40 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by benow View Post
                            Great article. Nice that there's a DDR2-3 upgrade path. I'm running an EE X2 with mtron ssd, and it's great and quiet, but new X3s are much faster now. I'll hold off for a while, 8G of DDR3 is bound to be expensive, but I guess I could get an older AM2+ board. Is it possible to run DDR2 in an AM3 mobo?

                            What should perhaps be mentioned is the speedup due to elimination of IO bottleknecks. An IO bound system with fast cpu will often be slower than a system with fast IO and slow cpu. Increased memory and an SSD may make more sense than a proc upgrade, nice tho the procs are.
                            Every single benchmark out their has shown that DDR2 performs on par with DDR3 when it comes to the phenom processors and real life applications. In fact DDR3 can actually hurt the performance with it's increased latencies.

                            http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,6...iewed/Reviews/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by grege View Post
                              http://techreport.com/articles.x/16382

                              The new Phenom IIs are 45nm chips, way better than the Phenom Is. Lower idle power usage than an i7, slightly higher at max load. The argument about the Intel chips finishing video rendering quicker therefore being even more efficient is a load of crap unless your computer renders video all day long. Most people's computers idle most of the time only ramping up for short periods.
                              So the rule says that if you low the nm, you low and the power usage?

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