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AMD Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 Processors Review



All in all, the new round of dual core processors from AMD proved themselves to be worthy contenders. In the scientific benchmarks they kept up with and passed the Intel E7200, and blew away the older generation of AMD dual core processors. With the ability to run DDR3, you have increased system bandwidth over other AMD dual cores running DDR2. Also since these are AM3 processors, you can run them in both DDR2 and DDR3-based motherboards for flexibility and an easy upgrade path. Factor in the costs of each one, and you have a great basis for a system. At launch, the AMD Athlon II X2 250 is supposed to drop at $87, and the Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition will run you $102. Compare that to the $150+ that the E7200 runs currently on pricebrabber.com - and $170 for the E8400 - and you see that for the price, the new DDR3-based AMD dual core processors are great contenders. A big thing I want to make sure gets mentioned is during testing, even when overclocked, the Phenom II X2 never rose above 35 degrees Celsius, and the Athlon II X2 stayed below 32 C, even on a stock AMD cooler.

When it came to overclocking, the Phenom II X2 550 BE was easier to push to higher numbers with its unlocked multiplier, reaching a 785MHz overclock - which is almost a 24% increase. The Athlon II X2 250 did not fair too poorly either, considering it is not a Black Edition and has the multiplier locked at a maximum x15. By pushing the voltage up to 1.45v, I was able to raise the bus speed of the Athlon II to 236MHz, for an overclock of 540MHz - or about an 18% overclock. When compared to the previous dual cores, the Athlon X2 7750 and Athlon X2 7850, these new DDR3-based dual cores are much stronger. However, do not think they are runners for the triple or quad core processors, because they do not come even close. If you are looking for great performing processors at an even greater price, you would be a fool not to consider the Phenom II X2 550 BE or the Athlon II X2 250. Their price to performance ratio is unmatched, and will not leave you hanging.



  • Competitively priced
  • Perform very well for their class
  • Phenom II X2 550 is a Black Edition
  • Support DDR2 and DDR3
  • 45nm manufacturing process
  • Run very cool



  • Average overclocking
OCC Silver

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing: Apophysis, WinRAR
  5. Testing: SPECviewperf 10, PCMark Vantage
  6. Testing: Sandra 2009 Professional
  7. Testing: ScienceMark, CineBench 10, HD Tune
  8. Testing: Far Cry 2
  9. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  10. Testing: BioShock
  11. Testing: Call of Duty: World at War
  12. Testing: Dead Space
  13. Testing: Fallout 3
  14. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  15. Testing: 3DMark06
  16. Testing: 3DMark Vantage Professional
  17. Conclusion
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