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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom 8550 Triple-Core Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 271% 131%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 175% 72%
Halo: Reach 53% 4%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 310% 156%
FIFA 20 166% 66%
Borderlands 3 271% 131%
Cyberpunk 2077 215% 97%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 271% 131%
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 271% 131%
eFootball PES 2020 205% 90%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom 8550 Triple-Core 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 Phenom 8550 Triple-Core was released over a year more recently than the Core 2 Extreme, and so the Phenom 8550 Triple-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Core 2 Extreme has 1 more core than the Phenom 8550 Triple-Core. With 4 cores, the Core 2 Extreme is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core 2 Extreme has 1 more threads than the Phenom 8550 Triple-Core. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

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 Phenom 8550 Triple-Core and Core 2 Extreme 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 Core 2 Extreme has a 0.8 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 Core 2 Extreme 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 Core 2 Extreme has a 6656 KB bigger L2 cache than the Phenom 8550 Triple-Core, and although the Core 2 Extreme 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 Phenom 8550 Triple-Core has a 35 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Extreme (though they were created with the same size 65 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Phenom 8550 Triple-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).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameTolimanKentsfield
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+LGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date15 Aug 200809 Apr 2007
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores3vs4
CPU Threads3vs4
Clock Speed2.2 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP95 Wvs130 W
Lithography65 nmvs65 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature71°Cvs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size384 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs8192 KB
L3 Cache Size2 MBvs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
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Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewPhenom 8550 Triple-Core is a performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 3 Physical Cores (3 Logical), clocked at 2.2GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz is a performance Processor based on the 65nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.0GHz and 8MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 130W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.

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