|AMD Athlon-II X2-260 Regor Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 07 June 2010|
Page 13 of 13
AMD Regor CPU Conclusion
The Athlon-II X2-260 ADX260OCK23GM performed very well against its predecessor, the Athlon-II X2-255. When overclocked to 3.6GHz the performance improved quite a bit, and even outpaced a stock X3-445 in many multi-threaded operations. When it comes to single-threaded applications, the X2-260 proves itself by outpacing the triple core X3-445 and showing measurable improved over the X2-255 as well. We proved months ago that the Athlon-II X2s can outperform similarly priced Intel Dual-Coreprocessors, and the trend continues. AMD has a vice grip on value for the low-end, entry-level processor market, and with its back to back releases of 100MHz increases, it continues to solidify that position.
The Athlon-II X2-260 withstood rigorous testing like a champ. I pushed the processor past the limits multiple times while trying to discover the best overclocking scenario in two different motherboards with two different chipsets. After literally days of stress testing to ensure stability, the processor still ran strong overclocked to 3.6GHz on one motherboard, and 4.0Ghz on another. Anyone who has ever desired to experiment with overclocking now has an entire line of very inexpensive processors to try out without spending a lot of money. All this stability is a testament to the high quality and increasingly high yield of Athlon-II processors.
AMD has made it possible for their Athlon-II line to run in AM2+ motherboards as well as AM3 motherboards. This allows the door to be wide open for the choice of motherboard with which the Athlon-II X2-260 will function. The motherboard we used to test the Athlon-II X2-260 for this article is the Biostar TA890GX HD AM3 motherboard using the 890GX chipset. We also tested the processor in the ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 motherboard using the 785G Chipset, but the results were not included in this article. The Athlon-II X2-260 functions extraodinarily well with either of these motherboards. Both boards maintain the entry-level expectations associated with the Athlon-II line and are under $100. I would expect that the X2-260 be used with a lower priced motherboard such as this in order to maintain the budget appeal of the processor. Even so, we saw conclusive evidence that the Athlon-II X2-260 paired with a budget level motherboard can still be used to play high end games if a high end GPU is used. Entry level users need not necessarily wait until they can afford all the of the highest end equipment to play the latest games. The Ahtlon-II X2-260 will play them if used in tandem with a high enough performing video card.
The Athlon-II X2-260, with its 45nm process and low TDP of 65W, is an excellent overclocker. This is common amongst Athlon-II processors, especially the higher yield ones that are being released now at faster clock speeds. The X2-260 is not a black edition processor, so we were working with a locked multiplier of x16. We could lower the multiplier through the BIOS, but not increase it. Even so, just using the bus speed and voltage, we were able to get the Athlon-II X2-260 to 3.6GHz cooled only with air using the Scythe Mugen II CPU cooler. (For more information on this cooler, check out Benchmark Review's 1st Quarter 2010 CPU Cooler Performance Review.) This represents nearly a 12.5% increase in the clock speed of the X2-260. We were able to reach a stable 4.0GHz as well when using the ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO, a 26% speed increase. A dual-core processor running at 4.0GHz is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, the entire Athlon-II line has proven to be very good at overclocking and represents a great starting point for any would-be enthusiast.
AMD's ADX260OCGMBOX retail kit is presently listed on NewEgg for $78.99, which means the Athlon-II X2-260 is priced to sell. Our price comparison tool also lists a few retailers. While enthusiasts and hard-core gamers will find that the X2-260 doesn't offer the L3 cache and the third and fourth cores that their high end games and programs need, any user working with a computer that is over a couple of years old will find that the Athlon-II X2-260 offers an amazing bang for the buck. Even without the L3 cache and additional cores offered by higher end, and therefore higher priced processors. The Athlon-II X2-260 still provides great performance for the everyday user. Expected to be priced at just $11 less than the Athlon-II X3-445, the X2-260 has proven to be worth the savings when used primarly for single and dual-thread only applications.
+ Excellent price/performance ratio
+ AM3/AM2+ compatibility
+ Great Overclocker
+ DDR3 support
+ Efficient 45nm process
+ Virtualization Support
- No notable flaws
Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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