|AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE Black Edition AM3 CPU|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 09 February 2009|
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AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE
People have a tendency to like things in two's, especially when it comes to our computer hardware. Dual-core processors and dual-channel memory configurations have trained us to accept pairs. Even video cards can be paired for CrossFireX or SLI arrays. So where does this leave the odd number three? Perhaps it leaves it exactly where you might think: better than two, but not quite four.
Three is a number not normally associated with processors, although it's actually gaining momentum thanks to Intel's triple-channel memory architecture that caters to the 3GB sweet-spot for Windows XP. Despite this, a triple-core processor just doesn't seem natural to many of us, because we're so used to seeing everything come in twos. But three isn't a bad thing at all, because AMD's Phenom II X3 720 BE processor is actually quite good. Benchmark Reviews compares the 2.8GHz Black Edition AM3/AM2+ CPU against the Intel Core i7-920 and other AMD processors. You might be surprised by how well the odd man out can fit in.
The Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors have established themselves as remarkable products, without question. But the same thing that made them so popular is the performance to price ratio that made the original AMD Athlons an instant consumer favorite. AMD hasn't been able to reproduce that winning formula for a very long time; until the Phenom II processor series launched, code named Dragon. Beginning with the Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 BE, the Dragon series takes advantage of both AM2+ and AM3 motherboard sockets, and can manage DDR2 as well as DDR3 system memory.
The Dragon platform is AMDs last hope for success in a time when financial ruin is destroying every business on the planet. The Phenom II, which is based on the (AM2+ backward compatible) AM3 interface is everything that the original Phenom wasn't: a value-packaged high-performance processor that actually works.
Without going into the history of failures surrounding K10, suffice it to say that AMD has not had much luck with launching new architectures lately. As a result, the public has waned in their expectations from the only real competition for Intel products. Perhaps the timing is right then, and consumers won't hastily spend unnecessary cash on a Core i7 processor that performs exactly the same as a much less expensive Phenom II CPU.
Benchmark Reviews compares the field of modern-day products, and tests the AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition AM3/AM2+ 2.8GHz processor (HDZ720WFGIBOX) against the Intel Core i7-920 Processor BX80601920. For less than $145 (at the time of initial product launch) you would be surprised by what you're getting for the money. Factor in the backwards compatibility with AM2+ motherboards and DDR2, and the choice might be ridiculously clear.
About Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD)
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is an innovative technology company dedicated to collaborating with customers and partners to ignite the next generation of computing and graphics solutions at work, home, and play.