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Testbed and Methods

We described Athlon II X2 250u processor with 25 W TDP as an intermediate solution filling in the gap between energy-efficient low-performance Intel Atom and relatively fast, but much “hotter” Intel Celeron processors. Intel has no solutions to offering this pretty large market segment that is why ultra-economical AMD CPUs have every chance of taking it over. This would be the prospective for our upcoming test session of the Athlon II X2 250u platform.

Keeping in mind that Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G mainboard we are going to use is based on AMD 785G chipset with pretty decent 3D performance and broad multimedia functionality, we decided to also include a few alternative mini-ITX platforms based on integrated Nvidia chipsets. We are going to test Intel Atom processor as part of NVIDIA ION platform, and Intel Celeron was installed into Zotac 9300-ITX WiFi mainboard on GeForce 9300 chipset.

Since Athlon II X2 250u is a dual-core processor, we chose dual-core Celeron and Atom modifications for our today’s tests. As a result, the complete list of hardware and software components for our test session included the following:

  • CPUs:
    • Athlon II X2 250u (Regor, 1.6 GHz, 2 x 1024 KB L2);
    • Intel Atom 330 (Diamondville, 1.6 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2);
    • Intel Celeron E3400 (Wolfdale, 2.6 GHz, 1 MB L2).
  • Mainboards:
    • Point of View ION-MB330 (Intel Atom 330, NVIDIA GeForce 9300 mGPU, DDR2 SDRAM);
    • Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G (Socket AM3, AMD 785G + AMD SB710, DDR3 SDRAM);
    • Zotac 9300-ITX WiFi (LGA775, NVIDIA GeForce 9300 mGPU, DDR2 SDRAM).
  • Memory:
    • 2 x 2 GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15;
    • 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 9-9-9-24.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD3000HLFS.
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
  • Drivers:
    • ATI Catalyst 10.3 Display Driver;
    • NVIDIA ION Chipset Driver 15.51;
    • NVIDIA GeForce/ION Driver 197.13.

We used integrated graphics cores of the mainboard chipsets in all tests.

Specifications: Ultra Energy-Efficient Athlon II vs. Atom and Celeron

We would like to offer you formal specifications of participating energy-efficient dual-core processors side by side, as it will help you to better interpret the obtained results:

 
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