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

The next Computex tradeshow is just around the corner and we are getting ready for numerous launches of new hot products. As we all know, Intel is going to please compute enthusiasts with the official launch of their new high-speed Core i7-975 Extreme Edition CPU on one of the first days of the show. AMD is also expected to make a few announcements; however, they won’t be targeting the high-end segment, but will launch new mainstream solutions instead.  As we have already reported in our news, AMD will be releasing new dual-core CPUs based on the cores made with the latest 45nm process. In other words, the Deneb core that has received a lot of great feedback will arrive in a new incarnation giving birth to new highly promising processor families known as Callisto and Regor.

Unfortunately, despite the significance of this launch, there is too little info about these extremely interesting AMD processors available at this time in the Web. We decided to fill in this gap and reveal some preliminary info about the new 45nm AMD processors with two computational cores. Especially, since we expect them to become real sales hits right at launch. Due to more than affordable price of only around $100, these CPUs will finally become the long awaited worthy rivals to Intel Core 2 Duo. So far, only triple-core AMD Phenom II X3 could be considered an alternative to the undefeated Intel champion.

Actually, this short report was possible only due to the fact that we managed to get hold of two top models in the new processor families: Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250. You can see their key specifications from the CPU-Z screenshots below:

The major difference between Phenom II X2 and Athlon II X2 is evidently in the configuration of their cache-memory system. Phenom II X2 has a 6MB L3 cache typical of most Phenom II processors. Athlon II X2 has no L3 cache, but instead – what a surprise! - boasts twice as large L2 cache.

By the way, despite the tricky physical structure of the L2 cache memory in Athlon II X2 processors, it has the same associativity as the Phenom II X2 L2 cache.

Phenom II X2 550

Athlon II X2 250

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