AMD Phenom X3 8750 Tri-Core Processor

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As we've already mentioned, AMD’s new Phenom X3 8750 processor look just like all current Phenom processors.  It utilizes the same packaging and pin configuration.  But underneath its heat-spreader lies a CPU die that has one of its execution cores disabled.

Details from CPU-Z with the Phenom X3 8750


The latest version of CPU-Z correctly identifies and outlines the Phenom X3 8750's inner workings.  As you can see, the processor is based on the Toliman core with socket AM2+ packaging.  It is clocked at 2.4GHz (12 x 200MHz) and our particular chip is stepping "DR-B3".  As you can see, the chip also supports all of the instructions sets listed in the aptly named "instructions" section.  The processor’s 1.5MB L2 cache configuration (512KB per core) is 16-way set associative, but the processor's 2MB of shared L3-cache is 32-way set associative.  Please note, that because one of the execution cores is disabled on the X3 it has 512K less total L2 cache versus a Phenom X4 and 128K less L1.

Overclocking The Phenom X3 8750
Tri-Core Flat-Out

We know many of you are wondering just how much clock speed headroom the Phenom X3 8750 has left under the hood, so we spent some time overclocking our chip using a Gigabyte 790FX-chipset based motherboard.  Because the Phenom X3 8750 is not a "Black Edition" processor, its multiplier cannot be increased for overclocking.  That meant we could only overclock by altering the HT frequency, but we still had some pretty good luck.

Phenom X3 8750 Overclocked to 3.0GHz

By altering the HT link multiplier, memory controller multiplier, and the HT link speed, and increasing the CPU voltage to 1.45v, we were able to take our Phenom X3 8750 to a cool 3.0GHz using nothing but a stock AMD PIB cooler.  Higher frequencies were possible, but we couldn't keep the system 100% stable, so we backed things down to 3.0GHz.  While running at that speed, we re-ran some tests and also monitored core temperatures and found that the chip never broke the 45ºC mark - at least according to AMD's Overdrive software.  That is one heck of an overclock and some pretty cool temperatures for a Phenom in our opinion.  If the majority of chips have the same amount of headroom as ours, we suspect these tri-cores will be mighty appealing to AMD enthusiasts on a budget.

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Crisis Causer 6 years ago

Nice!  I've been waiting for a review of a tri-core Phenom ever since they were announced.  The performance is about what I expected.  It beats most dual cores in applications that take advantage of more than 2 cores.  Gaming is still mostly dual-core only though.  But it did show a good lead over the 4600 (also 2.4ghz) in gaming, showing that the K10 core is a little more efficient per MHz than the K8.

I don't understand AMD's pricing here, but I guess that's as low as they can afford to sell them.  But they won't sell a lot at that price.  Anyone willing to go with AMD still would likely go for all 4-cores. 

^Bad_Boy^ 6 years ago
Great Review :)
Marco C 6 years ago
If you have a moment, please digg this one for us too. Thanks all!
willardcw4 6 years ago

I'm not impressed with the new processor... the stock Q6600 is essentially better in almost every arena (and most people overclock it to at least 3.0 GHz, so it would score better in many areas)... I know the AMD proc isn't supposed to be 'top of the line' (couldn't compete with Penryn I think), i'm still, as usual, not impressed... even if it is "three core"

nelsoncp21 6 years ago

I would say that maybe if they were the same clocks speed and price compared to the core 2 duo's than maybe a esier decision. I am torn on this because I can take an E8400 for the same price as the x3 8750 but have higher clock speeds stock. Now the question is with both chips overclocked which performs better and in real world comparison. Now if the the x3 8750 was stock at 3.0ghz and the same price than the extra core would be worth it imo. You also have to take inot account upgrade path. Intel is releasing better chips so for the same price it would be wiser to go with a 775 socket than an AM2 for future upgrades. nice article guys

ice_73 6 years ago

you guys got linked from engadget.


great review guys 

ArthurT 6 years ago

 Mission Accomplished: Intel dropped the price of Quads by up to 50%.

The real target was dual cores.

The tri-core was never suppposed to complete with Quads, it was supposed to be better than Core 2 duo, and it was.

Do you know that a 6 core processor is in the pipeline to compete with Quad Cores?
( and a 12-core to compete with V8s?)

As far as helping games which support dual cores, try setting ALL OS processes to Core 2. ( i.e. the third core), and see how your game runs!



Former evanglest for


Crisis Causer 6 years ago

Yeah, tri-core is not 'sposed to compete with Quads, but when it's priced only $20 cheaper, it is.  If the 8750 were $140 it would be more competetive.  $195 just doesn't make sense.  The 2.2Ghz Quad core is the same price.  Any program that can take advantage of 3 cores, will take advantage of four.  The only advantage of going with the tri-core would be for dual or single threaded programs in which the extra 200Mhz would make it faster.  But if you are going above two cores, obviously that's not your major concern.

giantjoebot 6 years ago

 I bet the price will drop pretty quick.  Especially when you start seeing them on newegg as OEM's.  These CPU's seem to be more tegeted at wholsalers, and large manufactures like HP at the moment.  Give it some time, and the price will drop.

ArthurT 6 years ago

Actually from what I heard, the price was set up at a price point to get intel to drop their pants. Now they have done so,

AMD is SERIOUSLY dropping their pants to oems, bigtime. I head they were offering them to HP for


obi 6 years ago

 the amd athlon 64 3800+ windsor, was probably the best chip AMD ever made

it had an idle rating of  8 watts and a max load of 35 watts. AMD  pulled it off the market for some mysterious reason

A truly efficient CPU does not go over 10 watts in idle mode , it would be very informative  if you guys mesured cpus in solo mode under load and idle

and mention what hard drives you are using with its bandwidth specs, so we can estimate cpu stress from the hdd bottleneck.

it would also be real nice to know to what extent the cpu can be undervolted and underclocked for efficiency and if the cpu is Rohs compliant.

one shot system load only mesurements are really not informative nor consistent enough to make a buying decision.


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