The Phenom IIs in quad and three core variations are in the market for quite a while, and after months of waith AMD is ready to replace the old Athon X2 series, which latest incarnations are the 7750 and 7850. The 7750 and 7850 were the last of 65nm K10 derived cores that sticked with us for quote a while but it was the time to replace Kuma with 45nm Rana. We were happy with the performance of the old ones, but power-consumption of Kuma 65nm dual core parts was sky-high. Now it's time to check if that has changed with 45nm parts.
The Athlon X2 250 is actually Phenom II but crippled by disabling the L3 cache. It looks that Athlon X2 250 will have all four cores inside and you will have to try to find the way how to enable them. This time, instead of 512kB per core as you get with every other Phenom II, this little bugger has 1024kB on each of the two cores.
The TDP is rated of 65W, which is now at the same level compared to Intels E5, E7 and E8 series. The Phenom II 550 is quite the same as every Phenom II but with only two cores enabled, the VCore has been reduced to 1.3000V and the TDP also lowered to 80W. Phenom II 550 is based on Calisto, yet another harvested quad core where AMD dissabled two cores but it didn't deactivated 6MB of L3 cache. Both CPUs are suited for AM3 and AM2+ boards.
MSI 790GX-GD70 (provided by MSI)
MSI DKA790GX (provided by MSI)
ECS Elitegroup A790GXM-AD3 (provided by Elitegroup)
AMD Athlon X2 4850e (provided by AMD)
AMD Athlon X2 7750 (provided by AMD)
AMD Athlon X2 7850 (provided by AMD)
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II X2 550 (provided by AMD)
Intel E7200 (provided by K&M Elektronik)
Scythe Kabuto (provided by Scythe-Europe)
Kingston 2GB Kit PC2-9600U KHX1200D2K2/2G (provided by Kingston)
CL5-5-5-15 CR2T at 1.90V
MSI R4850-2D1G-OC (provided by MSI)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W (provided by PC Power & Cooling)
Western Digital WD4000KD (provided by Ditech)
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at)
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master)
Since we are still not fans of Vista, all tests are performed with XP SP3. As 64-bit software is still not very common, we stick with the 32-bit version.