Following test setup was used during tests:
AMD Phenom II X4 975
AMD Phenom II X4 965
Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
4x2Gb DDR3 1600MHz G.SKILL Ripjaws
Seagate 7200rpm 500GB SATA2
Powercolor Radeon 5770
In our tests we used following test programs. Superpi, wprime, 3DMark11 and 3DMark Vantage. Temperature tests we’re done running prime95 continuously for 30minutes and then taking the temperature readings from AMD Overdrive. Idle temperatures are measured after 30 minutes idle time.
Phenom II X4 975 is a roughly a second faster in SuperPi 1M test. It is what we expect to see as a difference in AMD Phenom II series when the frequency of the processor goes up by 200MHz. It’s not a major difference, and most likely not noticeable in real life use, but it is still faster than the previous model.
Unlike Superpi, wPrime is multithreaded test program. In this test 975 gets 30seconds better results. The difference between 965 and 975 is 8%.
Unlike with Prime and SuperPi tests, 3dMark11 simulates the real life better. The difference between 975 and 965 is minimal. The 6 point difference we notice is well within fault tolerances between the runs. Therefore we see no benefit of having the extra 200MHz processor speed.
Just like in 3DMark11 test, the difference in overall performance between Phenom II X4 965 and Phenom II X4 975 is minimal. There is about 300 point difference in CPU points, but in total points the difference is only 30 points. This shows us that eventho we have 200MHz higher CPU frequency, the impact in general gaming performance with mainstream graphics card is absolutely minimal.
At start we began taking the multiplier up by 0.5x each time. Without any increase in vcore – the processor seemed to be prime95 stable at 3.8GHz. With vcore of 1.400V we managed to squeeze another 100MHz out from our sample. 4.1GHz was the limit for our test sessions as with 1.425V vcore temperature levels did raise quite high causing instability. With better cooling – I bet – 975 would hit 4.3-4.4GHz easily. This is quite a lot headroom for current line of processors available.
To be honest, I think Phenom II X4 975 was a weird release from AMD. Priced around the same as cheapest X6 processors, I can’t really see much point buying this product. It is true, however, that 975 is the fastest X4 processor from AMD – but the performance difference between cheaper 965 is minimal. To make things even worse for AMD, Intel i5-2600K is priced also around the 975 and reading 3rd party reviews clearly show us that i5 is faster processor than 975 is. So if you want to stick with AMD, quadcore and want to spend little extra money when buying a computer – the 975 is your choice. Otherwise, don’t bother.
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