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Πέμπτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition Overclocked Benchmarking

After overclocking, testing and benchmarking for days, on AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition CPU, here we get to publish the results. Just keep in mind that we're not comparing video graphics adapters but CPUs so the differences between scores, vary only based on how much the benchmark is CPU dependent. In some cases they are minor in others major. 

System Specifications :

ATi Sapphire Radeon HD4830 512MB Overclocked @ 740/1291 MHz
2x2GB Ram DDR2 Dual Channel Overclocked @ 1024MHz
(Add Air Condition to the cooling... It makes a big difference. ;-) )

Here we go : 

The CPUs in comparison are the following :

AMD Phenom II 965 BE X4 - Overclocked @ 4.363MHz
AMD Phenom II 965 BE X4 - Default Clocks @ 3400MHz
AMD Athlon 5200+ X2 - Overclocked @ 3200MHz

7-zip Benchmark
Measured in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second)

As we can see in the simple 7z benchmark, the overclocked 965 processor is clearly the winner no matter the number threads in use by the system. Note that 5200+ is a dual core CPU and that's why there is only a slight difference between its score achieved at 2 and 4 threads. But also note the superiority of the overclocked 965 over the default clocked 965 on all 3 cases.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 9.0 - Video Converting
Measured in seconds - Lower is Better

In this test, we simply tried upscaling while changing the encoding type of a high definition video file from 720p .mov format to a 1080p .mp4.

Playback duration : 4 mins 5 sec

Details : 

MOV File Details: (File to be converted)

Video Resolution : 1280x720 @ 30 FPS
Data Rate : 15042kbps
File Size : 443MB

MP4 File Details: (Converted file)

Video Resolution : 1920x1080 @ 25 FPS
Data Rate : 11521kbps
File Size : 341MB

Time taken on 5200+ @ 3200MHz : 6 mins 14 sec
Time taken on 965 @ 3400MHz : 4 mins 34 sec
Time taken on 965 @ 4363MHz : 3 mins 59 sec (Even less than the playback time!!!)

As we can see here the default 965 took only 73% of the time taken by the 5200+. More over the overclocked 965 took only 63% of the 5200+ time. Now keep in mind that this test was done on a small duration video, only 4 minutes and 5 seconds.. in case you would like to do the same test on a normal movie (2 hours duration) the time differences would be much bigger. If you do the maths you'd find out that a 2 hour video using the same data rates would take 3 hours and 2 minutes on the 5200+, while on the overclocked 965 it would only take 1 hour and 54 minutes. Yep.. i bet you get the picture. :-)


In this section we tested the three CPUs using some commonly accepted benchmarking tools. And when the word "Benchmark" enters our ears, there is only one thing that comes up in our brain.. 3D Mark. For more than 10 years now it has been the basic comparison tool for for most of the pc enthusiasts all over the world. So our review would be incomplete without adding them to the list. We tested 3D Mark 2005, 2006 and Vantage using the three CPUs in our testing list. Let's check the results out..

Keep in mind that the most important bar in all three following charts is the CPU Score one. At least for our review as our comparison is between CPUs and not VGAs.

3D Mark 2005
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

Check this out.. The 965 overclocked edition is much more than 2 times faster than the 5200+ and 28% faster than the default clocked edition. As we can see the difference between the 3 processors is really high according to 3D Mark's tests. Let's see more of them..

3D Mark 2006
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

3D Mark 2006 was always known to be really stressing our CPUs and it's still very hard to achieve high scores on its CPU tests. However once again we see that the overclocked edition is almost 3 times faster than the 5200+ and 27% faster than the non-overclocked edition. It's also worth mentioning that the final score shows a 4794 points increase over the old 5200+.

3D Mark Vantage
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

Once again the overclocked edition of the 965 is 3 times faster than the 5200+ and 26% faster than its default clocks edition. So, let's sum it up..

As we can see the performance difference between the 3 processors is massive when it comes to benchmarking. The 2 extra cores that the 965 has, surely help a lot, but we can also notice that overclocking it helps performance even more. The difference is still huge when we compare the overclocked edition of 965 with the non-overclocked one in these three benchmarks. However these scores don't necessarily define how the system would perform against against some "real life" gaming, but they are still good in order to compare older CPUs with the latest ones. So, we couldn't help it but do some "real" gaming with some of the latest games in the market and share the results with you. Read on..

Now let's talk about games...

We did a lot of benchmarking on some of the latest games on the market, measuring the average, minimum and maximum frames per second the video graphics adapter was drawing at each time, on different game locations and graphic details. After collecting the results we got the averages of each case and then we created the charts so you can clearly view the results.

All test were done using a screen resolution of 1920x1080 using Directx Version 10.1.
All temperatures were ~24 Celsius degrees at all times using air-condition cooling.
All games were set at the maximum detail level possible changing only the Anti-Aliasing levels through each test.

Crysis 2

Crysis 2 has been out for a while, and it makes use of most of the current technologies in the graphics section, so it would be a nice way to benchmark our processors. So here we go. We used the general options (Gamer, Advanced, Hardcore) in the Video Settings of the game just like what most pc users would do. (There is a way to unlock the advanced options but only a few gamers around would try it, so we try to keep the tests as close to real life gaming as possible).

Crysis 2 Gamer
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

Crysis 2 Advanced
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

Crysis 2 Hardcore
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

As we can see in these three tests the overclocked 965 gets in the first place, gaining up to 9 FPS depending on the graphics quality. Surely a better graphics card would perform much better but still we can easily notice the difference between the 3 processors.

Red Faction Armageddon

One of the latest and very demanding game we decided to add to the benchmarks is Red Faction Armageddon. It is an open world 3rd Person Shooter-Future RPG with amazing physics allowing you to destroy and re-create almost everything in the map. We tested the processors in three different cases. 

Red Faction Armageddon - No Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

Red Faction Armageddon - 4 x Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

Red Faction Armageddon - 8 x Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

As you might have noticed the specific system barely makes it to keep the average of the 30 FPS playable limit, and that happens only with the overclocked 965, and only with anti-aliasing disabled. Once again you can notice the difference in FPS between all three processors. You should also keep in mind that you need a newer graphics card in order to enjoy the experience of this game at maxed detail.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

That's also a gaming choice we'd like to include mainly because in racing games it's all about FPS, if you know what we mean. And this game would be a fine benchmark tool because of the dynamically designed in-game open world and fast pace gameplay. It surely needs a beast of a gaming rig using one of the latest high end graphic cards in order to run properly with no lagging. You'll see what I mean once you check out the tests below.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - No Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

We see that the system performs overly well but still in some cases at high speed driving we see a performance drop of about 6 frames. As we compare the 3 CPUs, the overclocked 965 performs pretty well staying above 30 FPS for most of the time. It's non overclocked edition does also keep up pretty well only it drops more when the load is high. Now as for the 5200+ we could say that this game is almost unplayable at full detail level. Now let's turn that anti-aliasing switch on..

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - 4x Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

No big changes, 4x Anti-aliasing seems easy. We notice an overall small drop of about 4 FPS on the 965 while the 5200+ stays almost untouched. However the difference between the overclocked and non-overclocked edition of the 965 becomes even smaller. Remember that we are running the game at maxed details except V-Sync. Check out the 8x Anti-aliasing test below..

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - 8x Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

Well the differences are now somewhat tragic. There is a possibility that something went completely wrong with the game when trying on the 5200+. So let's keep that out of the comparison. Now as for the 965 we see another ~4 FPS drop when running at 8x Anti-Aliasing. And as we can see the ATi 4830 is still fighting.. though the game becomes unplayable. Also keep in mind that it's no ordinary 4830.. it's superclocked at 740/1290 MHz from 575/900 and also it's working under 24 degrees so the performance difference is massive..

Mass Effect 2

Now this was a choice mostly for fun than comparison. This game is not really demanding but we added it as a reference because many gamers around the world find it interesting and they have to know about how this system would behave while running it. Keep in mind that Mass Effect 2 uses a frame-rate limit at 60 FPS. We decided to leave it as is because most gamers wouldn't bother removing that. It's actually pretty smooth playing at 60 FPS. So let's see how it performs.

Mass Effect 2 - Full Detail Level (There's no in-game anti-aliasing option! You could enable it manually on AMD Vision Engine Control Center if you'd like to..)
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

The game is smoothly playable on both processors and the non-overclocked edition of the 965 seems to be even more stable. However we can see a fine difference of ~8 FPS between the 5200+ and 965.. Anyway, as we mentioned, this test is just to let you know that with a decent graphics card you can play it at maxed details.

We bet that concludes all the tests. We guess the upgrade from the 5200+ was amazing including the price-performance ratio. The only thing that's stopping us now from the newest games is a better graphics card. Also we might use these results in order to post the difference levels after I upgrade. The AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition is an amazing CPU even non-overclocked but for enthusiasts.. it's hell of an overclocker. Highly recommended!

Thanks for reading!
Solid Snake

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