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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 125% 116%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 203% 191%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 118% 110%
FIFA 21 111% 102%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 155% 145%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 250% 236%
Watch Dogs Legion 203% 191%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 155% 145%
Grand Theft Auto VI 270% 256%
Genshin Impact 71% 64%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz is marginally better than the AMD Phenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz was released less than a year after the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Phenom 9600 Quad-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz. With 4 cores, the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the AMD Phenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition and the Intel Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz have the same number of threads. The Phenom 9600 Quad-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Phenom 9600 Quad-Core and Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz has a 0.2 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Phenom 9600 Quad-Core has a 1536 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz, but on the other hand, it is the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz that has a 1 MB bigger L3 cache than the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz has a 100 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core, and was created with a 43 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameAgenaIvy Bridge Gladden
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+BGA 1284
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Mar 200810 Sep 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed2.3 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP125 Wvs25 W
Lithography65 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature70°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size2 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
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DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
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PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewPhenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition is a performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.3GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated and the processor has unlocked multiplier, meaning it can be overclocked easily.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 125W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core i3-3115C 2.5GHz is an extremely energy efficient CPU based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.5GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 25W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.