Monday, September 13, 2010

PC HARDWARE REVIEW : AMD Phenom II X6 1055T , Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H , 4 x 2Gb KingstonValueRAM DDR3 1333mhz

INTRODUCTION

First of all, sorry for breaking the promise on posting the reviews back few days ago, lol coz I got too unexpectedly busy. Now straight to the point, i will now present you the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T processor !! and the Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H and the four sticks of 2 Gb Kingston ValueRam DDR3 1333mhz !! AND ? well, a bad news is the Gigabyte GTX460 1Gb GDDR5 have to wait for next time, but soon !


INTRO - AMD Phenom II X6 1055T , 2.8Ghz / 3.3Ghz TC , 9Mb cache

Hell yes, after a long journey and I’ve found this baby. Anyway, here’s some picts and specs of the proc :


AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
2.8Ghz Stock/ 3.3Ghz TC
9 Mb total cache 
Socket AM3 w/ Heat Sink Fan

Now as for the specs, it consists of 6 physical cores and runs at a default speed of 2.8Ghz each core, with AMD’s TurboCore technology (something similar like Intel’s TurboBoost) it can automatically boost the cores up to 3.3Ghz depending on the usage, and with 9 Mb of cache making it big enough for the 6 cores to play with. Finally, it runs a AM3 socket and friendly enough some rumors saying Bulldozer might be on AM3 or might be unfortunately running on the new server like socket.

As you can see above, there are two different 1055T processors with a 95w and a 125w. A few websites did feature a retail box of the 95w 1055T which I first thought the 95w was released on the OEM market only, seems I was wrong about it. lol.

We further continue to see whats in the box shall we ?

As you notice, the heat-sinks of the AMD PII X4 high end series and the X6 uses a heat-pipe version of sinks and uses a copper+aluminum design for optimized heat transfer and getting rid of the heat faster comparing to the old full aluminum designs. Somehow, the heatsink surface is not smooth enough by my standards lol, looks like I'm gonna lap it sparkle soon when the next full maintenance comes.
The remaining photos of the processor :

INTRO - Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H , AMD 880G Chipset, DDR3, SerialATA 6.0Gbps, USB 3.0


It took me awhile to search for the right board for the right purpose, as usual I'm into small and powerful desktops that doesn't take much space but packs a hell load of punch for intensive resource usage.
Behold ! So far the best m-ATX board for AMD by Gigabyte ! (Personally based on my views, lol).

 The package contains the usual stuffs, motherboard (for damn sure it must be there !) , the manuals, drivers, cables, back I/O plates and finally the stickers ! stickers ! stickers ! Surprisingly, the Dolby Digital stickers are given as well due to the Dolby capable sound chip mumbo-grumbo.Now lets take a look on the board itself :

By default, there's a large USB 3.0 sticker on top of the PCIEx16 slots, once removed you'll see two PCIE x16 side by side, the first slot from the top is a full 16 lanes running at PCIE v2.0 and the second slot uses a x4 lanes PCIE v2.0, which equals to a x8 PCIE v1.0/1.1. Notice the slots are placed next to each other instead of the usual gap where CrossFireX/SLi systems supposed to be, in order to have two graphics card, the main card must be a single slot card which limits to the current single slot PowerColor HD5770  1Gb GDDR5 or having two of the single slot cards as CrossFireX settings.
Further on you can see the SerialATA 6Gbps ports, internal USB 3.0 ports and the AMD SB850 south bridge.
So far, the design of the board satisfy my needs, especially the SATA ports where usually Gigabyte places them directly across the main PCIE slots, except this time only the 5th SATA port is being blocked by a full 10 inch sized card and 4 3 is more than enough for me.


The above shows the NEC USB 3.0 chip used for the newest USB connections.
If you expand the picture, you'll notice the second slot have a part of the slot without contact pins due to the x4 PCIE specifications.
The back of the board as usual, instead of chrome CPU backplate, it uses a black CPU backplate.
The I/O ports of the motherboard.

At the back of the board you get some old school superior PS/2 ports for keyboard or mouse, 4 x standard USB 2.0 ports, VGA/DVI/HDMI that feeds directly from the onboard AMD HD4250 graphics chipset, 1 x Gigabit connection, 2 x USB 3.0 , and 7.1 Realtek HD audio.

INTRO - KINGSTON ValueRAM DDR3 1333Mhz 2Gb x 4


Now here's some innocent ValueRams from Kingston, there's four sticks of these using Elpida chips and for the sake of saving some space, two of these was pictured. Each of these rams runs on a DDR3 1333mhz speed @ cas latency of 9. Specifically, these rams was named as PC10600...which is kinda confusing since the numbers are reaching 10k + and i doubt nowadays people still often naming them by the PC prefix. Anyway, lets call them DDR3 1333Mhz (Double-Data Rate 3 , 1333 Mega Hertz) .

Nothing much to say in intro anymore, lets go into the benchmarks and scores !

TEST BENCH

I've been thinking after sometime to refine the benchmarking tools i use for the next few comming reviews in case. 

As for CPU we have :

Softwares and applications are subjected to change from time to time due to updates and usage or purposes. 64-bit softwares will be used when available, else the chart will show whether it's 32-Bit or 64-Bit

  • HardwareMonitor is used to monitor the temperature of the system and same goes to the voltage of the rails.This application can be downloaded from www.cpuid.com. 
  • In graphics benchmark, we have the synthetic benchmarks by 3DMark06 and Vantage, both settings are based on the preset of the benchmark profile available in 3DMarks. The settings under 3DMark06 is using the default settings and as for the 3DMark Vantage we'll be using the HIGH bench profile.
  • Crysis will be the demo version of the game with the build in benchmark, during CPU benchmarks the overall settings are set to medium without Anti-Alias @ 1024x768 to keep the CPU busy.
  • PCWizard consists of the basic bench of the power of the CPU, from processing power to bandwidth and memory performance.
  • SISoftware Sandra is used as a pure CPU benchmarking tool.
  • Cinebench is used to measure the performance for evaluating the 3D performance of the CPU and GPU. The R10 is the older version while the R11.5 is the newer version.
Multitasking test will not be done as its a varied results with no real world performance results.

SYSTEM SETTINGS

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8Ghz on stock with 3.3Ghz on TurboCore enabled. (OC @ 3.64Ghz )
Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H 
Kingston ValueRam 4 x 2Gb DDR3 1333mhz (OC @ 1732mhz)
Gigabyte GTX460 1Gb GDDR5 TwinFlow
Seagate 500Gb SATA 3.0Gbps (Main OS)
WD 1Tb SATA 3.0Gbps (Storage)
LG dual-layer DVD-RW SATA
Seasonic M12 620w Modular PSU
Silverstone SG03 SFF casing
23 inch display with native 1920x1080 resolution @ 60hz
MS Windows 7 - build 7600

BENCHMARKING RESULTS

To make things simple and direct, here's the result :


Well, since I have nothing close to compare but you can scroll though the previous results of my old CPU benchmarks for comparisons, as for now I made a stock default vs overclocked results. 

As you can see, an overclock from the normal TurboCore 3.3Ghz speed to the 3.64Ghz there's a noticeable performance bump especially in graphics and multi-processor applications.

First of all, the first thing is I had doubts on this processor's temperature but it turns out cool and stable indeed ! Good news is it runs very very cool at stock underclocked speed, when there are no intensive applications running then it'll will automatically under clock the six cores to 800Mhz thus making it cool. Even with full 3.3ghz under heavy stress, the CPU still tops around 50c~53c. The bad news is the stock processor heat sink fan is making too much roaring noise from the super fast spinning at 6 thousand RPMs (yes, 6k rpm !).

As for synthetic graphics benchmark,  the default marks generated was 5174 3Dmarks06 on CPU after overclocked, it poped up to 6295 with a 1k+ increment in marks. In Vantage, default clock scored 14k for CPU score while overclocked scored a kick ass 18k with 4k increment.

In Crysis CPU benchmark, it scored a minimum 24.98 FPS and 79.06 FPS on maximum FPS, once overclocked the minimum frame-rate boosted to 49.51 FPS and 90 FPS for maximum.

In PCWizard, the most noteable jumps between overclocked was the Processor Benchmark scores and the Memory Bandwidth  due to the increased clock speed of 1732Mhz on the DDR3 rams.

SISofrware Sandra 2010 SP2 showed us how much expected processing power especially on the calculation and cryptography strength. As you can notice the difference between the stock and overclocked, its a healthy jump. 

Cinebench R10 showed the need of having multi-threaded processors, the stock generated a 16k while the overclocked showed 19k with 3k increment in scores. Cinebench R11.5 with the new updated score system, the stock cpu generated 41.60 FPS on OpenGL renderer and 4.98 pts for CPU scores, on the overclocked conterpart it scored 43.44 frames and 6.35 pts. The OpenGL score didn't made a big jump due to the reason it's stressing the GPU more than the CPU. 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this set of stuffs costs a quarter less cheaper than the equally powefull Intel setup especially the Intel i5 750/760/860. Although its slower in synthetic benchmarks, in games they're equally fast and most of all AMD costs cheaper and with abit of overclocking you get the bang for your bucks.

On the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, the processor is near perfect except for the HSF that made too much noise during full load. The heat generated is surprisingly cooling compare to the previous X4 , this might be due to the fast and loud HSF and underclocking functions and what's more ? it's running in a cramped SFF case that have a little close to not much space for cool air. Overrall , it kicked ass on price/performance but on the note of finding one is kinda hard during the first few months as the demand for the 1055T is mad.

As for the motherboard, a solid performer with tons of features, from the new USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0, Gigabyte included a function where the USB 3.0 can charge an iPhone even when the PC is turned off. I went to the gigabyte overclocking workshop sometime ago and the board they used was the Intel platform Gigabyte H55M and to me this board is unofficially its AMD counterpart.

The rams, man they kick ass ! a value ram with a bucket of overclockable performance, from 1333Mhz to and unexpected 1732Mhz , four sticks in dual channel ! By the way, i expect it'll be able to go higher but thats another time since the purpose of this review is focused on the CPU and the Motherboard.

Well, to sum of the price and you get a six core action for your heavy multi-tasking (I doubt anyone's brain can multi-task 15 apps as much as a six core can handle) , with burning softwares running, movies playing, P2P and converting movies at the same time, the 1055T will be able to handle it.

Guess what ? the expected whole system costs around 2.5 for the desktop CPU only without monitor ! (with a monitor around 22inch you'll get a near 3k system that is able to last a few years until upgrades !)

As a final note, if any of you guys wanna build a similar system and thinking whether if you'll need a hex core or a quad core , I'd say on a budget note get the quad and its as fast as the hex in gaming unless you'll want to do alot of intensive 3D rendering and converting or editing lots of movies, 6 cores it the way to go !.

Also be sure to check out the previous reviews of the other website links on the left of my blog for other comparisons !!

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