AMD Athlon II X2 250 review

Seth Barton
9 Jul 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A quick and inexpensive processor with good power efficiency, but it's outdone by others in the range.


AMD seems to be producing a never-ending stream of new processors at the moment.

This month we've reviewed two new dual-core chips, the cheaper of which is this Athlon II X2 250. It's the first 45nm dual-core chip we've seen from AMD and so is cooler and more power-efficient than previous Athlon processors, with a 65W thermal design power (TDP).

It's also the first Athlon-branded chip to use the latest AM3 socket design, but it will also work in AM2+ motherboards. This means it supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, and has a fast 2GHz HyperTransport bus speed.

Its 3GHz clock speed should make it quicker than the 2.8GHz Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition. However, that processor has a large L3 cache, which gives cores quick access to a shared pool of information. The X2 250 only has separate 1MB L2 caches, one for each core.

Despite the differences in design, both this processor and the X2 7750 scored roughly the same in our benchmarks. The X2 250 is a little more expensive, but its lower power consumption and heat output make it a better choice, particularly for the power conscious or those interested in overclocking. That said, most users will be happier with the more expensive Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition.

Basic Specifications

Processor coreRegor
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketAM3
Processor process45nm
Processor number of corestwo
Processor supported instructionsMMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, Enhanced 3DNow!, NX bit, AMD64, Cool'n'Quiet, AMD-V
Processor multiplierx15
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Level 1 cache2x 128KB
Level 2 cache2x 1,024KB
Processor level 3 cachenone
Supported memory typeDDR2 667/800/1066, DDR3 800/1066/1333
Processor power rating (TDP)49W


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