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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
Significantly higher clock speed 3.06 GHz vs 2.6 GHz Around 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 better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz vs 3.66 GHz More than 20% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Higher Maximum operating temperature 72.6 °C vs 71 °C Almost the same
Significantly better overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz vs 2.6 GHz Around 20% better overclocked clock speed (Water)
Newer Jan, 2010 vs Feb, 2009 Release date 10 months later
Front view of AMD Phenom II X4 910

Reasons to consider the
AMD Phenom II X4 910

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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 4 vs 2 Twice as many cores; run more applications at once
Significantly lower typical power consumption 77.19W vs 94.67W Around 20% lower typical power consumption
Much lower annual home energy cost 22.89 $/year vs 35.75 $/year More than 35% lower annual home energy cost
Lower annual commercial energy cost 83.22 $/year vs 91.1 $/year Around 10% lower annual commercial energy cost

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core i3 540 vs Phenom II X4 910

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
Phenom II X4 910
104,700 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
Phenom II X4 910 
Clock speed 3.06 GHz 2.6 GHz
Cores Dual core Quad 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 95W
Annual home energy cost 35.75 $/year 22.89 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 91.1 $/year 83.22 $/year
Performance per watt 1.24 pt/W 1.38 pt/W
Typical power consumption 94.67W 77.19W

details

Core i3 540  vs
Phenom II X4 910 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 4 4
L2 cache 1 MB 2 MB
L2 cache per core 0.5 MB/core 0.5 MB/core
L3 cache 4 MB 6 MB
L3 cache per core 2 MB/core 1.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm 45 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Voltage range 0.65 - 1.4V 0.88 - 1.43V
Operating temperature Unknown - 72.6°C Unknown - 71°C

overclocking

Overclocked clock speed 4.47 GHz 3.66 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz 2.6 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz 3.66 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 Phenom II X4 910
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