AMD’s new mainstream offerings got Intel beat.
A very strange thing happened while trying to overclock the two CPUs from AMD. Despite their overclocking potential on both the motherboard and the CPU, the Black Edition X4 970 would not let us change the multiplier (of any value) and boot into Windows. Unfortunately we only had one socket AM3 processor in the office, the ECS A890GXM-A2 Black Series, so we don’t know whether it’s the M.I.B. X III Bios at fault or a weak test piece sent to us by AMD. In any case, we had to go at it the old fashioned way, with an FSB overclock. The most stable speed achieved was 224MHz at a multiplier of 17.5, giving a total speed of 3920MHz on the X4 970BE.
Unlike the X4 processor, the X6 1075T didn’t have an unlocked multiplier, so once again we had to rely on FSB overclock. With a locked multiplier of 15, we got a maximum stable speed of 234MHz, giving a total speed of 3510MHz on the X6 1075T, which you may note is pretty much the same as the turbo boosted speed at stock. Still, this is 3.5GHz on 6 cores rather than 3.
Once again, outside of games, the X6 1075T thrashes everything in all benchmarks except WinRAR. It’s a similar story between the overclocked X4 970BE vs the Core i5 750.
At the end of the day, the X4 970BE and X6 1075T offer a whole lot of performance for the price compared to their direct competition from Intel. Yes, the Core i5 & i7 are pretty damn good in the gaming benchmarks, but ultimately that’s not the only reason to get spend money on a powerful CPU. While there aren’t many application that use 4 cores (let alone 6 cores!), multi-threading is always a boon, and untapped though it is, having more power under the hood is always good.