AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE & Athlon II X2 250

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TEST RESULTS

Both our Intel and AMD systems consist of a moderately priced motherboard with DDR3 memory support, 2x2GB of DDR3 memory in dual channel set to the same speed (when possible) of 1333 MHz with timings of 9-9-9-24. A GeForce 9400GT graphics card, WD VelociRaptor and OEM Seasonic power supply round out the test configuration. Both AMD chips were tested at stock settings and with the core voltage decreased to the minimum stable level (from 1.275V to 1.175V for the Athlon II X2, and from 1.325V to 1.1875V for the Phenom II X2).


CPU-Z screenshot: Athlon II X2 250: minimum undervolt at stock speed.


CPU-Z screenshot: Phenom II X2 550: minimum undervolt at stock speed.


Test Results: General Power Consumption
Test State
C2D E7200
Athlon II X2 250
Phenom II X2 550
X3 720 BE
UV*
Stock
UV**
Stock
Idle
57W
60W
65W
76W
VC-1
Playback
67W
76W
84W
83W
85W
97W
CPU Load
88W
108W
122W
126W
129W
153W
*Athlon II X2 250 undervolted from 1.325V to 1.175V.
**Phenom II X2 550 undervolted from 1.275V to 1.1875V.

The power consumption of both chips was much higher than that of our Core 2 Duo E7200 sample. The Athlon II X2 came close when idle (3W more) but during video playback, the system power draw was 17W higher and at full CPU load, the difference doubled. The Phenom II X2 was worse off as expected, idling 8W higher, drawing 18W more during video playback and 41W more at full load. From these results one may think that either Intel is very conservative with their power ratings or AMD is very loose.

At load, the triple core X3 720 used 24W more than the X2 550. Taking into consideration the power supply's 80% (more or less) efficiency, that's a difference of about 19W DC. The X3 720 is a 95W part, so if you take that as a baseline, 80W for the X2 550 is not too far off. The X2 250 however, used about 25W DC less, which would put it closer to 70W than 65W. By AMD standards, the E7200 is a 45W chip.

The Athlon II undervolted very well, all the way from 1.325V to 1.175V, while the Phenom II only managed 1.1875V down from 1.275V. Undervolted, the X2 250 used 12-14W less power when stressed, enough to put it in the 60W range (compared to the 95W X3 720), though it was still far off from energy-sipping E7200. Undervolting the X2 550 wasn't worth the effort as the difference in power draw was barely measurable.



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