Athlon II Or Phenom II: Does Your CPU Need L3 Cache?

After a number of test, the main differences are on the 3D gaming performance, results in the increase in FPS.

3DMark Vantage





There is 5% benefit in 3DMark Vantage’s CPU test, but the overall score and GPU test show hardly any benefit at all. Let’s look at some game titles.





Frame rates increase by 8% on Far Cry with medium settings if you exchange the entry-level Athlon II X4 quad-core to a Phenom II X4 at the same clock speed.



A 5.7% benefit on GTA IV isn’t much. The L3 cache has little impact here.



Left 4 Dead is different. The processor with L3 cache delivers almost 20% faster frame rates.

SiSoftware Sandra 2009








PCMark Vantage




All synthetic benchmarks show only small differences in favor of the Phenom II X4 with its 6MB of L3 cache. PCMark’s Memories test benefits by 12%. The overall score increases by 8%, just like the Sandra AES encryption test. All other results are closer.