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Benchmarks: SiSoftware Sandra
Using SiSoftware Sandra 2009 to measure the available bandwidth showed that the Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 processors are quite efficient when compared to the Intel Pentium and Core 2 Duo processors. Both produced a memory bandwidth of roughly 10.5GB/s when paired with DDR3-1333 memory.
Although the Intel processors were using DDR2-1066 memory we have found more often than not that DDR2 memory clocked at this frequency delivers better results than DDR3 memory clocked at 1333MHz or less.
The SiSoftware Sandra 2009 processor arithmetic test showed very little difference in performance when comparing the dual-core processors. The Athlon II X2 250 delivered roughly the same performance as the Pentium E5400 and E6300 processors, while the Phenom II X2 550 was a fraction slower than the Core 2 Duo E7400.
The SiSoftware Sandra 2009 multi-media test went the way of the AMD processors with the Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 easily outperforming the Intel competition in the float test. They were no faster when looking at the "Int Buffered" performance however.
Finally the all important Sandra 2009 multi-core efficiency test which determines how much bandwidth is available core to core. The higher the number the more effective the multi-core processor will be, and we have seen the Core i7 processors producing some pretty radical bandwidths in this test.
The AMD processors appear to be quite wasteful here. Although the Phenom II is a massive improvement over the original Athlon and Phenom, it still has a long way to go. While the Athlon II X2 250 featured a core bandwidth of 3.12GB/s, the Phenom II X2 550 reached 4GB/s and the Intel processors started at 8GB/s.