Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Athlon II X3 460 Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 281% 131%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 182% 72%
Halo: Reach 57% 4%
Cyberpunk 2077 223% 97%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 320% 156%
Borderlands 3 281% 131%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 256% 116%
Detroit: Become Human 226% 98%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 314% 152%
FIFA 20 172% 66%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz is massively better than the AMD Athlon II X3 460 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 Athlon II X3 was released over three years more recently than the Core 2 Extreme, and so the Athlon II X3 is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core 2 Extreme when running the latest games.

The Core 2 Extreme has 1 more core than the Athlon II X3. 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.

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 Athlon II X3 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 Athlon II X3 has a 0.4 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 enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core 2 Extreme.

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 Athlon II X3, but neither of the CPUs have L3 caches, so the Core 2 Extreme wins out in this area with its larger L2 cache.

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 Athlon II X3 has a 35 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Extreme, and was created with a 20 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Athlon II X3 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 CodenameRanaKentsfield
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+LGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date03 May 201109 Apr 2007
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores3vs4
CPU Threads-vs4
Clock Speed3.4 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP95 Wvs130 W
Lithography45 nmvs65 nm
Bit Width-vs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size384 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs8192 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphicsno
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
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 ReviewThe Athlon II series is based on the AMD K10 architecture and derived from the Phenom II series. However, unlike its Phenom siblings, it does not contain any L3 Cache. There are two Athlon II dies: the dual-core Regor die with 1 MB L2 Cache per core and the four-core Propus with 512 KB per core. Regor is a native dual-core design with lower TDP and additional L2 to offset the removal of L3 cache. The three core Rana is derived from the Propus quad-core design, with one core disabled.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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