AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720BE review (AM3)

Processors 196 Page 12 of 26 Published by


Performance - Dhrystone | Wetstone

Setup your monitor

Before playing games, setting up your monitors contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly setup.


This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be roughly visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. As well, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.

Benchmark note:

We moved towards a new 64-bit environment for all our test. This entailed new software updates for our benchmarks plus we replaced a lot of our tests with different software. This means that if you compare the results published in this review with other processor reviews from, the numbers might not add anymore up due to different software and tests.

DhryStone CPU test

We make use of a multi-threaded Dhrystone test from SiSoftware Sandra, which basically is a suite of arithmetic and string manipulating programs. Since the whole program should be really small, it fits into the processor cache. It can be used to measure two aspects, both the processor's speed as well as the optimizing capabilities of the compiler. The resulting number is the number of executions of the program suite per second.

So then, let me first explain how we will be testing and comparing in this article. Due to the nature of changes in our benchmark software we'll try and add many processors per benchmark title for you to compare to. The selection of processors differs here and there a little per benchmark test though

First up, The DhryStone and Whetstone test. These two tests are pure unadulterated 100% CPU test that runs completely within the CPU + cache memory itself. A perfect test to see the general efficiency per core. Though one of the oldest, Dhrystone remains one of the most simple yet extremely accurate and effective ways to show you RAW CPU processing performance making it a very good indicator.

Now as you'll learn in the benchmarks, there's very little chance Phenom II will beat Core i7 920 in a desktop environment. Most of our tests are multi-threaded, and with a hyper threaded 8-cores Intel just has a large an extensive advantage here specifically with Dhry and whetstone tests.

Make no mistake though as there will be situations where Phenom II will actually win, just not in Dhrystone or Whetstone.

We see the X3 720 BE fall back a little, as this is a 100% multi-core hyper threading aware test .. and it has one core less to do it's work with. But compare it to the Core 2 Duo E8400 to get a generic idea of overall performance here.

The X4 810 manages to impress me. Though a smaller cache and clock frequency, it can keep it really well.

As promised, we are including overclocked results as well. It's fun to observe, the X3 720BE clocks much higher as it is a BE edition overclock. The X4 810 however was restricted to a 3 GHz overclock, it however has one CPU core more than the X3. On average, overclocked, both processors will get very close to each other. That's irony there.


The Whetstone benchmark is a synthetic benchmark for evaluating the performance of computers. It was initially written in Algol 60, back in 1972. The Whetstone benchmark originally measured computing power in units of kilo-Whetstone Instructions Per Second (kWIPS). This was later changed to Millions of Whetstone Instructions Per Second (MWIPS). The Whetstone benchmark primarily measures the floating-point arithmetic performance. A similar benchmark for integer and string operations thus is the Dhrystone.

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