AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor Review

Author: MAC
Date: May 2, 2011
Product Name: AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition
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Test Setups & Methodology

For this review, we have prepared four different test setups, representing all the popular platforms at the moment, as well as most of the best-selling processors. As much as possible, the four test setups feature identical components, memory timings, drivers, etc. Aside from manually selecting memory frequencies and timings, every option in the BIOS was at its default setting.

AMD Phenom II AM3 Test Setup

Intel Core i5/i7 LGA1155 Test Setup

Intel Core i3/i5/i7 LGA1156 Test Setup

Intel Core i7 LGA1366 Test Setup

*Although Windows Vista SP1 was our principal OS for the majority of benchmarks, we did use Windows 7 (with all the latest updates) when benchmarking AIDA64.*

For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.

C)To ensure consistent results, a few tweaks were applied to Windows Vista and the NVIDIA control panel:
  • Sidebar Disabled
  • UAC Disabled
  • System Protection/Restore Disabled
  • Problem & Error Reporting Disabled
  • Remote Desktop/Assistance - Disabled
  • Windows Security Center Alerts Disabled
  • Windows Defender Disabled
  • Windows Search Disabled
  • Indexing Disabled
  • Screensaver Disabled
  • Power Plan - High Performance
  • NVIDIA PhysX Disabled
  • V-Sync Off

D) Programs and games are then installed & updated followed by another defragment.

E) Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment.

F) Benchmarks are each run three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged. If they were any clearly anomalous results, the 3-loop run was repeated. If they remained, we mentioned it in the individual benchmark write-up.

Here is a full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.50.1200 (Windows 7)
  • ScienceMark 2.0 32-bit
  • MaxxMEM2 Preview
  • wPrime Benchmark v2.03
  • HyperPI 0.99b
  • PCMark Vantage Advanced 64-bit Edition (
  • Cinebench R10 64-bit
  • Cinebench R11.5.2.9 64-bit
  • WinRAR 3.94 x64
  • Photoshop CS4 64-bit
  • Lame Front-End 1.0
  • X264 Benchmark HD (2nd pass)
  • 7-Zip 9.20 x64
  • POV-Ray v3.7 beta 40
  • Deep Fritz 12
  • HDxPRT 2011 v1.0 (Windows 7)
  • 3DMark06 v1.2.0
  • 3DMark Vantage v1.0.2
  • Crysis v1.21
  • Far Cry 2 1.02
  • Left 4 Dead version
  • Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
  • Word in Conflict v1.0.0.0
  • Resident Evil 5
  • X3: Terran Conflict

That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's get to the good stuff!

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