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AMD Athlon II X2 250

The new Athlon II X2 series is based on the 'Regor' architecture and will eventually be available in models ranging from 2.70GHz through to 3.0GHz. This is another dual-core processor based on the 45nm design process.

AMD is targeting an even lower price bracket with this new series. The Athlon II X2 250 clocked at 3.0GHz is expected to be the fastest of the bunch and yet it's set to sell for just $87. This puts it head to head against the Pentium E5400 that costs $90.

Like the Phenom range, the Athlon II X2 250 is capable of operating on either AM2/AM2+ or AM3 motherboards and thus inherits the ability to use DDR2 or DDR3 memory. This could arguably be a way to provide users with a viable upgrade path a few years down the track, but for most the case will be about picking up the cheapest and best performing parts today.

The die size is extremely small on the Athlon II X2 250 measuring just 117.5 mm2, less than half the size of the Phenom II X2 550. The die is made up of 234 million transistors while the core voltage is still rated at between 0.85-1.425v. The TDP of 65 watts happens to be the same rating Intel has given their Pentium E5400 processor.

Whereas the Phenom II X2 550 features a 1MB L2 cache the Athlon II X2 250 scores a 2MB L2 cache (1MB per core), however the L3 cache is missing which contributes to the tiny die size of the new Athlon.