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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition Athlon II X4 6400e
Cyberpunk 2077 125% 116%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 203% 190%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 118% 109%
FIFA 21 111% 102%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 155% 144%
Watch Dogs Legion 203% 190%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 250% 235%
Grand Theft Auto VI 270% 255%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 155% 144%
Genshin Impact 71% 63%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Athlon II X4 6400e 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 Athlon II X4 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 and the Athlon II X4 both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

Both the AMD Phenom 9600 Quad-Core Black Edition and the AMD Athlon II X4 6400e have the same number of threads. Both CPUs have one thread 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 Athlon II X4 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 Phenom 9600 Quad-Core has a 0.1 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 and the Athlon II X4 have the same L2 cache size, but the Athlon II X4 does not appear to have an L3 cache, so the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core definitely wins out in this area.

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 Athlon II X4 has a 80 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom 9600 Quad-Core, and was created with a 20 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Athlon II X4 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 CodenameAgenaRana
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+Socket AM3+
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Mar 200820 Oct 2009
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed2.3 GHzvs2.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP125 Wvs45 W
Lithography65 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature70°Cvs71°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size2 MBvs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
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.
Athlon II X4 6400e is an unlocked Athlon II X3 400e.