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AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE AM3 Processor E-mail
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Written by Mathew Williams   
Tuesday, 02 June 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE AM3 Processor
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Phenom II X2 550 BE
Testing and Results
EVEREST Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark05 Benchmark Tests
Crysis Gaming
Devil May Cry 4 Gaming
SPECperfview CATIA Tests
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: Phenom II X2 550 BE

Although based on Deneb, AMD is referring to the new Phenom II X2 series as Callisto. Much like the AMD Athlon X2 7850, the X2 550 Black Edition is essentially a quad core chip with two of the four cores disabled. The performance and efficiency improvement over the 7850 comes from the use of AMD's 45nm SOI process. As a K10.5 chip, it benefits from several architectural changes as well, including more level 3 cache and an improved memory controller with DDR3 support.


A direct benefit of these architectural and manufacturing improvements are higher clock frequencies. The Phenom II X2 550 will hit the shelves at 3.1 GHz core speed and 2.0 GHz for the CPU-NB. Of course, as a Black Edition part, these frequencies can be easily increased by adjusting the multiplier via the BIOS or AMD's OverDrive 3.0 utility. Be sure to check out the Overclocking section later in the review for our take on this software.


The 45nm manufacturing process also provides more room for cache. Sources at AMD confirm that the Phenom II X2 550 will retain the full 6MB L3 Cache of the original Deneb die as shown in the CPU-Z screenshot above. The transistor count and die size remain the same as well, at 758 million transistors and a 258 mm2. With two cores disabled, however, AMD managed to reduce the TDP to just 80W.


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