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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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Much more l3 cache 4 MB vs 0.5 MB 8x more l3 cache; more data can be stored in the l3 cache for quick access later
Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Significantly higher clock speed 3.06 GHz vs 2.5 GHz More than 20% higher clock speed
Much newer manufacturing process 32 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Much more l3 cache per core 2 MB/core vs 0.17 MB/core 12x more l3 cache per core
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz vs 3.25 GHz More than 35% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Significantly better overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz vs 2.5 GHz Around 25% better overclocked clock speed (Water)
Front view of AMD Athlon II X3 415e

Reasons to consider the
AMD Athlon II X3 415e

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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
More cores 3 vs 2 1 more cores; run more applications at once
Much lower typical power consumption 36.56W vs 94.67W 2.6x lower typical power consumption
Much more l2 cache per core 0.67 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core Around 35% more l2 cache per core
Much lower annual home energy cost 10.84 $/year vs 35.75 $/year 3.3x lower annual home energy cost
Much lower annual commercial energy cost 39.42 $/year vs 91.1 $/year 2.3x lower annual commercial energy cost

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core i3 540 vs Athlon II X3 415e

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 X3 415e
101.05 MB/s

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Core i3 540  vs
Athlon II X3 415e 
Clock speed 3.06 GHz 2.5 GHz
Cores Dual core Tri 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 45W
Annual home energy cost 35.75 $/year 10.84 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 91.1 $/year 39.42 $/year
Performance per watt 1.24 pt/W 1.7 pt/W
Typical power consumption 94.67W 36.56W

details

Core i3 540  vs
Athlon II X3 415e 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 4 3
L2 cache 1 MB 2 MB
L2 cache per core 0.5 MB/core 0.67 MB/core
L3 cache 4 MB 0.5 MB
L3 cache per core 2 MB/core 0.17 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm 45 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Operating temperature Unknown - 72.6°C Unknown - 72°C

overclocking

Overclocked clock speed 4.47 GHz 3.25 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz 2.5 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz 3.25 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 X3 415e
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