Intel Core i3-540 vs AMD Phenom X4 9500

General info

Comparing Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 processor market type (desktop or notebook), architecture, sales start time and price.

Place in our rating
 
Value for money (0-100)
2.88
 
4.61
Market segment
Desktop processor
 
Desktop processor
Architecture codename
Clarkdale
 
Agena
Launch date
7 January 2010 (11 years ago)
 
November 2007 (13 years ago)
Launch price (MSRP)
$45
 
no data
Price now
$29 (0.6x MSRP)
 
$17.89

Technical specs

Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 basic parameters such as number of cores, number of threads, base frequency and turbo boost clock, lithography, cache size and multiplier lock state. These parameters indirectly say of CPU speed, though for more precise assessment you have to consider their test results.

Physical cores
2 (Dual-core)
 
4 (Quad-Core)
Threads
4
 
4
Base clock speed
3.06 GHz
 
no data
Boost clock speed
0.07 GHz
 
2.2 GHz
L1 cache
64 KB (per core)
 
128 KB (per core)
L2 cache
256 KB (per core)
 
512 KB (per core)
L3 cache
4 MB (shared)
 
2 MB (shared)
Chip lithography
32 nm
 
65 nm
Die size
81 mm2
 
285 mm2
Maximum core temperature
73 °C
 
no data
Number of transistors
382 million
 
450 million
64 bit support
+
 
+
VID voltage range
0.65V-1.4V
 
no data

Compatibility

Information on Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 compatibility with other computer components: motherboard (look for socket type), power supply unit (look for power consumption) etc. Useful when planning a future computer configuration or upgrading an existing one. Note that power consumption of some processors can well exceed their nominal TDP, even without overclocking. Some can even double their declared thermals given that the motherboard allows to tune the CPU power parameters.

Number of CPUs in a configuration
1
 
1
Socket
FCLGA1156
 
AM2+
Thermal design power (TDP)
73 Watt
 
95 Watt

Technologies and extensions

Technological solutions and additional instructions supported by Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500. You'll probably need this information if you require some particular technology.

Instruction set extensions
Intel® SSE4.2
 
no data
vPro
-
 
no data
Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST)
+
 
no data
Turbo Boost Technology
-
 
no data
Hyper-Threading Technology
+
 
no data
Idle States
+
 
no data
Demand Based Switching
-
 
no data
PAE
36 Bit
 
no data
FDI
+
 
no data

Security technologies

Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 technologies aimed at improving security, for example, by protecting against hacks.

TXT
-
 
no data
EDB
+
 
no data

Virtualization technologies

Virtual machine speed-up technologies supported by Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 are enumerated here.

AMD-V
-
 
+
VT-x
+
 
no data
EPT
+
 
no data

Memory specs

Types, maximum amount and channel quantity of RAM supported by Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500. Depending on the motherboards, higher memory frequencies may be supported.

Supported memory types
DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333
 
no data
Maximum memory size
16.38 GB
 
no data
Max memory channels
2
 
no data
Maximum memory bandwidth
21 GB/s
 
no data

Graphics specifications

General parameters of integrated GPUs, if any.

Integrated graphics card
Intel® HD Graphics for Previous Generation Intel® Processors
 
no data
Clear Video HD
+
 
no data

Graphics interfaces

Available interfaces and connections of Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 integrated GPUs.

Number of displays supported
2
 
no data

Peripherals

Specifications and connection of peripherals supported by Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500.

PCIe version
2.0
 
no data
PCI Express lanes
16
 
no data

Benchmark performance

Various benchmark results of the processors in comparison. Overall score is measured in points in 0-100 range, higher is better.

Overall score

This is our combined benchmark performance rating. We are regularly improving our combining algorithms, but if you find some perceived inconsistencies, feel free to speak up in comments section, we usually fix problems quickly.

i3-540 1.71 +1.2%
Phenom X4 9500 1.69

Passmark

Passmark CPU Mark is a widespread benchmark, consisting of 8 different types of workload, including integer and floating point math, extended instructions, compression, encryption and physics calculation. There is also one separate single-threaded scenario measuring single-core performance.

i3-540 1501 +1.4%
Phenom X4 9500 1480

Gaming performance

Let's see how good Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500 are for gaming compared with game system requirements. Remember that sometimes official requirements may reflect real performance inaccurately. Also, your gaming PC must have a decent enough GPU to perform well.

i3-540 satisfies the 79% minimum and 70% recommended requirements of all games known to us.

Minimum
79%
Recommended
70%
Minimum
79%
Recommended
70%

Phenom X4 9500 satisfies the 78% minimum and 70% recommended requirements of all games known to us.

Minimum
78%
Recommended
70%
Minimum
78%
Recommended
70%

Competitors of Core i3-540 from AMD

We believe that the nearest equivalent to Core i3-540 from AMD is Phenom II X3 710, which is nearly equal in speed and lower by 1 position in our rating.

Here are some closest AMD rivals to Core i3-540:

Competitors of Phenom X4 9500 from Intel

We believe that the nearest equivalent to Phenom X4 9500 from Intel is Pentium G870, which is faster by 1% and higher by 6 positions in our rating.

Here are some closest Intel rivals to Phenom X4 9500:

Advantages of Intel Core i3-540

1.2% better performance in benchmarks

Higher boost clock speed (3066 vs 2200 MHz)

Finer manufacturing process technology (32 vs 65 nm)

Lower power consumption (73W vs 95W), meaning that the rival with higher TDP might require a better cooler or other thermal solution.

Intel 64 (64-bit Intel CPU architecture. Almost identical to AMD64, except small and rarely used nuances)

Advantages of AMD Phenom X4 9500

Cheaper ($18 vs $29)

3DNow! (older SIMD instructions set used by AMD CPUs. Supercedes MMX, works with 64-bit registers)

AMD64 (AMD CPUs 64-bit architecture. Almost identical to Intel 64, save for some little and rarely used nuances)

Virtualization (Hardware acceleration of virtual machines)

So, which one is the better CPU?

Technical City couldn't decide between Intel Core i3-540 and AMD Phenom X4 9500. The differences in performance seem too small.

Should you still have questions on choice between Core i3-540 and Phenom X4 9500, ask them in Comments section, and we shall answer.

Cast your vote

Do you think we are right or mistaken in our choice? Vote by clicking "Like" button near your favourite CPU.

Intel Core i3-540
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