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AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: AMD is kicking off 2010 by introducing new low-power versions of some its most popular processors and bumping up the speed of a select few Phenom II and Athlon II CPUs. Today PCSTATS is looking at the 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition processor.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Jan 26 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition

AMD is kicking off 2010 by introducing new low-power versions of some its most popular processors and bumping up the speed of a select few Phenom II and Athlon II CPUs. Today PCSTATS is looking at the 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition processor, which amongst other things has the distinction of being AMD's fastest socket AM3 dual-core processor ever.

The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is based on the PII X2 550 BE, AMD's first dual-core Phenom II chip. The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition uses the 'Callisto' core architecture, which is nothing more than a code name for the quad-core "Deneb" design with two cores disabled. The two active cores have full access to 6MB of L3 cache, as well as 512KB of L2 cache per core, for a total of 1MB. The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition has also received an extra 100MHz core clockspeed boost, bringing it up to 3.2GHz.

Fast dual core processors are ideal for general-purpose computing. The majority of desktop applications still don't make full use of more than two cores at a time, and processors with extra cores often can't reach the same high clockspeeds that a dual-core processor is capable of. Gamers especially have a lot to be happy about, dual-core processors still have the best price-to-performance ratios when it comes to intesive gaming.

Performance enthusiasts who want even more core clockspeed will be doubly happy with the AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition, since it has limitless overclocking potential. AMD's "Black Edition" processors have an unlocked multiplier, and this chip in particular uses AMD's latest revision C3 silicon, which could make for even greater overclocking potential. The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition also enjoys a relatively low 80W TDP, so there should be a fair amount of headroom for this chip to go beyond its 3.2GHz native clockspeed.

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Processor
Tech Specs

Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
Clock: 3.2 GHz
L1: 2x 128KB
L2: 2x 512KB
L3: 6MB
Multiplier: 16x
Package: 938-pin
Socket: AM3 (AM2+)
organic mPGA
Core: 45nm SOI
Transistor: 758M
Power: 80W
Vcore: 0.875-1.40V
Cost: $99 USD

AMDs Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition supports full hardware virtualization, allowing a single core to run a simulated Windows XP environment inside of Windows 7. The revision C3 silicon also adds support for hardware C1E states, which means the processor can dynamically disable cores to cut down idle power draw. We'll be taking a look at the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition's power draw a little later on in this review.

Like all of AMD's socket AM3 processors, the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is compatible with socket AM3 motherboards and socket AM2+ processors as well. This is thanks to both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers being integrated on the processor itself. The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition can run DDR2 memory at speeds up to 1066MHz, and DDR3 memory at speeds up to 1333MHz. That translates into 37.3GB/s bandwidth for DDR3-based systems and 33.1GB/s bandwidth for legacy DDR2 platforms. The processor's HyperTransport 3.0 link continues to operates at 4.0GHz, and its on-board 128-bit wide memory controller runs at 2GHz, the same as its predecessor.

The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is compatible with both socket AM2+ and socket AM3 motherboards, and will support AMD's forthcoming 880G and 890G chipsets.

The physical specifications of the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition are the same as that of the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition, which shares the same architectural base. Both processors have 758 million transistors packed into a 258mm2 die, a feat possible thanks to AMD's 45nm die shrink. AMD's suggested retail price for the Phenom II X2 555 processor is $99 USD ($105 CDN, £62 GBP), which means most of its competition comes from AMD's own processors, like the $125 AMD Athlon II X4 635. The new Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition takes over where the previous 550 model left off. Both processors have the same $99 price point, so really what you're seeing here is a free speed bump. Having a $99 processor with 6MB of L3 cache and an unlocked multiplier isn't too shabby either!

Core-by-Core CPU Power Draw Tests

CPU power draw (expressed in Watts) can be easily measured by way of total system power if you have a simple electrical power meter. To determine how much juice the CPU is consuming, we only need to compare power draw with the processor resting at idle, and with each core at 100% CPU utilization. For an accurate measurement it's necessary to disable power saving features and CPU clock speed throttling technologies like Cool 'n' Quiet, EIST (speedstep) and C1E power states, etc. To stress each core in the processor individually, PCSTATS uses a free program called Stress Prime SP2004).

Stress Prime SP2004 is a multi-threaded application so several iterations can be run concurrently to escalate load on each CPU-core to 100%utilization (designated CPU-0, CPU-1, CPU-2, etc. using the 'Small FFTs - stress CPU' test). The power draw for the entire PC system is measured with an Extech Power Analyzer Datalogger (model 380803). The Extech Power Analyzer is located between the main 120AC supply and the PC's power supply. An inexpensive device like the P3 Kill-A-Watt power meter will do the trick too. Given that motherboards vary across these test systems this is not a pure measure of CPU power draw alone, but rather a measurement of the total computer system power draw, which we can compare for each specific platforms between the CPU idle and CPU stressed states.

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 i5 750 124 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 Athlon II X2 240e 122 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 130 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 127 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 145 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 143 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 155 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e 131 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 148 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 125W TDP 150 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 140TDP 154 Watts

The dual-core 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X2 555 draws about the same amount of power as the Intel Core i7 920, which has four cores capable of eight threads. A little disappointing, but AMD has always had problems matching Intel's power draw numbers.

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 i5 750 (4 Core Load) 169 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 Athlon II X2 240e (2 Core Load) 153 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (2 Core Load) 163 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 (3 Core Load) 183 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 (4 Core Load) 195 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 (4 Core Load) 211Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition (4 Core Load) 181 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition (1 Core Load) 168 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition (2 Core Load) 187 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 (3 Core Load) 213 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (4 Core Load) 176 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4 Core Load) 236 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 125W TDP
(4 Core Load)
243 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 - 140W TDP
(4 Core Load)
264 Watts

Under full load the 3.2GHz Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition system draws 187 Watts. Now, let's see just how fast this revision C3 silicon will go, overclocking is next!

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
 Pg 1.  — AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  Hitting 4 GHz! - CPU Overclocking Report
 Pg 3.  CPU System Benchmarks: SYSMark 2007
 Pg 4.  CPU System Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 5.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: Sandra 2009
 Pg 6.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: Sandra 2009 Memory
 Pg 7.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi, wPrime2.0
 Pg 8.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: ScienceMark2.3, WinRAR
 Pg 9.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
 Pg 10.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray 3.7
 Pg 11.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: SPECviewPerf 10
 Pg 12.  CPU Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 13.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 14.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 15.  The Best Dual-Core Chip for $99?

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