Phenom II X2 vs. Athlon II X2
Although we clearly understand what reasons stand behind the launch of these two similar dual-core processor families, we are not quite sure that it made sense to launch them both at the same time. We will be able to address our concerns by comparing the performance of the new Phenom II X2 and Athlon II X2 processors working in identical platforms and at identical clock speeds of 3.0GHz.
Overall, Callisto core featuring L3 cache memory performed faster in most benchmarks. And it totally corresponds to the way the manufacturer positions these two new processor families one against the other: Phenom II X2 will cost about 7-10% more than Athlon II X2 working at the same frequency.
Moreover, it is very interesting that L3 cache memory in Phenom II X2 processor provides the most performance benefits in games and office applications. This is exactly where Phenom II X2 500 processors should be primarily used. As for media content processing, rendering and other computational tasks, L3 cache memory doesn’t do that much good there that is why cheaper Athlon II X2 CPUs can offer better price-to-performance ratio for these applications there.
Note that the average advantage Phenom II X2 processor has over its younger brother working at the same clock speed is not very convincing and makes only 5%. And it means that Athlon II X2 with at least 200MHz higher clock frequency will outperform a more expensive Phenom II X2 CPU. Therefore, AMD will have to maintain hierarchy among their new dual-core solutions and make sure that the clock speeds within Athlon II X2 processor family do not grow too fast.