As many of you will remember the launch of AMD’s Phenom CPU received numerous delays … as a result there was a period where their previous generation processors, the Athlon, were unable to compete with Intel in the high performance segment of the market. One thing the Athlon did offer during that period was a number of low energy models which provided exceptional power saving and temperature characteristics.
It would be fair to say that in recent times these energy efficient Athlons were some of our favourite CPUs especially as they also had a good value to performance ratio.
Since the Phenom CPUs were launched we have seen a number of models become available with performance regularly increasing and more recently the addition of support for DDR3 but there was no sign of energy efficient versions. That changes today with the launch of the Phenom 2 X3 705e and Phenom 2 X4 905e.
That’s not all AMD have to offer though as they are also releasing two other new CPUs. Firstly we have our first look at a dual core Phenom 2 and secondly there is the new Athlon 2 model which brings DDR3 support to the older family of CPU’s.
Today we have all four of these new models on our test bench and will be putting each through a selection of real world tests which include Photoshop, media encoding and gaming.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.