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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom 9100e Quad-Core Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz
Halo: Reach 51% 2%
Cyberpunk 2077 210% 101%
Red Dead Redemption 2 265% 136%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 176% 79%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 171% 75%
Doom Eternal 200% 94%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 297% 157%
Grand Theft Auto VI 396% 221%
FIFA 20 161% 69%
Need For Speed Heat 209% 100%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom 9100e Quad-Core 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 2 Quad was released less than a year after the Phenom 9100e Quad-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Phenom 9100e Quad-Core and the Core 2 Quad both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

Both the AMD Phenom 9100e Quad-Core and the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 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 9100e Quad-Core and Core 2 Quad 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 2 Quad has a 0.86 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. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

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 Core 2 Quad has a 4096 KB bigger L2 cache than the Phenom 9100e Quad-Core, and although the Core 2 Quad does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it 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 Phenom 9100e Quad-Core has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Quad. However, the Core 2 Quad was created with a 20 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core 2 Quad is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, but there really isn't much in it.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameAgenaYorkfield
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+LGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Mar 200810 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed1.8 GHzvs2.66 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP65 Wvs95 W
Lithography65 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature61°Cvs71°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs6144 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 9100e Quad-Core is an energy efficient performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 1.8GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 65W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is a high-end Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.66GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.

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