AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition review

Are you brave enough to take a chance on this tempting triple-core chip?

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Our Verdict

AMD's triples look good on paper, but somehow don't add up to the sum of their parts.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Triple-core (3 Core)

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  • A nice combo of cores and clocks
  • No performance weak spots


  • Doesn't excel in any area
  • Core unlocking can't be relied on

Feeling lucky today, punk? We reckon that's the question you need to ask yourself before taking a punt on the AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition.

Based on AMD's flagship Deneb processor die, the 720 has the full 6MB compliment of L3 cache. It also runs at a reasonable 2.8GHz frequency. As a Black Edition chip, it even has an unlocked CPU multiplier for easy overclocking. Not bad for a chip priced well under £100.

There is, however, something missing. AMD has disabled one of Deneb's four cores. The Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition is a tripler, as indicated by the 'X3' moniker. It's here that your luck will be tested because it's possible to unlock the hidden core in the BIOS of most AM3-socket motherboards.

When it comes to core unlocking, there are no guarantees. But with just one hidden core, your odds are at least better than the AMD Phenom II X3 550 BE, which has two hidden cores and double the chance of one being broken.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreTriple-core (3 Core)
Thermal Design Power95 W
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Product FamilyPhenom II X3
L3 Cache6 MB
Clock Speed2.80 GHz
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-941
Brand NameAMD
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification73°C
L2 Cache1.50 MB
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Product Model720
Product NamePhenom II X3 Tri-core 720 2.8GHz Processor
Product LinePhenom II X3
Input Voltage1.4 V DC
Manufacturer Part NumberHDZ720WFGIBOX
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Phenom II X3 is for high definition entertainment, gaming, creativity, and beyond. With Phenom II X3 processors as the foundation, you'll enjoy a new level of responsiveness and visual intensity.

Packaged Quantity1
Process Technology45 nm
Package Contents
  • Phenom II X3 Tri-core 720 2.8GHz Processor
  • Heatsink/fan with thermal interface
  • Installation Manual
  • AMD processor case sticker
  • Certificate of authenticity
Limited Warranty3 Year