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AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £92
inc VAT

Processor manufacturing is a tricky business.

Not every processor made is free from defects, and this is particularly true of complex quad-core designs. Fortunately, a single faulty core needn’t be fatal. AMD simply disables it and sells the resulting triple-core chips at a reduced price. Two such processors are the Phenom II X3 710 and 720 Black Edition.

Apart from the disabled core, these chips are identical to the X4 955. They’re AM3 designs and can be used in compatible AM2/AM2+ or AM3 motherboards.

The 710 runs at 2.6GHz compared with the 720’s 2.8GHz, while the 720’s Black Edition name indicates an unlocked multiplier, which will interest overclockers. The higher clock speed helped in our benchmarks, giving the 720 a slight advantage over the 710.

As the two processors are similar in price, we’d buy the 720. It’s a worthy alternative to the X4 920 if money is a tight. If you’re looking for a truly budget upgrade for an AM2/AM2+ PC, though, AMD’s Athlon X2 7750 is around half the price.

Basic Specifications

Processor core Heka
Rating *****
Processor clock speed 2.8GHz
Processor socket AM3
Processor process 45nm
Processor number of cores three
Processor supported instructions MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, Enhanced 3DNow!, NX bit, AMD64, Cool’n’Quiet, AMD-V
Processor multiplier x14
Processor external bus 200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Level 1 cache 3x 128KB
Level 2 cache 3x 512KB
Processor level 3 cache 6MB
Supported memory type DDR2 667/800/1066, DDR3 800/1066/1333
Processor power rating (TDP) 95W
Price £92


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