|AMD Athlon II X2 250 AM3 Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Tuesday, 02 June 2009|
Page 3 of 11
Closer Look: Athlon II X2 250
As I mentioned in the intro, the Athlon II X2 250 is based on a brand new native dual core die AMD calls Regor. With a die size of 117.5 mm2 and a transistor count of only 234 million transistors, the X2 250 is considerably smaller than the Deneb-based Phenom II X2 550 that also launched at Computex. Of course, a good portion of the X2 550 die is dedicated to the 6MB of L3 cache that the X2 250 lacks.
To help make up for that lost cache, AMD added an additional 512 KB to each core of the X2 250, bringing the total L2 cache to 2MB. The associativity remains the same, however, matching AMD's other STARS processors. I should also mention that, despite CPU-Z's erroneous claim below that this is an AM2+ chip, it is indeed AM3; I imagine future versions of CPU-Z will correct this.
Of other significance is the 2000 MHz HT Link, up 200 MHz from AMD's previous dual core champion: the Athlon X2 7850. Not pictured in these screenshots, the X2 250's memory controller also runs at 2000 MHz and can be configured as either one 128-bit channel or two 64-bit channels. Officially, it only supports DDR3-1066, but if it's anything like AMD's other K10.5 processors, it should pair nicely with the DDR3-1600 in our test system. Also worth mentioning is that even though this is a mainstream processor, it does have full hardware virtualization support. For those looking ahead to Windows 7, this will be required to enable XP Mode.