Final Words

With the Athlon II X2 250 and the Phenom II X2 550 AMD has released two very competitive dual-core parts. They both perform and overclock well and are easily competitive with Intel's Pentium E6300.

Choosing between the two can be difficult; the Athlon II's lower price tag is nice but the large L3 cache of the Phenom II X2 550 is responsible for anywhere from a 3 - 20% increase in performance depending on the application.

I've really got no complaints here. AMD has done very well in both the pricing and execution of its first 45nm dual-core products. If anything, the impetus is on Intel to bring its 3MB L2 based Core 2 processors down to the sub-$100 price range. Sell the current Pentium E5xxx line as Celerons and move the Core 2 Duo E7xxx down to Pentium E-class pricing.

Intel seems intent on keeping the Pentium E parts as crippled as possible, so the scenario above may not happen. But if it does, you can thank AMD for keeping competition alive.

As for AMD. I was disappointed when the first Phenom bid farewell to the Athlon name, but with the introduction of the Athlon II I'm glad to see that AMD is doing the brand justice.

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  • vajm1234 - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    its really hard to believe ad a lil concern for upcoming c2d processors --- why that 6300 sample didnt overclock? wat was wrong 3.7 i xpct normally but i m amazed as its a 45nm.... not 90 or 65
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I'm getting image not found for this first image on the last page of the review:">
  • ShawnD1 - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I like how you included the overclockability at stock voltage. Since all of my computers use stock heatsinks, overclocking at stock voltage is pretty much all I can do.
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I used the standard heatsink off the Phenom II 940 on the X2 250, 1.4V, and hit 3.825GHz in Win7 64, idle temps around 33C, full load at 54C. I have retail CPUs coming with the new cost reduced heatsink to see what happens but any stock AM2+ heatsink from a Phenom/PhenomII works wonderfully for overclocking these two CPUs.
  • RamarC - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I know AMD has 'nudged' mobo makers to prevent this, but some still allow it. I'm curious why Anand didn't experiment with it.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    I figured those extra cores have defects.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    It's more of a timing issue than anything else. I spent a lot of last week working on Lynnfield and there's one more CPU review before this week is up. I am curious about it and will look into it shortly though :)

    Take care,
  • flipmode - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    Hi Anand. Great review, it is much appreciated. The first thing I looked for was a comparison to the Brisbane CPU. To me, a comparison to Brisbane and a comparison to Penryn are the two most interesting.

    Just thoughts.
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I'm guessing if Phenom II X2s use harvested cores, they'll eventually be a limited commodity. Still, the Athlon II X2 seems to have a lot of scaling room left so higher clocked Athlon II X2s will probably do just as well.

    I just flipped through the benchmarks this morning, but since I was one of those commenting on wanting to see the best of dual core Netburst processors like the 965EE for comparison, I wanted to thank you for deciding to include the 955EE.
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    As a follow-up is AMD still making 90nm dual cores or have they converted the fab to 45nm now? I believe the previous fastest dual core was still the 3.2GHz 90nm Athlon 64 X2 6400+. It's too bad it wasn't included here.

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