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Monday, 03 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Phenom-II X4-840 CPU HDX840WFGMBOX
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Phenom-II X4-840
Testing and Results
AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.1 Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
SiSoftware Sandra
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Street Fighter IV Benchmark
Video Transcoding Tests
AMD Phenom-II X4-840 Final Thoughts
AMD Phenom-II X4-840 Conclusion

PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests

PCMark Vantage is an objective hardware performance benchmark tool for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7. PCMark Vantage is well suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista/7 PC: from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Benchmark Reviews has decided to use a few select tests from the suite to demonstrate simulated real-world processor usage in this article. Our tests were conducted on 64-bit Windows 7, with results displayed in the chart below.

TV and Movies Suite

  • TV and Movies 1 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, SSD=3%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive
    • Video playback: HD DVD w/ additional lower bitrate HD content from HDD, as downloaded from net
  • TV and Movies 2 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, SSD=3%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive
    • Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 19.39 Mbps terrestrial HDTV playback
  • TV and Movies 3 (SSD=100%)
    • HDD Media Center
  • TV and Movies 4 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, SSD=3%)
    • Video transcoding: media server archive to portable device
    • Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 48 Mbps Blu-ray playback

Gaming Suite*

  • Gaming 1 (CPU=30%, GPU=70%)
    • GPU game test
  • Gaming 2 (SSD=100%)
    • HDD: game HDD
  • Gaming 3 (CPU=75%, RAM=5%, SSD=20%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • CPU game test
    • Data decompression: level loading
  • Gaming 4 (CPU=42%, RAM=1%, GPU=24%, SSD=33%)
    • Three simultaneous threads
    • GPU game test
    • CPU game test
    • HDD: game HDD

Music Suite

  • Music 1 (CPU=50%, RAM=3%, GPU=13%, SSD=34%)
    • Three simultaneous threads
    • Web page rendering - w/ music shop content
    • Audio transcoding: WAV -> WMA lossless
    • HDD: Adding music to Windows Media Player
  • Music 2 (CPU=100%)
    • Audio transcoding: WAV -> WMA lossless
  • Music 3 (CPU=100%)
    • Audio transcoding: MP3 -> WMA
  • Music 4 (CPU=50%, SSD=50%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Audio transcoding: WMA -> WMA
    • HDD: Adding music to Windows Media Player

* EDITOR'S NOTE: Hopefully our readers will carefully consider how relative PCMark Vantage is as "real-world" benchmark, since many of the tests rely on unrelated hardware components. For example, per the FutureMark PCMark Vantage White Paper document, Gaming test #2 weighs the storage device for 100% of the test score. In fact, according to PCMark Vantage the video card only impacts 23% of the total gaming score, but the CPU represents 37% of the final score. As our tests in this article (and many others) has already proven, gaming performance has a lot more to do with the GPU than the CPU, and especially more than the hard drive or SSD (which is worth 38% of the final gaming performance score).

Phenom_II_X4_840_PCMark.png

The PCMark Vantage test are all over the place. This is likely due to the fact that much of the testing relies on components other than the CPU. While we kept the test systems as similar as possible, because of the different hardware required, it wasn't possible to only change the CPU. In the overall average PCMark score, the Phenom-II X4-840 scores 20% better than the Athlon-II X4-645. When overclocked to 3.9GHz, its own score only increases by 1%. Within the test suites, only the music suite shows the X4-840 with any type of valuable increase over the Athlon-II X4-645, and it scores 47% higher. When overclocked, the music suite score drops by 17% for the Phenom-II X4-840.

Also, when overclocked to 3.9GHz, the Athlon-II X4-645 actually decreases in performance in the TV and Movies test suite. The reason might be more apparent when we look at the composition of the TV and Movies test suite. The CPU is never weighted for more than 50% of any of the tests and only the SSD is weighted in the third test in the suite. The decrease is only 0.21% and is well within the margin of error.



 

Comments 

 
# You tell it like it isBernardP 2011-01-04 06:09
Congrats for telling it like it is. I have read another review that glosses over the renaming trickery.

However... the Phenom II 840 is not "a wolf in sheep's clothing", as you say, but more of a sheep in wolf's clothing :-)

It should be called a Athlon II 650, without a doubt. This renaming brings shame to AMD.

No doubt we will see the likes of HP and Acer peddling this Phalse Phenom to the gullible masses.
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# Marketing at it's finestComputer Ed 2011-01-04 07:52
That in the end was the reason for it. My sources at AMD hinted that the name change was asked for by the partners. However as I understand it the 800 series will be the replacement as it where for the Athlon II line.

On a different note I am curious how many people complained when the the i5 was moved from the quad core as it originally released to a dual? Did anyone cry foul then?
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# I agreeHank 2011-01-04 12:10
I mentioned in my review of the i5-2500K that I was glad for the newer transparency with the Sandy Bridge CPUs where all i5 chips are quad-core with no hyperthreading. It's disappointing that they don't have hyperthreading, but at least we know what to expect when buying an i5 this time.
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# What about the "real" Phenom II?Olle P 2011-01-14 06:37
I think the most intriguing result of this test is how little extra performance is gained by adding 6MB L3 cache and hiking up the clock speed from 3.2 to 3.6 GHz (the specs of the 975).

The difference in actual results is mostly way below the 12.5% expected by the clock speed alone.

Seems like the only reason for spending the extra money on a "real" Phenom II X4 is to get a Black Edition with better overclocking.
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# replyNormal 2011-01-20 14:17
@Olle P

Do not forget the L3 cache is suited for memory intensive tasking.
So just a clockspeed application a faster Athlon will beat a lower clocked Phenom,but whenever memory (Cache) comes in play a slower Phenom will beat an even higher clocked Athlon handsdown.
That's why in certain games the smaller P2X2 560 will beat the Athlon 2X4 645 .
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# MrDavid Richmond 2011-05-20 10:24
I built a new pc around a 840 cpu.I was going to use a i3 clarkdale originally but when I went to buy the supplyer only had the new sandybridge as I was on a tight budget I took the amd route instead.A great choice fsst at most tasks and cheap.
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