AMD Athlon II and Phenom II X2 Processors Debut
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: AMD's new processors performed well in all of our tests. The new Athlon II X2 250 looks to be a solid performer for a dual-core chip, especially considering its relatively low price point. It's hard to believe that almost three years go to the week, the Athlon 64 FX-62 launched at 2.8GHz, for almost $1000 and the $87 Athlon II X2 250 is a more powerful chip.
The 3.1GHz Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition is AMD's fastest dual-core processor released to date and the X3 705e and 905e performed in line with expectations, in light of their clock speeds. All of the chips exhibited relatively low-power characteristics as well.
These new additions to AMD's desktop processor line-up featured here will be available immediately. Their specific part numbers and the expected price breakdown is as follows:
- $102 - Phenom II X2 550 BE (3.1GHz / 80W) - OPN: HDZ550WFK2DGI
- $87 - Athlon II X2 250 (3.0GHz / 65W) - OPN: ADX250OCK23GQ
- $195 - Phenom II X4 905e (2.5GHz / 65W) - OPN: HD905EOCK4DGI
- $125 - Phenom II X3 705e (2.5GHz / 65W) - OPN: HD705EOCK3DGI
From a power user's perspective, these new processors may not elicit much excitement. But budget conscious consumers, overclockers, and silent or HTCP aficionados should take notice. The energy efficient Phenom II X3 705e and X4 905e are well suited to many low power or low noise applications, as is the Athlon II X2 250 for that matter. Though you'll pay a premium for the energy efficiency ratings with the Phenom IIs, the Athlon II X2 250 and Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition represent excellent values overall. Couple an Athlon II X2 250 with a decent 790GX based motherboard and 4GB of DDR2 RAM, for exmaple, and you've the basis of a relatively high performing entry-level system for about $230. That's a minimal amount of coin for a decent amount of performance.