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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  • haplo602 - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    can you include linux kernel compilation tests, or something similar or larger (gcc, libqt, X) ??? would help me much more than gaming and 3d rendering benches :-)
  • virvan - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    Anand, I BEG you to include some kind of compilation tests in the "bench" application; some of us are actually programmers that spend more time building than watching or transcoding movies ;)
    A Linux Kernel bench + some kind of MS Visual C++ benchmark would be extremely welcome.
    Btw, when could we expect the old CPUs to be added to Bench? I am specifically waiting for Athlon XP and P3/P4's.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I really do want to include a software build test, the question is what is the simplest to setup and run, most representative and most repeatable test I can run?

    I'd prefer something under Windows because it means one less OS/image change (which matters if you're trying to run something on ~70 different configurations) but I'm open to all suggestions.

    Thoughts? Feel free to take this conversation offline over email if you'd like to help.

    Take care,
  • virvan - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    You could try building a CGAL demo program ("> It is cross platform and big enough (but not too big).
    I am really a Linux programmer but I could try to help if you are not a programmer. I haven't booted Windows for years but, hey, we have virtual machines nowadays :)
  • adiposity - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    A fairly decent size build that I do is Qt under VS 2008.

    Instructions are here:">

    Download source here:">

    You can use VS2008 Express.

  • haplo602 - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    I have no experience with VS 2008. Can it be manualy set to certain amount of compile threads ? make has a command line parameter for this, so you can even test a single threaded compile and scale the number of threads used to exploit the drop off limit (where more threads do not yield better performance).

    qt is quite huge, but that's ok, since a compilation of a few minutes (linux kernel) won't tell much in the future, when processing power increases.
  • smitty3268 - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    Yes, you can add the /MP parameter in Visual Studio.
  • adiposity - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    From the page I linked before:

    Add these line to the .pro file for release version:


  • smitty3268 - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    All of Qt might be a bit large for a simple benchmark.

    Something like Paint.NET or NDepend might make a good C# test.
  • adiposity - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link


    nmake sub-src

    It only compiles qt libraries, not the tools or examples.

    It really does not take very long (less than 10 minutes on a Core2Duo 2.4).


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