|AMD Phenom-II X2-560 BE CPU HDZ560WFGMBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 21 September 2010|
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AMD Phenom-II X2-560BE Callisto Processor Review
With the release of the Deneb based quad core processors known as the Phenom II series, AMD started to grab a nice share of the mid-range and higher market share by offering quad-core processors for quite a bit less than the competition. Back in June of 2009, Benchmark Reviews was there when AMD started a new trend with Deneb based processors that didn't quite meet the rigorous standards of testing on all four cores. Rather than tossing the processors that had two or three cores that still functioned perfectly, AMD decided to turn off the bad cores and release them as much less expensive dual and triple-core processors. The dual-core versions got a couple of extra perks as well. For one, the price was enticing at $99. For another, the processors were Black Editions, meaning they had unlocked multipliers for easier overclocking. The first black edition dual-core Phenom-II to hit the market was the X2-550BE. Just over a year later and 200MHz faster, AMD is releasing the Phenom-II X2-560BE at 3.3GHz with the same promise, to give would-be overclockers and enthusiasts the opportunity to toy around without spending a bundle. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is bringing you the details on the X2-560BE (model HDZ560WFGMBOX). The new dual-core's unlocked multiplier will be pushed to the limit and we will see how it measures up to the competition.
According to the August Steam Hardware Survey, more than half of gamers use a dual-core processor in their systems. While quad-core processing is on the rise, it still represents only about a quarter of gamers. That's may have something to do with the fact that still few programs, including games, utilize more than one or two cores effectively. The Phenom-II X2-560BE is the latest release of Phenom-II series dual-core processors made specifically for overclocking. The Black Edition versions of AMD CPUs are released with unlocked multipliers so that overclocking is as easy as a couple of quick changes to the BIOS.
The release of Black Edition CPUs from AMD and Extreme Edition CPUs from Intel marks a change in the way the CPU manufacturers have done business for the last little while. Originally, most processors came without a lock on the multiplier and PC enthusiasts were left to their own designs when it came to overclocking. Soon, both chip manufacturers became to clamp down on the freedoms provided to their customers and overclocking became something that took a lot of work. Motherboard manufacturers have often tried to provided users ways of getting around the overclock killers put on CPUs. This once meant that changing jumper settings on motherboard in order to increase bus speeds or voltage was the way to do things. Now, even without unlocked CPUs, many motherboard manufactures have begun putting new features into their BIOS that allow for easy increases in bus speed and core CPU voltage.
The Black Edition CPUs with unlocked multipliers make overclocking easier than ever. All a user needs to do to overclock their system now is enter the bios and change the standard multiplier on their CPU and increase it. To find the best possible stable overclock, some tweaking of the CPU voltage and bus speeds may be necessary, but for a quick and effective overclock, nothing beats the ease of a Black Edition (or Extreme Edition in the case of Intel CPUs) processor.
At Benchmark Reviews, we have already seen the incredible ability of Athlon-II and Phenom-II AMD processors to overclock. The CPUs are frequently able to reach clock speeds in excess of 20% faster than their stock speeds. With a black edition CPU like the Phenom-II X2-560BE, we expect no less and the CPU will be pushed to the limit in order to find its breaking point.
With each new release of a Phenom-II processor, AMD reasserts its control on the mid-level market segment by providing another great quality CPU at an affordable price. The release of the Phenom-II X2-560BE HDZ560WFGMBOX dual-core processor is no different. At 3.3GHz, the X2-560BE becomes the fastest Phenom-II dual-core processor on the market. Similar to previous Phenom-II dual-core entrants to the market, the Phenom-II X2-560BE will have a relatively low MSRP, this time of $105. Benchmark Reviews as been there for the release of many of the most recent Athlon-II and Phenom-II processors and we wouldn't miss the chance to bring you the test results on the latest Phenom-II Black Edition dual-core release. In this article, Benchmark Reviews compares the Phenom-II X2-560BE HDZ560WFGMBOX dual-core to a variety of other processors in a comparable price range, as well as some more expensive dual and quad-core processors.
With the August Steam Hardware Survey showing us that less than 6% of gamers are using DX11 compatible systems, we are taking this opportunity to bring you a review focused at discovering the performance increase, if any, of upgrading just one piece of equipment, your CPU. Many of the review articles I read make me feel as though the performance they offer are just too far out of reach because it will require nearly a complete system overhaul in order to see the increased levels of performance with the new equipment. Using a high-end DX10 video card in this review can help show the performance increase available for those of us who may need to upgrade just one piece at a time.
The Phenom-II X2-560BE HDZ560WFGMBOX in this review will be tested against many of the Athlon-II line of processors including the X4-640, X4-645 and two other Athlon-II processors, the X2-260 and the X3-445. This will give us a good overview of the scaling of dual, triple, and quad-core members of the Athlon-II family when compared to the Phenom-II dual-cores with an L3 cache. Results from recent tests of a couple of Intel Core i5 processors, the 655K and the 680, will be included to show performance across the platforms available. Finally, a Core i7-920 will round out our review, giving us a view of the relative high-end of quad core processing.
Let's move in and take a look at some of the features and specifications of the Phenom-II X2-560BE HDZ560WFGMBOX AM3 dual-core processor.
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices
Product Name: Phenom-II X2-560BE
Model Number: HDZ560WFGMBOX (Retail) HDZ560WFK2DGM (OEM)
Price As Tested: $105.99 at NewEgg
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Advanced Micro Devices.