AMD Phenom II X2 555 and Athlon II X4 635 Performance

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AMD is launching a bevy of new processors today, targeted squarely at budget conscious consumers, looking to save a few bucks on the their next PC build. The new processors differ from previous offerings in their respective product families in terms of frequency, and of course their model names, but all are based on existing architectures and technology.

The new line-up of processors AMD is introducing today consists of the following products...

  • Phenom II X2 555  -  $99
  • Athlon II X4 635  -  $119
  • Athlon II X3 440  -  $84
  • Athlon II X2 255  -  $74
  • Phenom II X4 910e  -  $169

We decided to take the 3.2GHz Phenom II X2 555 and 2.9GHz Athlon II X4 635 for a spin and have their performance results posted on the pages ahead. Before we get to the numbers though, take a moment to peruse The Phenom II X2 555's and Athlon II X4 635's specifications in table below...


The AMD Phenom II X2 555 and Athlon II X4 635, Side By Side
 

AMD Phenom II X2 & Athlon II X4 Processors 
Specifications and Features

Phenom II X2

Athlon II X4

Model
Core Frequency
HyperTransport 3.0 Technology Link
Clock Multiplier
TDP (Thermal Design Power)
Number of CPU Cores
L1 Cache
L2 Cache
L3 Cache
Core Voltage (VID)
Manufacturing Process
Total Die Size
Packaging
Socket Compatibility
Memory Type
AMD PowerNow! Technology
MSRP
555
3.2 GHz
4000 GT/s
16x
80W
2
256KB (2 x 128K)
1MB (2 x 512KB)
6MB
0.85-1.425V
45nm
258mm²
AM3 938-pin
AM2+, AM3
DDR2, DDR3
3.0
$99
635
2.90 GHz
4000 GT/s
14.5x
95W
4
512KB (4x 128KB)
2MB (4 x 512KB)
0MB
0.825-1.425V
45nm
169mm²
AM3 938-pin
AM2+, AM3
DDR2, DDR3
3.0
$119


The hardcore AMD fans among you will notice that the two processors we've chosen to test here are the fastest of their respective product families--3.2GHz for the Phenom II X2 and 2.9GHz for the Athlon II X4. As we've mentioned though, not much else has changed over previous offerings than clock speed. As such, we won't detail the Phenom II and Athlon II architectures again here and will instead offer up this performance quick-take. If you would like a refresher, however, as to what makes the Phenom II and Athlon II tick, here are a couple of recent HotHardware articles with all of the pertinent details:

Those three articles cover all of the architectural information necessary to understand the technology at the heart of the new Phenom II X2 555 and Athlon II X4 635.

Article Index:

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The Core i5-750 still holds to be the best value as you get closer to the $200 mark, but for closer to $100, these two processors are great. AMD continues to give more value to budget minded consumers.

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I agree AMD is doing great in this area as well as in graphics. However I really think they need to speed up there top end R&D more as well.

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My phenomII x2 550 is a power house and i primarily use it for gaming and i have zero lag this chip is a great performer oc'd to 3.8ghz and she screams and for the price i could'nt be happier and i find no real advantage in the new 555 there still basicaly the same chip so i will keep gaming til she dont let me no more.

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Hey caos what is your normal operating temperature clocked at 3.8 ? I hear these 4.0 and almost 4 settings people run the AMD chips at and the Intel I7 920's and wonder what they normally operate at temperature wise. I also wonder what safe sustained temperatures for them would be and what kind of life line your looking at with them.

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30c' at idle and 50c' at full load with thermaltake air cooler.safe sustained temp would be somewhere in the 50's max safe temp is 65c' and ive had my chip since the very first day it came out and it has run perfect i expect another 3to4 years out of it at these clock settings but of course i will upgrade much before that.

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If AMD can't come up with a solution to take on Intel's i-series chips, AMD is gonna continue to have a rough time. Their chips run great for the budget builds but they need to turn out some powerhouse chips like they have done with their graphics line. They need to pour that Intel cash into some R&D so  that will spank some Intel chips butt.

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AMD costs less to build. You do not get the power of the INTEL chips, but the pocketbook bleeds far less once you're sitting there looking at your computer boot. There is nothing wrong with the performance I get from my AMD box. It's smooth as can be and is not processor limited at all. I could use a faster GPU in it though.

AMD is a viable solution in today's nasty economy and shrinking PC budgets. I shudder to think what PC prices would be like if they weren't here to tone down big INTEL a little.

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Yeah Realneil I agree, to many levels we are kind of on a hold it seems to me. On some cases (When Crysis came out) we see limitations to differing degrees. However; in all reality if the only thing having any major issues is 1 game. I know there are others, but the software with issues due to the available technology is really low. So even though Intel may be reviewed and stated as the performance king, what do you really gain from it 2 ms. I don't like loosing time but 2ms is that time even 30ms is nothing in all reality.

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My Athlon II X4 620 was fine until I got the battle Field 2 Bad company game .........It will max out 1of the cores and run another at 75%. Call of Duty World At War 2 will not go over 50% on most of the cores......................Time for a 965BE and another GTX285

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I'd like to point out that AMD generally cost a lot less as a platform. The motherboards are a lot cheaper than on the Intel side.

 

One question Marco. Why are all the intel chips using a 280 and the AMD chips just using IGP? Kinda throws off power consumption numbers and makes it hard to compare gaming numbers. I'm guessing you did not have access to the 280 for this round of testing.

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