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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz Phenom II X4 X940 Black Edition
Cyberpunk 2077 93% 215%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 160% 325%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 87% 206%
FIFA 21 81% 195%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 119% 257%
Immortals: Fenyx Rising 108% 239%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 200% 390%
Watch Dogs Legion 160% 325%
Genshin Impact 46% 139%
Grand Theft Auto VI 218% 418%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom II X4 X940 Black Edition 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 i7-4550U 2-Core was released over a year more recently than the Phenom II X4, and so the Core i7-4550U 2-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Phenom II X4 has 2 more cores than the Core i7-4550U 2-Core. With 4 cores, the Phenom II X4 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

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 Core i7-4550U 2-Core and Phenom II X4 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 Phenom II X4 has a 0.9 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 Phenom II X4 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 Phenom II X4 has a 1536 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i7-4550U 2-Core, and although the Phenom II X4 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 Core i7-4550U 2-Core has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom II X4, and was created with a 23 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i7-4550U 2-Core will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i7-4550U 2-Core has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Phenom II X4, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 5000 Mobile, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellChamplain
MoBo SocketBGA 1168Socket S1g4
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date02 Jun 201304 Jan 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads4vs-
Clock Speed1.5 GHzvs2.4 GHz
Turbo Frequency3 GHzvs-
Max TDP15 Wvs45 W
Lithography22 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs-
Max Temperature100°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 5000 Mobileno
Base GPU Frequency200 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1100 MHzvs-
DirectX11.1vs-
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 ReviewCore i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz is a super energy efficient mobile processor based on the 22nm, Haswell microarchitecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 1.5GHz, which may go up to 3.0GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates quite powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 5000, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 200MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 15W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Phenom II X4 X940 Black Edition is a Quad core mobile CPU based on the Champlain Core and therefore related to the Athlon II X4 Desktop Series.
It features 4 cores, clocked 2.4GHz and the fastest supported memory is DDR3-1333.
Its performance is above the average and decent enough to run most games at high settings fluently, if paired with the appropriate GPU, obviously. However, the most demanding games might still require reduced settings to be played optimally.
It's worth mentioning this CPU has unlocked clock multiplier and therefore can be overclocked easily.