|AMD Phenom-II X6-1075T CPU HDT75TFBGRBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 21 September 2010|
Page 11 of 12
AMD X6-1075T Final Thoughts
AMD has played catch-up to Intel for many years now. For a brief period in the early years of the decade, AMD was the undisputed CPU performance champ, easily trouncing Intel's "NetBurst" CPUs, but those days are long gone. Although AMD fanboys argued that their "true" multi-core CPUs were more elegant and sophisticated than Intel's initial crude attempts, which involved simply putting two separate CPU dies in a single package (and later, two dual-core dies into a single package) and forcing the cores to communicate across the front-side bus, at the end of the day the Intel CPUs were simply faster.
In certain circles, AMD-bashing is almost as common as Apple or Microsoft-bashing; one review site even has an editorial titled "Are All AMD Fans - Idiots?", the idea being that AMD parts are simply inferior to Intel parts and that AMD perenially plays catch-up to Intel by adopting their own inferior variants of new technologies years after Intel. But there's one thing that a lot of people (even reviewers) out there seem to miss: while Intel does indeed continue to hold the performance crown, AMD is the undisputed leader in performance per dollar. And this is quite significant now that desktop processors have long since hit the "fast enough" point, where additional performance is unnoticed in most applications. AMD's current processor lineup is much closer to Intel's in terms of performance than it has been in a while, as many of the tests in this review show: for example, the $165 AMD 965 Black Edition beats the $195 Intel Core i5-750 in CINEBENCH, 6 of 8 SPECviewperf tests, the Vantage Music test, all Everest tests, and is equal or slightly better in most other tests, with the main exception being the average and maximum frame rates in the low-resolution Far Cry 2 benchmark, which isn't terribly realistic anyway. The chart below shows the first and second place finishers in each test, and the percent difference by which the second place finisher was slower than the first place finisher. The 980X wins 11 of the 20 tests, with the overclocked 1075T winning 7 and the Intel 930 and AMD 965BE taking one each. But notice that in the cases where the Intel 980X wins over the overclocked 1075T, the average performance difference is only 18.1%, and that drops to 10.5% if we exclude the Everest AES test. Something to think about the next time you're in the market for a new CPU...
AMD has another advantage: while Intel seems to delight in coming out with new supporting chipsets and CPU sockets (your new Sandy Bridge Socket 1156 processor won't work in your existing Socket 1156 motherboard, sorry!), AMD has done an excellent job of maintaining compatibility with its AM2/AM2+/AM3 platform; the very latest AMD 6 core processors will work just swell in your years-old AM2+ motherboard. And the top-end AM3 motherboards like the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula used in this review cost much less than most X58 motherboards, and is price-competitive with high-end P55 motherboards, but offers superior SATA 6G and USB 3.0 support without compromising the performance of other parts of your system due to a lack of PCI-E lanes.
The performance of your processor is only one facet of the performance of your system, and in most cases it's not the most important once you've hit the "fast enough" line. If you've a processor in the AMD 965BE/Intel 930 class, your performance dollars are better spent on a good video card or SSD rather than a fancier CPU. While six cores are of little benefit to most users, if you want a hexacore CPU for media transcoding or just bragging rights, AMD gets you in the door for a fraction of Intel's price.