Today we are looking at the new AMD Athlon II x2 250 CPU. It is part of their new line of low power, low budget 45 nm CPUs. It’s bigger brother, the Phenom II x2 550 is the other in that line. In this review, though, we will be focusing on the Athlon II.
Our main focus is to see how this chip stands up to gaming purposes, since at CustomPCMAX, that is our main systems built. We want to see how it holds up to todays games and see if it is a viable solution to include in a moderately priced gaming system.
The Athlon II X2 250
Despite the use of the Athlon name, this chip is based off the Phenom II architecture. The old Athlon name was used to differentiate it from the x2 550 in that it uses a smaller cache system. The x2 550 gets 6 MB of L3 cache, where as the x2 250 has none. Where it makes up for it is more L2 cache than the x2 550. But, make no mistake, the lack of L3 cache is not a death sentence for this chip. It helps to keep the price of this chip below the $100 mark. In most cases, you can pick this chip up for $87 which is a great price for a AM3 chip with decent OCing potential. Even without OCing, this chip has a high clock rate (3.0 ghz). Because it is AM3 based, it will work in most AM2+ boards or (obviously) AM3 boards. This allows a nice upgrade path to those in an old AM2+ DDR2 based system. The onboard memory controllers in AM3 chips allows use of either DDR2 or DDR3 memory.
|Name||Athlon II X2 250|
|L2 Cache||2 x 1MB|
|Manufacturing Tech||45 nm|
|64 bit Support||Yes|
|Virtualization Technology Support||Yes|
|Voltage||0.85V – 1.425V|
|Thermal Design Power||65W|
The motherboard we are using to test this chip is the Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P
This is a decent mid level board from Gigabyte’s excellent “Ultra Durable” line. For all intents and purposes, this is a great starter board for just about any use. It lacks a few of the higher level features, like a second PCI-e slot for Crossfire-x. But at this price point, a dual GPU system is not usually what people are looking for.