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



To test how the new Phenom II X2 550 BE and Athlon II X2 250 processors perform, I will put them through a series of benchmarks that test scientific and video processing capabilities. To give you a comparison of how they compare to mainstream processors being used currently. I will pit the results up against some other processors - including dual core, triple core, and quad core CPUs. This will give you an idea where these two processors sit among others in their class, and beyond. All hardware used was set to its native operating speeds, timings, and voltages to keep any variables from interfering with the scores. Because of time constraints and hardware availability, the video testing phase will have some of the newer chips included, however not all of them will be shown.



Testing Setup AMD AM2+ CPU:


Testing Setup AMD AM3 CPU:

  • Processor(s): AMD Phenom II X4 955, AMD Phenom II X2 550, AMD Athlon II X2 250
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P
  • Memory: OCZ Spec Ops Urban Elite DDR3 2 x 2GB 1600MHz @ 1333MHz 7-7-7-20
  • Video Card : NVIDIA GTX 260 (216)
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.11 750GB SATA w/32MB Cache
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On 8x DVD+/-RW
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition


Testing Setup Core2 CPU's:


Comparison CPUs:


Overclocked Settings Phenom II X2:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 @ 3.885GHz (210x18.5) 1.425v
  • System Memory: OCZ Spec Ops Urban Elite DDR3 @ 1400MHz (7-7-7-20)

Since this is a Black Edition processor, you have more freedom when it comes to overclocking. To get the best speed, I had to push the voltage to the maximum 1.425 volts and set the multiplier to the highest stable, which was x18.5. After that I started pushing the bus speed 1MHz at a time, until I could no longer boot stably - which only amounted to 10MHz. Since the stock speed is 3.1GHz, this gives us a total 785MHz overclock for the Phenom II X2 550 BE. In turn, the memory did rise to 1400MHz, keeping the stock timings of 7-7-7-20.




Overclocked Settings Athlon II X2:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon II X2 250 @ 3.540GHz (236x15) 1.45v
  • System Memory: OCZ Spec Ops Urban Elite DDR3 @ 1574MHz (8-8-8-24)

Unlike the Phenom II X2, the Athlon II X2 is not a Black Edition processor, so the multiplier is locked at maximum of x15. Without the ability to push the multiplier any higher, I had to rely of the bus speed. So, I slowly started raising it 5MHz at a time and booting into the OS until I could no longer stably run a benchmark. Once I hit the wall at 240MHz, I backed it off 1MHz at a time until I became stable again which was at 236MHz, for a total overclock of 540MHz (since the stock speed is 3.0GHz). The result of having to increase the bus speed pushed the memory to 1547MHz, so I had to loosen the timings a bit to 8-8-8-24 to keep the system stable during testing. 






  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SPECviewperf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02
  7. CineBench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.55
  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. BioShock
  4. Call of Duty: World at War
  5. Dead Space 
  6. Fallout 3 
  7. Left 4 Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage

  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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