AMD Phenom II X3 On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 26 May 2009 at 07:29 AM EDT. Page 11 of 11. 28 Comments.

Ending out, the Integer scaling performance was also in Intel's favor.

While it is difficult to properly compare the Intel Core i7 920 and AMD Phenom II X3 710 due to the number of technical differences, each has their own advantage in a different set of tests. The Intel quad-core processor complete with Hyper Threading that runs at 2.66GHz had the advantage in some of the GraphicsMagick tests, code compilation, MP3 encoding, FFmpeg, dcraw, C-Ray, and RAMspeed. AMD's triple-core processor had the advantage with FLAC audio encoding, GnuPG file encryption, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.

Besides the technological differences between these newest AMD and Intel processors, price is also a big factor. The Intel Core i7 920 retail CPU costs $280 USD where as the AMD Phenom II X3 710 costs just $120 USD in comparison. If you note the tests where the AMD performance was close or where it had outperformed the Core i7 920 when overclocked, the AMD Phenom II delivers better price-per-performance than the Intel Core i7. Pushing the Phenom II X3 710 to 3.51GHz was very easy and with the right cooling and tweaking it could be pushed even further. Even if you are not interested in overclocking, chances are you too can probably enable your fourth processing core from the BIOS. This CPU with a 95W TDP ran very cool, but we have no official thermal results to share due to LM_Sensors not properly supporting this processor yet.

At the end of the day the AMD Phenom II X3 delivers a mighty bang for the buck and does run well with Ubuntu Linux. However, if using a newer AM3 motherboard with a SB700 series southbridge, there could be a few problems like we had experienced with Ubuntu 9.04 that led us to trying out Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 1. If you are looking for better performance, even the high-end AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition running at 3.20GHz still costs less than Intel's Core i7 920.

To run your own Linux processor benchmarks, try out the Phoronix Test Suite. Pricing information on AMD and Intel processors and motherboards is available through

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via