PCSTATS Main Page Follow PCSTATS on Facebook PCSTATS RSS Feed PCSTATS Twitter Feed + Motherboards
+ Videocards
+ Memory
+ Beginners Guides
News & Advanced Search  Feedback?
[X]   Directory of
Guides & Reviews
The PCstats Forums

Beginners Guides
Weekly Newsletter
Archived Newsletters

 

Contact the Suite 66 Advertising Agency
Beginners Guide: How To Install / Remove an Intel Socket LGA2011 CPU

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: AMD's suggested retail price for the Phenom II X2 550 processor is a mere $103 USD ($110 CDN, £62 GBP), which positions it right between Intel's 2.6GHz E5300 processor and the Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz E7400 processor. This makes it both an inexpensive, easy upgrade for those looking to drop it into an existing socket AM2+ motherboard. The 3.1GHz clockspeed and potential overclocking headroom....
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Jun 05 2009   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition

Overclocking, Power Draw and Test Specs

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz

3.795 GHz

Multiplier / Bus Speed: 15.5x 200MHz

16.5x 230MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Like Intel's Extreme Edition processors, the AMD Black Edition CPUs are special because they ship from the fab multiplier unlocked. In other words, a Black Edition Phenom II X2 processor can be easily overclocked by increasing a value called the "CPU multiplier" from the stock setting, which in turn alters the equation that calculates overall speed of the processor.

The equation for the Phenom II X2 550 BE is (CPU Multiplier) X (Motherboard Bus Speed) = (Total CPU clock speed). Or mathematically; 15.5x 200MHz = 3.1GHz. So for example, altering the CPU multiplier to say 17x would result in this equation (17x 200MHz) and an overclocked CPU speed of = 3.4GHz. Get it?

Now in the light of the fantastic 1GHz overclock PCSTATS achieved with AMD's Phenom II X4 955 BE processor, I think it's safe to say we can push this dual-core Phenom II X2 550 BE at least that far... if not further. Overclockers ready? Start your engines.... Go!

First thing's first, I set the dual channel Corsair XMS3-1600C9 memory in the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard to run in DDR3-800 MHz mode. This way the memory won't hold the CPU back. A standard K8-series AVC Z7U7414001 heatsink was used for PCSTATS overclocking tests.

Overclocking is always luck of the draw, but with good components like the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard, a smooth 750W PC Power and Cooling power supply and high speed Corsair XMS3-1600C9 DDR3 memory, the system certainly is geared for a good race.

Overclocking by CPU Multiplier

Starting with the CPU multiplier first, which is set at 15.5x by default, PCSTATS quickly overclocked the Phenom II X2 550 BE processor by changing this to 16x, 17x, 18x and 18.5x without problem.

The Phenom II X2 550, just like its quad-core X4 955BE brother, overclocked nicely until a 19x multiplier was selected and the system promptly refused to POST.

Overclocking by Motherboard Bus Speed

Having reset the multiplier back to 15.5x, PCSTATS set about overclocking the dual-core Phenom II X2 chip by bus speed alone. To make a long story short, the Phenom II X2 would POST as high as 250MHz, but wouldn't load Windows Vista until this speed was dropped down to 240MHz. The end result was a bus speed overclock of 240MHz, yielding an overclocked result of 3.72GHz.

An overclock of 620MHz is good, but the Phenom II X2 can be pushed faster!

For PCSTATS' final round of overclocking tests the motherboard bus speed and CPU multiplier were reset, and we went about overclocking both towards the 240MHz mark and 18.5x level respectively. It wasn't long before the Gigabyte MA790FXT motherboard was back running at 230MHz, and the multiplier was up to 16.5x. To get there, PCSTATS had to increase voltages as follows: CPU vCore from 1.3V to 1.425V, DDR3 voltage up by 0.15V to 1.85V, and CPU NB up by 0.1V.

After a while trying out different combinations of bus speed and multiplier values, PCSTATS settled on overclock of 16.5x multiplier, 230MHz bus speed - a resulting CPU speed pushed to 3.795GHz - not bad at all!

Core-by-Core Power Consumption Tests

AMD's latest Phenom II CPUs are built on a 45nm manufacturing process, so we'll see if this, along with the re-architecting of the Phenom II's microprocessor design will reduce power draw compared to Intel's CPUs, as well as previous AMD chips.

As always, before any power measurements are taken the CPU power saving and clock speed throttling technologies like Cool 'n' Quiet, EIST (speedstep) and C1E power states are disabled. PCSTATS then set about stressing each core of the processor one by one, until all cores were loaded. For this we used Stress Prime (SP2004). The total system power consumption, measured in Watts, is monitored with an Extech Power Analyzer Datalogger (model 380803). The power meter is located between the main 120AC supply and the PC's power supply so it measures the entire computer system, the difference between CPU loaded and unloaded states is the key value to pay attention to.

Total System Idle Power Draw
Processor Total System Power Draw
Intel Pentium 4 540 150 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 165 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 168 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 117 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 123 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 131 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 144 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 120 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 163 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 127 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ 143 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ 156 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 168 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE 145 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 155 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 148 Watts

Idle power draw for the Phenom II X2 550 PC system is a reasonable 145W draw. While AMD has managed to curb some of its high power consumption numbers with the shift to 45nm processors, it's still a ways behind Intel who have had excellent idle power efficiency since the Core 2 Duo was launched.

Total System Stressed Power Draw - All Cores/Threads
Processor Total System Power Draw (All Cores)
Intel Pentium 4 540 223 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 (2 Core ) 240 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 (2 Core Load) 253 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2 Core Load) 156 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2 Core Load) 163 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (2 Core Load) 158 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 (8 Thread Load) 213 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 148 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 172 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 (2 Core Load) 196 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ (2 Core Load) 173 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (2 Core Load) 207 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 (2 Core Load) 235 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 (1 Core Load) 163 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 (2 Core Load) 181 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 (3 Core Load) 213 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4 Core Load) 236 Watts

The Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition was stressed in both single and dual-core conditions, simulating different types of loads. When compared to Intel's Core 2 Duo E8400, another 45nm dual-core processor, the Phenom II just can't compete in terms of power efficiency.

Prelude to Benchmarks

Over the following page we'll be running AMD's 3.1GHz Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition processor though PCSTATS standard set of gaming, productivity, and multi-threaded processor benchmarks. There are a wide variety of gaming and synthetic benchmarks here to illustrate what kind of performance boost users can expect from this dual-core socket AM3 AMD processor. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next several pages.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System #1 Reference System #2 Reference System #3
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition (45nm)
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (45nm)
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (45nm) Intel Core i7 920 (45nm) Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (45nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (45nm)
Socket: Socket AM3/AM2+ Socket AM3/AM2+ Socket LGA1366 Socket LGA775
Clock Speed: 16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz
14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz 20 x 133 MHz = 2.67 GHz 9 x 333 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
(AMD 790FX)
ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX)*
ASUS M3A78-T (AMD 790GX)
MSI X58 Platinum (X58 Express)

MSI X48 Platinum (X48 Express)

Videocard: ASUS ENGTS250 DK
(Geforce GTS250)
MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E
(Geforce 8800GTS)
ASUS ENGTS250 DK
(Geforce GTS 250)
MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E
(Geforce 8800GTS)
Memory:

2x2GB Corsair XMS3-1600C9 DDR3

2x1GB Patriot PDC32G1600LLK DDR3*
2x1GB Corsair Twin2X-8888C4D DDR2
3x2GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3

2x1GB Patriot PDC32G1600LLK DDR3

Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740

Optical Drive:

ASUS BC-1205PT-BD

Power Supply:

PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W

Heatsink:

Athlon64 K8 Reference Heatsink

Intel Reference 1366 Heatsink Intel Reference 775 Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 9.4
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 9.1
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 9.1.0.1012
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 9.0.0.1008
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Benchmarks:
System Benchmarks:
SYSmark 2007
PCMark Vantage
SiSoft Sandra 2009

Calculation B/M:
Super Pi 1.5
wPrime 2.0
ScienceMark 2.3
WinRAR 3.8
Bibble 5

Rendering B/M:
Cinebench R10
POV-Ray 3.7
SPECviewPerf 10

Gaming B/M:
3DMark06
3DMark Vantage
Cyrsis
FEAR

< Previous Page © 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition
 Pg 1.  AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  AMD Overdrive 3.0 - Black Edition Memory Profiles
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking, Power Draw and Test Specs
 Pg 4.  CPU System Benchmarks: SYSMark 2007, PCMark Vantage
 Pg 5.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Processor/Memory
 Pg 6.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi, wPrime2.0, ScienceMark2, WinRAR
 Pg 7.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
 Pg 8.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray, 3.7, SPECviewPerf 10
 Pg 9.  CPU Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 10.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis, FEAR
 Pg 11.  Best Dual-Core Chip for $110?

SEARCH PCSTATS 
Use the power of Google to search all of PCSTATS and the PCSTATS Forums. Tell us what you think of this new feature - FEEDBACK?
   10 / 21 / 2014 | 4:59PM
Hardware Sections 


google
 
PCSTATS Network Features Information About Us Contact
FrostyTech
TransmetaZone
BeginnersPC
PCSTATS Newsletter
PCSTATS Forums
ShoppingList Assistance
Tech Glossary
Technology WebSite Listings
PermaLink News
Archived News
Submit News (Review RSS Feed)
Site Map
PCstats Wallpaper
About Us
Employment
Privacy Policy
Advertise on PCSTATS

How's Our Driving?
© Copyright 1999-2014 www.pcstats.com All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of Use.