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Review: AMD Phenom X4 9850: Phenom fixed, but not phenomenal

by Parm Mann on 18 April 2008, 08:48

Tags: Phenom X4, Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition, Phenom X4 9600, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Gigabyte (TPE:2376), ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), AMD (NYSE:AMD), OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ), Corsair, FSP Group (TPE:3015), PC

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Multitasking performance

Well, the Phenom X4 9850 BE hasn't yet provided the figures we'd all like to see, but now, it's crunch time.

All our previous benchmarks revolve around the concept of a single application running at any one time. We all know that is rarely the case and therefore, our final set of tests will run multiple applications at once, and may provide the best look at AMD's new Phenom X4 9850 BE.

The first test was to carry out DivX encoding whilst playing a 1080p QuickTime video. The above graph shows two sets of results; on the left, DivX encoding on its own and on the right, DivX encoding with QuickTime playing a 1080p video.

The results show that all of the four processors in question do a stellar job at handling multiple workloads simultaneously. With QuickTime thrown-in, the processors take approximately ten seconds longer to complete the DivX encoding.

The Phenom X4 9850 BE, it should be noted, finishes just eight seconds behind the Core 2 Quad Q6600.

Similar to the previous test, we then ran the same DivX encode with Quake 4 running in the background. All four quad-core processors once again demonstrated the benefit of multiple execution cores.

Switching things around, we brought Quake 4 forward and ran the DivX encode in the background. All four quad-core processors did a grand job and lost little in terms of frame-rate, all providing a smooth gaming experience.

On the whole, the Phenom X4 9850 BE is as close as we've seen AMD come to Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600. Nonetheless, as close as it may be, it hasn't managed to surpass its direct competitor.