AMD's New Athlon/Semprons Give Old Phenom CPUs A Big Run For The Money
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 20 April 2014. Page 6 of 6. 24 Comments

If you wish to see how your own Linux system's performance compare to the numbers shown in this article, it's very easy to do so. All you need to do is install the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software and then run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1404190-KH-AMDAM1PHE78. Running this simple command will fetch all of the test results, test settings, and other information from this article and proceed to download all of the necessary tests, set them up in the same manner as was used at Phoronix, run all of the tests fully-automated, and then to compare all of the results side-by-side. It's that easy!

If you have an old AMD Phenom CPU around and have been curious whether these new ultra low-cost APUs can take on the original Phenom CPUs, now hopefully you have a much better standing. With the RS780/RS880 chipsets, the new Athlon/Sempron APUs can easily win with their GCN-based graphics -- even the Sempron 2650 was doing better comparatively to the old hardware. Again, testing was done from all the same Linux graphics driver stack.

When it comes to the processor performance, the Sempron and Athlon AM1 APUs were of great competition to the Phenom 9500 that was introduced in 2007 and still gave the 2009 Phenom II X3 710 a run for its money. The Phenom II X3 710 is only a triple-core processor but its clock speed is at 2.6GHz compared to the quad-core Athlon 5350 topping out at 2.05GHz. Another advantage to the Phenom CPUs is the dual channel memory support while the AM1 APUs are sadly limited to single channel memory, which is arguably the biggest limitation of this new very low-cost AMD hardware.

Besides the AM1 raw performance being competitive with these older Phenom CPUs, it's again worth reiterating that these CPUs have a 95 Watt TDP while the Sempron/Athlon APUs have a TDP of just 25 Watts. If you have an older Phenom system still running (particularly a lower-end Phenom or Athlon CPU), it might be worth considering the upgrade to an AM1 APU that costs just $55 USD for the highest-end model (Athlon 5350) while the AM1 motherboards are also commonly costing just $50 or less.

If you are behind in your Phoronix reading, be sure to checkout the many other AM1 Linux articles I have written since the launch of these new APUs just two weeks ago. If you appreciate all of the benchmarks that I do seven days per week (including Easter), please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium to support the site.

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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 or contacted via

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