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AMD Phenom II X4 N930 quad core processor

September 6th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

AMD Phenom II X4 N930  processor, intended for notebooks has four cores and is clocked at 2.0 GHz. The missing Level 3 Cache in the mobile Phenom ii processors leads to visible lack in  the performance. It performance level is therefore can be expected to be close to the similarly clocked 2 GHz Athlon II quad core processors.

The AMD Phenom II X4 N930 quad core processor has integrated DDR3 memory controller. The integrated memory controller makes the processor to memory transfer faster. This is one reason why the Phenom ii N930 is better than the Core 2 Duo Intel processor. The integrated memory controller also compensate, to some extent, for the missing L3 cache.

The biggest performance gain with the N930 will be in the cases where 4 processes are running concurrently, utilizing the 4 cores to the full extent.

AMD Phenom II X4 N930 quad core processor supports various instruction sets for multimedia related operation including MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4A.

The AMD Phenom II N930 has 512KB of level 2 Cache for each of the 4 cores to make up a total of 2048 KB of the Level 2 Cache. Manufactured with 45 nm technology, the N930 has a TDP rating of 35 Watts.

The quad core Phenom ii N930 does support Hardware virtualization, which helps when two operating systems are simultaneously loaded into the system. The support for the hardware  virtualization make the swtitching between the operating systems faster.

The Phenom ii N930 communicates with the chipset using the HyperTransport Bus, which is 3600 MT/s ( Million Transfer per second), scalable, high bandwidth differential bus.

AMD Phenom II X4 N930  benchmarks

Several Benchmark data for the AMD Phenom II X4 N930 are available. The performance of the quad core is clearly visible with processes that stress all the four cores. For example the 3DMark score for the AMD Phenom II X4 N930 is close to 2825 while that of the core i3-330M has been found close to 2205 ( higher number is better). The SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS) score for AMD Phenom II X4 N930 28000 as compared to 26976 for the intel core i3-330M

However, where the processes are single core intensive, the Phenom N930 quad core benchmarking results are not as impressive. The Super pi 2M calculation, for example takes 86 seconds with Phenom ii N930 based system as compared to, for example, 49 seconds with the Intel Core i3-330M.

The final verdict is – if you normally work on just one thing at a time ( or if you run a process that does not require more than one core at a time), this processor is not well suited for you. You may be better off with the core i3 based processors from intel. However, if you run multiple processes and threads you may benefit by the 4 cores in the Phenom ii N930

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  1. William
    October 23rd, 2010 at 01:34 | #1

    The power efficiency looks very good under load:

    AMD Phenom II x4 N930:

    4 cores*
    35W TDP (max)

    Intel i3-330M:

    2 cores + 2 threading units*
    35W TDP (max)

    Looks like the lack of l3 cache and lower clock speed together with AMD’s super-duper engineering has a real positive effect. The Intel may be on 32nm but it still has to rely on on-package (rather than on-die), IGP and memory controller, 32nm + 45nm respectively.

    Source: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Core-i3-330M-Notebook-Processor.23753.0.html

    For anyone on the go who must run applications that can exploit real cores, then it looks like the AMD part would win out since it would take less time to do the work. However I’m not sure how it fares in idle state compared to Intel and I am not sure if Intel’s IGP can handle GPGPU functions..if it can’t then it’s gonna be left in the dust compared to nVidia CUDA or ATI Stream.

    On the whole I like the look of this chip. The name can be a bit misleading (with no l3 cache it’s not a Phenom II), but the power rating and price look OK. I also wonder if there’s software that could actually over-clocking it 😉 Even running at a lower speed, unless it’s based on previously binned revisions I reckon it would positively scream to be clocked up, although to what extent the motherboard components could handle it..

  2. William
    October 23rd, 2010 at 01:57 | #2

    With relation to overclocking..

    I don’t beleive this Phenom II x4 has Turbo Core, so it wouldn’t optimise lightly-threaded apps by overclocking active cores and shutting down unused one’s to lower power draw.

    But..I reckon you might be able to do something similar as long as your system can:

    . Disable cores in the BIOS
    . Alter the CPU’s multipler (I’d assume this one is unlocked being a mobile).

    AMD’s Phenom II X2 P650 has two cores, running at 2.8GHz. It also has 2048K of l2 cache (no L3). OK, the TDP (max) for this chip is the same as for the Phenom II N930: 35W.



    I know it’s not a given sign that you could clock your 2.0GHz quad-core laptop upto and beyond 2.8GHz by applying the above rules, and I am not claiming to be an expert; perhaps someone else can confirm if this is possible. If I was only running lightly-threaded apps and games, and didn’t have Turbo Core as found on Phenom II x6 then I’d certainly consider trying this method to get some significant performance gains whilst using the same amount of power as before.