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Editor: Julio Franco

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Benchmarks: Specs & 3Dmark Vantage

Hardware
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.00GHz) LGA775
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.40GHz) LGA775
- AMD Phenom X4 9850 (2.50GHz) AM2+
- AMD Phenom X4 9750 (2.40GHz) AM2+
- AMD Phenom X4 9650 (2.30GHz) AM2+
- AMD Phenom X3 8750 (2.40GHz) AM2+
- AMD Phenom X3 8650 (2.30GHz) AM2+
- AMD Phenom X3 8450 (2.10GHz) AM2+
- AMD Athlon X2 5200+ (2.60GHz) AM2
- x2 1024MB Corsair XMS PC3-10600 CAS7 Modules
- x2 1024MB Corsair XMS PC2-6400 CAS4 Modules
- ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe (AMD 790FX)
- ASUS P5E3 Premium (Intel X48)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
- ASUS GeForce 9800 GX2 (1GB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware (174.74)
- Intel System Drivers (8.4.0)


First, letís take a look at how these new triple-core processors fair in the latest installment of the 3Dmark benchmark from Futuremark. 3Dmark Vantage has been used to measure both the CPU and GPU performance of each configuration. Keep in mind all configurations feature the same GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card.

There was an insignificant 4% difference between the lowest and highest GPU score in 3Dmark Vantage. The Athlon64 X2 5200+ produced the lowest score of 8462pts, while the only other dual-core processor, the Core 2 Duo E8400, managed the highest score reaching 8814pts. It was interesting to see that the Phenom X3 8750 which is a 2.4GHz triple core processor, was slower than the 2.3GHz Phenom X4 9560. That said, it was also interesting to learn that both the Phenom X3 8750 and 8650 processors scored better than the Core 2 Quad Q6600 in this test.

The CPU performance results were a lot different and varied significantly depending on the processor. While the triple core Phenom X3 processors were a big step up from the Athlon64 X2 in terms of scores, they were still much slower than the Core 2 Duo E8400.