AMD Phenom X3 8750
Tri-core CPU isn't going to win over any Intel users
- Three cores, AM2+, 2MB L3 cache, integrated memory controller
- Not going to win over any Intel users
It's not going to get AMD any new users, but existing AMD platform users might benefit from the extra upgrade option. On its own, the tri-core Phenom X3 8750 is a fast CPU, but when its street price is compared against Intel's Core 2 Quad 6600 CPU, it doesn't look good at all.
Price$ 250.00 (AUD)
Tri-core CPUs have emerged as a differentiating product for AMD — Intel can't build CPUs with three individual cores yet. However, the company will have to re-think its pricing strategy if it wants to attract new PC builders and users looking to upgrade their existing systems.
At the time of writing, street pricing for the Phenom X3 8750 averaged $250, which was approximately $100 less than the equivalent-frequency Phenom X4 9750 quad-core CPU; and it was not at all competitive against Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600 quad-core CPU, which could be found for only about $30 more at $280. This means that the X3 is unlikely to gain AMD any new users, but existing AMD platform users might find it a decent upgrade if they don't have the extra $100 needed to for an X4 chip.
However, it's worth noting that it's not guaranteed to work on all motherboards, so users should make sure they check their motherboard vendor's Web site for support. While the CPU itself is based on the AM2+ CPU socket, most motherboards with an older AM2 socket should still be able to run it but won't be able to harness the CPU's faster 3.6GHz HyperTransport speed, and instead revert to 2GHz.
The X3 8750 is comprised of three individual CPU cores, each running at 2.4GHz and each with its own 512KB L2 cache. A 2MB L3 cache is shared between all the cores; the L2 cache acts like a buffer between the cores and the L3 cache so that they don't all try to query it at the same time. It has an integrated DDR2 memory controller, too, with support for module speeds up to 1066MHz, and it also has a HyperTransport 3.0 interface, which can provide up to 16GBps bandwidth between the CPU and motherboard chipset.
In fact, it's identical to the Phenom X4 9600 in its architecture — the only thing that's different is that it has one less core and a slightly higher frequency (2.4GHz as opposed to 2.3GHz). Even the X4's and X3's thermal characteristics are identical — 95W — as the Phenom X3 is also built using AMD's 65nm (nanometre) manufacturing process.
To give you an idea of how much power the Phenom X3 will consume in a regular PC, we measured its electricity draw from the power outlet. Using a Seasonic 900W power supply, a Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 motherboard, 2GB of Corsair DDR2 800MHz RAM, a 750GB Seagate Barracuda ES hard drive, an ATI Radeon HD 2600Pro graphics card and an ASUS Serial ATA-based DVD burner, the system consumed about 150W when idle, and 190W when under a maximum 3-D rendering load. On the same system, the Phenom X4 9600 consumed 197W when under a maximum load.
You could also use AMD's Power Monitor software (you can download it from AMD's Web site) to consume less power by using a low-power or balanced profile. In a balanced profile, the idle speed of the CPU is cut to 1.2GHz, and it will only run at 2.4GHz when the CPU's load increases. It works very well.
In our performance tests, the X3 8750 scored 93 in WorldBench 6, which is better than the X4 9600's score of 90. This is due to the X3's slightly faster frequency. In the iTunes test, where we convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s, the X3 was faster than the X4 by one second (1min 23sec compared to 1min 24sec). So you can see that if straight-line speed is required, and cores don't matter, the X3 is actually quite fast. But its three cores also keep it competitive when it comes to running multithreaded software and, of course, multitasking.
In the 3-D rendering test, using Blender, which is a multithreaded application, the X3 was able to render three threads simultaneously and complete the job in 59sec. The X4, with its extra core, completed the same job in 48sec using four threads. Incidentally, when we ran four threads on the X3, it completed the rendering task in 57sec.
So there's no question the extra core will come in handy if you're currently a dual-core AMD user with a bent for 3-D rendering and video editing and can't afford to buy a quad-core Phenom, but for Intel users, this isn't a sweet enough CPU to warrant changing platforms.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- CCService Designer (CX)NSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!SA
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- FTERP Data Migration Consultant - Software Company - Permanent - SydneyNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Infrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)NSW