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.

Overclocking
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  • 7Enigma - Thursday, June 4, 2009 - link

    Hello Anand,

    In the article you seem to imply a tremendous difference in that 2meg to 3meg jump but your single data point doesn't show that conclusion.

    In your example there is a ~9% increase in performance when going from 2 to 3 megs, but there is also a 4.5% increase in clockspeed between the 2 chips. So at best (in this example) you have a 5% difference, which while significant, I would't say it was tremendous.

    Can you comment on whether you did any further tests with identical frequencies?
    Reply
  • FlameDeer - Thursday, June 4, 2009 - link

    Here are some corrections of AnandTech Bench.

    Refer to here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?b=25&a...">Adobe Photoshop CS4 results of few CPUs from AnandTech Bench

    1. AMD Athlon II X2 250 results missing a dot, becoming slower than Intel Atom 230.

    2. Better using "Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300" for E5300 as the name Intel printed on the CPU.

    3. AMD Athlon LE-1620 notes (platform side notes) should be same as AMD Athlon LE-1640.

    Thanks for adding more CPUs for comparison in AnandTech Bench, doing the full test in latest software is really time consuming especially for old CPUs. Take care.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    would have liked to see phenom (non II) compared, especially the low end x3s, users may be thinking of upgrading from those about now Reply
  • FlameDeer - Thursday, June 4, 2009 - link

    You can always conveniently & interactively comparing them here.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/">AnandTech Bench
    Reply
  • Elementalism - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    I never had much luck running Cool n Quiet when I used to run AMD processors. Even in games the CPU was put into a low clock mode running at half speed. Sounds like a buggy implementation to this day.

    And I cant say in my experience it was the Mother Boards fault either. I enabled Cool and Quiet in the bios and nothing happened. It wasnt until I installed the Cool n Quiet driver all hell broke loose.
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    However one has to keep in mind the bug comes from Redmond.
    The Win 5.x scheduler is a piece of garbage and it allways was. It is just that it shows with different symptoms:
    1 CPU core => crappy multi-tasking on heavy loads
    2+ CPU cores => unable to get a grasp that power management not a thing of the future ...

    A no, being from 2000 is no excuse, proper OS scheduler were there 30yrs ago.
    Had MS decided to do so, their Win 5.x schedules would be a proper one from the start.

    As for AMD, it is a price one pays for being ahead of the market.

    Remember, it took Intel 5yrs (2003-2008) to get comparable power management capabilities as AMD with Nehalem.
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    sorry for the spelling mess.. Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    YAY 3D max, also that E7500 is beating the crap out of everything but AMD's top of the line. That really solitifies in my mind that picking the E8400 6 months ago for my friends gaming computer was the right choice. Stupid AMD, I REALLY want them to be competitive again so Intel is FORCED to stop overcharging for EVERYTHING. Reply
  • mmpalmeira - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    Did you try to overclock the uncore of the AMD's CPUs? Reply
  • calyth - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    Just like that article that you linked to with the name CnQ bug, I don't believe that a hardware manufacturer creates a bug if the OS scheduler can't seem to do the sensible thing and not bounce threads around. Although various factors in the AMD chips make the problem worse, bouncing threads across different cores on an Intel chip also has a bit of impact, since L1 and the L2 shouldn't be shared across cores on the i7 platform.

    So please, stop calling it a bug. The bug lies in Windows, not the chips.
    Reply

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