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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Core i3 540

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i3 540

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Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Much newer manufacturing process 32 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
More threads 4 vs 2 Twice as many threads
Much better performance per watt 1.24 pt/W vs 1.11 pt/W More than 10% better performance per watt
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz vs 3.86 GHz More than 15% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Lower typical power consumption 94.67W vs 102.72W Around 10% lower typical power consumption
Lower annual commercial energy cost 91.1 $/year vs 101.7 $/year More than 10% lower annual commercial energy cost
Slightly lower annual home energy cost 35.75 $/year vs 36.79 $/year Around 5% lower annual home energy cost
Front view of AMD Athlon II X2 265

Reasons to consider the
AMD Athlon II X2 265

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Much more l2 cache 2 MB vs 1 MB 2x more l2 cache; more data can be stored in the l2 cache for quick access later
Higher clock speed 3.3 GHz vs 3.06 GHz Around 10% higher clock speed
Much more l2 cache per core 1 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core 2x more l2 cache per core
Higher Maximum operating temperature 74 °C vs 72.6 °C Almost the same
Better overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.3 GHz vs 3.07 GHz Around 10% better overclocked clock speed (Water)
Newer Sep, 2010 vs Jan, 2010 Release date 8 months later

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core i3 540 vs Athlon II X2 265

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 540
123,300 MB/s
Athlon II X2 265
133,500 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench

Cinebench R10 32-Bit

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Core i3 540  vs
Athlon II X2 265 
Clock speed 3.06 GHz 3.3 GHz
Cores Dual core Dual core
Socket type
LGA 1156
AM3
Is unlocked No No

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE4a
SSE2
MMX
SSE4
SSE3
SSE
SSE4.1
SSE4.2
3DNow!
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

power consumption

TDP 73W 65W
Annual home energy cost 35.75 $/year 36.79 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 91.1 $/year 101.7 $/year
Performance per watt 1.24 pt/W 1.11 pt/W
Idle power consumption 66.7W 62.6W
Peak power consumption 104W 116.1W
Typical power consumption 94.67W 102.72W

details

Core i3 540  vs
Athlon II X2 265 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 4 2
L2 cache 1 MB 2 MB
L2 cache per core 0.5 MB/core 1 MB/core
L3 cache 4 MB 1 MB
L3 cache per core 2 MB/core 0.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm 45 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Voltage range 0.65 - 1.4V 0.82 - 1.4V
Operating temperature Unknown - 72.6°C Unknown - 74°C

overclocking

Overclocked clock speed 4.47 GHz 3.86 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz 3.3 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz 3.86 GHz

integrated graphics

GPU GPU None
Label Intel® HD Graphics N/A
Number of displays supported 2 N/A
GPU clock speed 733 MHz N/A
Intel Core i3 540
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AMD Athlon II X2 265
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