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Written by Hank Tolman   
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 Processor
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Athlon-II X3-445
Testing and Results
EVEREST Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
SiSoftware Sandra
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Video Game Benchmarks
AMD Athlon-II X3 Final Thoughts
ADX445WFGMBOX Conclusion

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

  • Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 920 Bloomfield/Nehalem BX80601920 ($280)
  • Motherboard: MSI X58 Pro LGA1366 Intel X58 ATX
  • System Memory: Kingston 6GB (3 x 2GB) KVR1333D3K3/6GR DDR3 1333MHz (PC3 10666) (CL7-7-7-20)
  • Video: MSI N285GTX-T2D1G-OC NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB
  • Disk Drive 1: OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT30G 30GB SSD
  • Disk Drive: SEAGATE Barracuda ST31500341AS 1.5TB SATA
  • Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD Burner
  • PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W
  • Enclosure: NZXT GAMMA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium x64

AMD Socket AM3 Test System

  • Processor: 3.1GHz AMD Athlon-II X2-255 ADX255OCK32GM ($75 - should drop after X2-260 launch)
  • Processor: 3.2GHz AMD Athlon-II X2-260 ADX260OCK23GM (MSRP $76)
  • Processor: 3.1GHz AMD Athlon-II X3-445 ADX445WFK32GM (MSRP $87)
  • Motherboard: Biostar TA890GXX HD
  • System Memory: 2x2GB Patriot Gamer Series DDR3 ([email protected])
  • Video: MSI N285GTX-T2D1G-OC NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB; Onboard ATI Radeon HD 4290
  • Disk Drive 1: OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT30G 30GB SSD
  • Disk Drive: SEAGATE Barracuda ST31500341AS 1.5TB SATA
  • Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD Burner
  • PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W
  • Enclosure: NZXT GAMMA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Benchmark Applications

  • EVEREST Ultimate Edition v5.30.1900 by Lavalys
  • Passmark PerformanceTest v6.1
  • PCMark Vantage v1.0.2.0 by Futurmark Corporation
  • SiSoft Sandra 2010.1.16.26
  • Cinebench v11.5
  • Resident Evil 5 Benchmark
  • Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark



# RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 Processorivo 2010-10-01 13:15
Thanks for this great review.
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# OC w/ Biostar A880G+ Help plz!Zac 2010-12-04 17:14
I have the AM3 Biostar A880G+ mboard and the Athlon II x3, Ragas but its actually a Propus core which unlocks fourth core but no L3. The temps run great at 3.9ghz OC, but I cant get it to run stable. I have Coolermaster 212 Plus.

I have to set the memory to manual, and put it at 800mhz as when I raise the FSB, it will raise the memory and NB speed with it. (FSB/Memory/NB frequency is locked, if FSB goes up, others go up too) If i set memory to auto or limit mode, it starts at 1333 no matter what.

The best OC/stable I can do is 210-15 fsb = 3.25 & 4 cores.

*I can get an oc of 3.5ghz, and memory at 500/1000mhz w/ FSB AT 250x14, NB 2500. Funny thing is my memory will be at 800, and increases with fsb oc to 1000, which is a lower clock than 1333 BUT i have to increase the memory voltage to 1.7!! Makes no sense!

I understand that you have similar hardware in this review, and I'm curious what you did with the Biostar motherboard, and where you got stability. I cant get stability between 217-250 on FSB. I have no idea where my memory will be stable at, except 1333 at 200 and 1000 at 250 with insanely high voltage increase.
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# List of specs.Zac 2010-12-04 17:19
AMD Athlon II x3, Propus w/ 4th core, no L3.
Biostar A880G+ mboard
Radeon 4870 1GB
600watt PSU, 80%
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# RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorHank 2010-12-05 06:44
Hi Zac,

First off, my best guess at your problem would be that the 4th core you unlocked is probably bad and causing all your problems. Have you tried leaving that core disabled and overclocking?

Also, remember that AMD motherboards don't have an FSB, they have an HT Link and the "Bus speed" you are increasing for your overclock is just CPU/HT Reference clock. Your memory shouldn't have trouble adjusting to the increasing reference clock that much.

Rather than downclocking your memory, try increasing the memory latency to 9-9-9-27. I'd leave the memory voltage alone. If you need to increase the NB voltage because of the higher reference clock, I'd stay south of 1.4v. Also, I'd stay lower than about 1.6v on your CPU voltage, especially because the A880G+ doesn't have a MOSFET Heatsink or anything.

First, though, try disabling that fourth core. I'll bet you have much better luck overclocking after that.
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# comparison tablepaulo 2010-12-07 08:44
I would like to know which Intel processor is equivalent to the AMD Athlon II X3 - 445 - 3.1GHz ?
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# Comparible Intel CPUHank 2010-12-07 09:09

I suppose that depends on a lot of variables. Where price is concerned, a Pentium Dual-Core, maybe a E5400 or thereabouts will be the closest comparison. However, the X3-445 will easily outperform a Pentium Dual-Core E5400. Where performance is concerned, I would say the X3-445 falls between an i3-560 (about twice as expensive) and an i5-650 (about $100 more than the X3-445). Of course, that's all relative, because the i3-560 and i5-650 both have an L3 cache while the X3-445 doesn't. Additionally, they have other features such as an on die GPU that the X3-445 doesn't have. So really, that's a difficult question to answer. What exactly are you after? Price? Performance? A middle-ground between the two? A lot will depend on your other hardware as well.

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# RE: Comparible Intel CPUpaulo 2010-12-07 09:36
I need to know an equivalent in performance (MHz) in some other Intel processor for my "future" Athlon-II X3 445 3.1 MHz.

I haven't bought the processor yet, I'm just waiting for an answer to whether the comparison is worth buying the Athlon or not.

sorry about the english, I used Google...
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# Comparible Intel CPUHank 2010-12-07 13:28

Zac is right, the X3-445 outperforms much more expensive processors from Intel. My recommendation would be that, unless you want to do some very CPU intensive tasks, the X3-445 is a great processor and you won't find an equivalent for the same value on the Intel side.

By the way, what language do you speak? Porque si hablas espanol, podemos hablar en tu propio idioma y no tendras que usar Google para traducir.
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# languagepaulo 2010-12-07 14:42
dear Hank,

I speak portuguese...

Hank what happens is that I'm building a computer for a client, this client asked me to see how would the final price of the computer with this processor Athlon-II X3 445 3.1 MHz.

Then, the client remembered that a 3.1 MHz AMD processor "is not" the same as an Intel processor with 3.1 MHz and the client asked me to find a "table of equivalence" between Intel and AMD...

and this table is that I'm looking for the fastest possible because the customer wants the budget of the computer on Friday...

thanks a lot...
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# Intel 3.1GHzHank 2010-12-07 16:01
Unfortunately, I don't speak portuguese. :(
As far as clock speed is concerned,
The i3-550 is 3.2GHz and costs about $129.
The i5-650 is 3.2GHz and costs about $179.
The AMD X3-445 is 3.1GHz and costs about $79.

In most benchmarks, the X3-445 will perform better than the i3-550 and slightly worse than the i5-560. Again, it really depends on the types of things your client will be using the computer for. For most applications the X3-445 is much better for it's price. For 3D rendering, video encoding, or, frankly, file compression, the Intel CPUs will outperform the X3-445 and might be a better choice.

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# RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorZac 2010-12-07 11:57
I thought I had adjusted the memory timings manually before, but It must of been a bad clock or something. Changing them to 99924 allowed me to have lower voltage and better over-clock results. Im still towing with it. Ive got x3 cores and 3.62 OC. I cant get over 3.3ghz w/ 4th core unlocked.

About the L3 CACHE, I dont think it matters much for gaming unless you play EQ2. This chip passes the i3 and nearly competes directly with the i5 in Passmark, but im not really interested in much but gaming performance.
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# RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorZac 2010-12-07 13:38
I was also successful to OC it at 3.85ghz 14.5x266. But just (1) core.

@Hank, in the ACC it has percentage listing from -8% to +8% per core. Do you know anything about this? Some error calibration? I could not find anything on it. Also, if your NB and chip voltage jump a few degrees what is that a sign of? should I raise or lower one til they stop jumping?

Whats the max bus speed you guys seen these am3 II chips go? does a 1:1 ratio with memory matter any on amd cpus?
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# ACCHank 2010-12-07 13:56

There is very little released about the ACC values, but the key to it is that decreasing a negative % will allow you to undervolt the core with the value and increasing the positive % will allow you to effectively overclock the core better. That was the initial intent of ACC, not just to unlock cores, but to adjust the cores individually.
By the way, the Biostar 880G motherboard shouldn't have ACC. AMD removed ACC from the 800 series motherboards. Biostar has the BIOUnlocKING feature, but it should function similarly.

That being said, if you use Prime95 to stress the cores, you can find out which ones are failing at your overclock levels. Then you can change those values under the ACC in the bios to try for better overclocks. For example, if your unlocked 4th core is failing, increase it to 1% in the ACC and try again, then 2% etc.

The jump in voltage is just because there isn't an extremely accurate voltage regulator interface from the BIOS to the motherboard. That's why, even when you increase the voltage to 1.6v, for example, CPUZ will only register that 1.52v is going to the CPU. Sandy Bridge could change this....
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# HT/CPU Reference ClockHank 2010-12-07 16:04
For the CPU/HT Reference Clock, I have gone as high as between 310-320 when I have reduced the CPU Multiplier. This can be a better option with locked multiplier CPUs like the X3-445, but I have generally found that the 250-265 range is the most stable, again, depending on the CPU.

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# RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorAriel 2011-01-20 21:47
I'll buy a processor soon but do not know which. Do you know if Athlon II x3 445 is very worse than Phenom II x2 555? I mean... the price difference justifies buying Phenom or the Athlon is only little worst and the difference is minimal?
Thank you!
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# RE: RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorHank 2011-01-21 11:14
To tell you the truth, I would buy the Athlon-II X3-445 over the Phenom-II X2-555 any day of the week. Look at my review of the Phenom-II X2-560BE to see direct comparisons between that and the Athlon-II X3-445.

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# RE: RE: RE: AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 ProcessorAriel 2011-01-21 16:56
Oh, I thought the Phenom x2 was better than Athlon x3 because is more expensive...
The reviews are very clear! Thank you!
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# MrThomas DAmico 2011-11-27 19:15
Just won a AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 Processor on ebay as shown in this link:





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# MotherboardsHank Tolman 2011-11-28 07:07
Congratulations on your win! As far as motherboards go, that is an extremely broad question. Any AM2+, AM3, or AM3+ motherboard would accept the AMD Athlon-II X3-445. Which one is best for you depends on a lot of factors. How much are willing to spend? What are you going to be using the system for?

I would recommend an AM3 motherboard. A 880G or 890GX chipset would do nicely, but a 700 series motherboard would be less expensive and work great also. Just search for AM3 motherboard and see what suits you. You'll need DDR3 RAM and I would recommend a dual channel kit. Any cooler for an AM2 or higher socket will fit. As far as cases go, anything that fits a mATX case or better will work for you.

Have fun building your system!

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