AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Review

Product: AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition
Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: May 24th, 2011

Gaming Performance

For our gaming tests, the AMD Radeon HD 6990 was overclocked using the BIOS OC switch, running 880MHz engine cores and 1250MHz memory. All tests were performed at 1920x1080 resolution. The minimum and average frame rates should indicate if the different CPUs influence the gaming performance - higher minimums and average FPS will result in a more playable game. If no increase is seen, then the title is not going to scale with CPU performance until a more expensive and higher performing graphics board is used. For this series of tests, we compare the Phenom II X4 against the overclocked X6, to see how much CPU makes a difference for the World's Fastest Graphics card:

Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark

4xFSAA with 16xAF and all DirectX 11 features enabled. Results of FRAPS recording of benchmark test, run at 1920x1080 resolution.

An absence of scaling with different CPUs indicate a GPU bottleneck for performance in this title at these settings.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

FRAPS recording of playthrough of Heavy Metal level, from beginning to investigating target house. 8xMSAA/16xAF with HBAO off.

It's no secret that BC2 likes CPU, but it is interesting to see the X6 providing higher minimums and average frame rates.

Sid Meier's Civilization 5

FRAPS recoding of lategameview benchmark in DX11 mode with 8xMSAA and very high settings.

More cores are clearly better than a slight clock speed advantage, here.

Formula One 2010

FRAPS results of in-game benchmark at Ultra preset with 2xMSAA and Vision Engine Center applied Morphological AA and 16xAF.

AMD's hexacore once again brings up the minimum and average FPS, but not the maximum, indicating that some sections of this benchmark like clockspeed and others like more cores. On the whole, higher minimum and average FPS is a better gaming experience than higher maximum FPS, but you can't feel a difference at this performance level and close results.

Left 4 Dead 2

FRAPS results of Heavy Rain - Milltown level playthrough, with 4xAA/16xAF and highest in game settings, with Vision Engine Control Center SuperSampled AA enabled.

More cores doesn't help the Source engine underlying this title, clock speed is where it's at for bringing up the minimum and average FPS.

Medal of Honor (SP)

FRAPS recording of Breaking Bragram level playthrough from beginning to clearing out the airfield and investigating the tower. In-game highest settings and AA enabled (Unreal Engine).

Hexacore for the win in the Unreal 3 Engine Medal of Honor single player, massive difference in performance which is interestingly not game-changing for the user experience. 120FPS average on the stock clock 980 is a nice place to be at maximum in game settings.

3DMark 11

Results of Performance preset test in 3DMark 11. Higher scores are better.

More cores means more scores in 3DMark 11.