AMD Phenom X3 8750 Tri-Core Processor

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Performance Summary: Somewhat surprisingly, AMD's new Phenom X3 8750 performed exactly as a triple-core CPU should in our battery of benchmarks.  When the chips were first announced, we weren't sure how today's applications would react to a non-symmetrical multi-core processor, but all of the applications we tested behaved normally and simply took advantage of the additional processor resources.

Throughout  testing, the Phenom X3 8750 performed in-line with our expectations, outpacing the dual-core chips more often than not, and falling behind the quad-cores in all of the multi-threaded applications.  Despite a huge clock speed disadvantage, the Phenom X3 8750 was able to outpace the 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 in a handful of tests, and in all but a couple of tests it was faster than the 3.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+ as well.

AMD's new Phenom X3 8750 puts AMD is in an interesting position.  Before we explain that, let's get some particulars out of the way...


As you can see, AMD is pricing the X3 8750 and its lower clocked siblings at $195 and below in lots of 1000. That makes the chip we tested here today about $5 cheaper than the lower-clocked, 2.2GHz quad-core Phenom X4 9550, $20 cheaper than the similarly clocked Phenom X4 9750, and about $30 more expensive than AMD's fastest dual-core chip, the Athlon 64 X2 6400+.  You'd expect the Phenom X3 8750 to be more affordable than AMD's current quad-core chips, but the prices are so close at the moment, there's no reason not to spend the extra 20 bucks for the extra core offered by the 9750 in our opinion, provided you've got a motherboard that can handle its 125W TDP.  In light of Intel's current offereings, the Phenom X3 8750 is about $30 and $95 less expensive than the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Q9300, respectively, and right on par with the Core 2 Duo E6850 or E8400. So again, if you've got the budget, the additional investment required for a quad-core chip makes sense considering how much faster they are with the right application workload.

At under $200 though, we think the Phenom X3 8750 could appeal to two completely different audiences, and for two totally different reasons.  In the mainstream space, the Phenom X3 8750 could easily be used in a budget PC  when paired with an AMD 780G-based motherboard.  In that usage model, you could have an AMD triple-core with arguably the best IGP available to-date, versus an Intel dual-core with an inferior IGP.  If you're planning to build a PC and use integrated graphics, the Phenom X3s and 780G make a great combo.

Considering how well the Phenom X3 8750 overclocked, and the relatively low price of AMD 790FX-based motherboards and DDR2 memory, the X3 8750 should also appeal to modders on a budget.  In this space, the choice isn't as clear cut because Intel's recent price cuts and the excellent overclockability of its processors make them extremely attractive.  However, AMD's platform is significantly more compelling than it was just a few weeks ago, thanks to the release of B3 Phenoms and these new tri-core processors.



  • Good Value
  • Good Performance
  • Tri-Core "Just Worked"
  • Solid Overclocker
  • Ran Cool
  • Priced too close to similarly clocked AMD quad-core
  • Relatively high power consumption

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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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