AMD Phenom X4 945 and 955BE processor review|test

Processors 196 Page 11 of 19 Published by


Performance - Dhrystone | Whetstone

Setup your monitor

Before playing games, setting up your monitor's 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 to a new 64-bit environment for all our tests. 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 up anymore due to different software and tests.

DhryStone CPU test

We make use of a multi-threaded Dhrystone test from SiSoftware Sandra, which is basically 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 and what 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.

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

This test however is extremely lenient towards hyper-Threading CPUs somehow. Showing massive gains for Core i7 processors.

Your main focus should be the two green bars. These are the processors tested today, the Phenom II X4 945 and 955 Black edition.

Obviously the only difference between the X4 940 and 945 is the socket (AM2+/AM3) and as such, memory configuration. The results will be close .. very close.

Once we move away from SANDRA you'll notice the the 3.2 GHz 955 BE processor close in fast on Core i7 920. But first Sandra's Whetstone test.


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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