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AMD Phenom II X4 910e 2.6 GHz Quad-Core 65W Processor Review

AMD Phenom II X4 910e 2.6 GHz Quad-Core 65W Processor Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: MD seeks to shift that tide with the introduction of the energy efficient AMD Phenom II X4 910e processor for socket AM3. This 2.6GHz quad core chip has as all the Phenom II features that you expect...
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Jan 27 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Phenom II X4 910e

The Phenom II is AMD's crème de la crème microprocessor; 45nm silicon, the best clock speeds, the largest caches, and the largest number of processing cores. While these attributes have made the AMD Phenom processor line a darling amongst AMD enthusiasts and overclockers, there is a dark side to the Phenom which is manifest in relatively poor power efficiency and high heat output.

Today, AMD seeks to shift that tide with the introduction of the energy efficient AMD Phenom II X4 910e processor for socket AM3. This 2.6GHz quad core chip has as all the Phenom II features that you expect: 2.6GHz quad-core design based on the "Deneb" microarchitecture, 6MB of shared L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache per core, and a 4GHz HyperTransport 3.0 processor-to-system bus. Unlike AMD's flagship Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip and its scorching 140W TDP (later slimmed down to a more reasonable 125W TDP revision), this quad-core AMD Phenom II processor draws a miniscule 65W.

Manufactured by Global Foundries FAB 1 in Dresden Germany, the socket AM3 Phenom II X4 910e processor contains 758 million transistors on a 258mm2 die. The 2.6GHz quad-core CPU is compatible with the Hypertransport 3.0 specification, operating with a 16-bit link at 2.0GHz up and down stream. Total system bandwidth rises to 37.3GB/s on DDR3 platforms and 33.1GB/s for DDR2 systems.

AMD's Phenom II X4 910e processor will run about $180 CDN ($170 USD, £117 GBP), placing it in direct competition with Intel's midrange LGA1156 Core i5 processors and AMD's own socket AM3 Phenom II 955 Black Edition processor. Let's see how it handles!

AMD Phenom II X4 910e Processor
( 65W revision )
Tech Specs

Phenom II X4 910e
Clock: 2.6 GHz
L1: 4x 128KB
L2: 4x 512KB
L3: 6MB
Multiplier: 13x
Package: 938-pin
Socket: AM3 (AM2+)
organic mPGA
Core: 45nm SOI
Transistor: 758M
Power: 65W
Vcore: 0.85-1.25V
Cost: $169 USD

65 Watts for an Energy Efficient AMD Quad Core

With such low power requirements, the AMD Phenom II X4 910e processor is designed for more than just high-end gaming rigs and content creation workstations. Small form factor (SFF) computers and home theatre PCs (HTPC) will also be able to take advantage of the low heat levels and power draw of the Phenom II X4 910e processor.

AMD's Phenom II X4 910e processor is natively a socket AM3 processor, with support for DDR3 memory at speeds up to 1333MHz. However like all Phenom II processors it's also backwards compatible with Socket AM2+ and select AM2 motherboards as well. The Phenom II X4 910e has native support for AMD's 780G and 790GX chipsets, and will also support AMD's upcoming 880G chipset when it launches in Q1/Q2 2010.

The 65W TDP revision chip also lowers heat output, boding well for overclocking potential. While the Phenom II X4 910e is not one of AMD's Black Edition processors, it's still possible to overclock its core operating frequency. PCSTATS will see just how much we can crank up the Phenom II X4 910e processor a little later on in this review.

Along with the $169USD Phenom II X4 910e, AMD has also introduced the 2.9GHz Athlon II X4 635, 3.2GHz Phenom II X4 555, 3GHz Athlon II X3 440 and 3.1GHz Athlon II X2 255 processors. Prices for these mainstream chips range from ~$120 - $75.

AMD Phenom II Processors

Processor Models

Thermal Design Power

Clock Speed Cache

Price (USD)

AMD Phenom II X4 910e

65W

2.6GHz

8MB (2MB L2 +6MB L3)

$169

AMD Athlon II X4 635

95W

2.9GHz

2 (2MB L2)

$119

AMD Phenom II X4 555

80W

3.2 GHz

7MB (1MB L2 +6MB L3)

$99

AMD Athlon II X3 440

95W

3.0 GHz

2MB (2MB L2)

$84

AMD Athlon II X2 255

65W

3.1 GHz

1.5 (1.5MB L2)

$74

Before we get to overclocking however, it's time to put AMD's power draw claims to the test...

Core-by-Core CPU Power Draw Tests

CPU power draw (expressed in Watts) can be easily measured by way of total system power if you have a simple electrical power meter. To determine how much juice the CPU is consuming, we only need to compare power draw with the processor resting at idle, and with each core at 100% CPU utilization. For an accurate measurement it's necessary to disable power saving features and CPU clock speed throttling technologies like Cool 'n' Quiet, EIST (speedstep) and C1E power states, etc. To stress each core in the processor individually, PCSTATS uses a free program called Stress Prime SP2004).

Stress Prime SP2004 is a multi-threaded application so several iterations can be run concurrently to escalate load on each CPU-core to 100%utilization (designated CPU-0, CPU-1, CPU-2, etc. using the 'Small FFTs - stress CPU' test). The power draw for the entire PC system is measured with an Extech Power Analyzer Datalogger (model 380803). The Extech Power Analyzer is located between the main 120AC supply and the PC's power supply. An inexpensive device like the P3 Kill-A-Watt power meter will do the trick too. Given that motherboards vary across these test systems this is not a pure measure of CPU power draw alone, but rather a measurement of the total computer system power draw, which we can compare for each specific platforms between the CPU idle and CPU stressed states

Total System Idle Power Draw
Processor Total System Power Draw
Intel Pentium 4 540 150 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 165 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 168 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 117 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 123 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 131 Watts
Intel Core i5 750 124 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 144 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 120 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 163 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 127 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ 143 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ 156 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 168 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 240e 122 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 130 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 127 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 145 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 143 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 155 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e 131 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 148 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 125W TDP 150 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 140TDP 154 Watts

At idle we see the Phenom II X4 910e test system drawing 131 Watts, the same as the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 PC (also a 65W TDP). Having a total idle system power draw of 131W makes this the most energy efficient Phenom II processor tested thus far by PCSTATS.

Total System Stressed Power Draw - All Cores/Threads
Processor Total System Power Draw (All Cores)
Intel Pentium 4 540 223 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 (2 Core ) 240 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 (2 Core Load) 253 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2 Core Load) 156 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2 Core Load) 163 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (2 Core Load) 158 Watts
Intel Core i5 750 (4 Core Load) 169 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 (8 Thread Load) 213 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 148 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 172 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 (2 Core Load) 196 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ (2 Core Load) 173 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (2 Core Load) 207 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 (2 Core Load) 235 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 240e (2 Core Load) 153 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (2 Core Load) 163 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 (3 Core Load) 183 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 (4 Core Load) 195 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 (4 Core Load) 211 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition (4 Core Load) 181 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition (2 Core Load) 187 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 (3 Core Load) 213 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (1 Core Load) 143 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (2 Core Load) 154 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (3 Core Load) 165 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (4 Core Load) 176 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4 Core Load) 236 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 125W TDP
(4 Core Load)
243 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 140W TDP
(4 Core Load)
264 Watts

With all four cores of the AMD Phenom II X4 910e under load the test system draws 176W, a marked reduction in power consumption compared to the other Phenom II processors measured. The PII X4 910e computer system is nearly 90W less intensive given an otherwise identical computer system.

Overclocking is up next, with the Phenom II X4 910e break 3.5GHz?

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X4 910e
 Pg 1.  — AMD Phenom II X4 910e 2.6 GHz Quad-Core 65W Processor Review
 Pg 2.  910e Breaks 3.3 GHz Easily! - Overclocking Report
 Pg 3.  System Benchmarks: SYSMark 2007
 Pg 4.  System Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 5.  Synthetic Benchmarks: Sandra 2009 - Processor
 Pg 6.  Synthetic Benchmarks: Sandra 2009 - Memory
 Pg 7.  Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi, wPrime2.0
 Pg 8.  Calculation Benchmarks: ScienceMark 2.3
 Pg 9.  Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
 Pg 10.  Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray, 3.7
 Pg 11.  Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 12.  Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 13.  Gaming Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 14.  Energy Efficiency without loss of CPU Power

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