|AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 11 May 2010|
Page 4 of 13
Testing and Results
Before I begin any benchmarking or overclocking, I thoroughly stress the CPU and memory by running Prime95 on all available cores for 12 hours. If no errors are found, I move on to a gaming stress test. To do this, I use Prime95 again to stress the processor, while running an instance of FurMark's stability test on top of this. If the computer survives this test for 2 hours without lockup or corruption, I consider it to be stable and ready for overclocking. After achieving what I feel is stable overclock, I run to these tests again for certainty. The goal of this stress testing is to ensure the clock speeds and settings are stable before performing any benchmarks. I adopted this method from another writer here at Benchmark Reviews and it seems to do a great job of flushing out what only seem to be stable overclocks.
Once the hardware is prepared, we begin our testing. Each benchmark test program begins after a system restart, and the very first result for every test will be ignored since it often only caches the test. This process proves extremely important in the many gaming benchmarks, as the first run serves to cache maps allowing subsequent tests to perform much better than the first. Each test is completed five times, with the average results displayed in our article.
In this review, we will be comparing the performance of the Athlon-II X3-445 against two other Athlon-II processors, the X2-255 and the X2-260. These dual-core processors run at very similar clock speeds to the Athlon-II X3-445. We have overclocked the X2-260 from it's original 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz, and we have also overclocked the Athlon-II X3-445 to 3.9GHz for the testing. In addition to these, we have tested an Intel Core i7 920 using almost all of the same test equipment, only changing the motherboard and RAM. All of the tests except for one set of the gaming tests were performed using the NVIDIA GTX 285 video card. This was to ensure that the performance of the CPU wasn't bottlenecked at any time by the GPU. The gaming tests were run using both the GTX 285 and the on-board Radeon HD 4290 video card.
Intel X58 Test Platform
AMD Socket AM3 Test System