Overclocking AMD's Phenom II X3 720 BE

May 11, 2009 | 11:03

Tags: #720 #be #bios #black #budget #core #edition #enthusiast #guide #ii #motherboard #overclocking #performance #phenom #triple #x3

Companies: #amd #asus #msi

Test Setup

With the exception of SiSoft Sandra, HD Tach and Lavalys Everest, all of our benchmarks have been engineered to give you numbers that you are likely to find useful when actually using the products we have evaluated in the real world.

As always, we did our best to deliver a clean set of benchmarks, with each test repeated three times and an average of those results is what we’re reporting here. In the rare case where performance was inconsistent, we continued repeating the test until we got three results that were consistent.

AMD AM3 Hardware:

  • MSI 790FX-GD70 (.136 beta BIOS)
  • 4GB G.Skill DDR3 Pi-Series F3-12800Cl7D-4GBPI
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 280 Graphics card
  • PC Power and Cooling 750W Silencer PSU
  • Seagate 7200.10 250GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
  • Nvidia Forceware 182.08 WHQL

Intel LGA775 Hardware

  • Asus P5Q Deluxe (2005 BIOS)
  • 4GB Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5D
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 280 Graphics card
  • PC Power and Cooling 750W Silencer PSU
  • Seagate 7200.10 250GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
  • Nvidia Forceware 182.08 WHQL

CPUs:

Overclocking AMD's Phenom II X3 720 BE Test Setup

CPU Price List

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition:
UK Price (as reviewed): £113.49 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $139.00 (ex. Tax)

Including 4GB DDR3 1,600MHz memory (£60.50) and MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard (£147.71), total platform cost = £321.70 (inc. VAT)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0:
UK Price (as reviewed): £149.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $199.99 (ex. Tax)

Including 4GB DDR2 1,066MHz memory (£43.99) and Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard (£135.80), total platform cost = £329.78 (inc. VAT)

Intel Core 2 Duo E7500:
UK Price (as reviewed): £114.41 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $139.99 (ex. Tax)

Including 4GB DDR2 1,066MHz memory (£43.99) and Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard (£135.80), total platform cost = £294.20 (inc. VAT)

We thank Novatech for providing us with an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 for this review.

Overclocking AMD's Phenom II X3 720 BE Test Setup

Why these platform setups?

Most people already own Q6600 G0s with P45 DDR2 boards, and there are plenty of excellent overclocking, P45 DDR2 boards still available. While the Asus P5Q Deluxe isn't the cheapest out there - others can be had for under £100 and overclock just as much - we tried to balance off the features compared to the MSI 790FX-GD70 in a balance between like-for-like versus a quality motherboard we'd actually recommend.

Likewise, the 720 Black Edition will fit in an AM2+ motherboard, meaning it's able to use cheaper DDR2, good AM2+ motherboards are very hard to find (considering the Asus M3A79-T Deluxe is end of life) and we'd recommend the upgrade path offered by the socket AM3 MSI 790FX-GD70. It does mean it uses slightly more expensive DDR3 memory, but we feel it's the likely upgrade for people considering the 720 Black Edition.
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