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AMD Athlon II X2 250 review

Is this £50 PC processor a canny bargain or a false economy?

Our Verdict

Adequate in isolation, this dual-core chip looks poor value next to cheaper quad-core models.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • More than adequate for casual computing
  • Very affordable

Against

  • Not cheap enough compared to some quads
  • Won't satisfy demanding users

Is £50 enough to buy adequate PC processor performance? One way to find out is to take a punt on the AMD Athlon II X2 250. On paper, it looks promising enough thanks to specifications that would have qualified as high end just a few years ago.

For starters, you get two processor cores benefiting from AMD's latest architectural refinements. OK, the main details date back to 2003 and the original Athlon 64 processor. But with features like an integrated memory controller and the high speed HyperTransport interconnect, it's still thoroughly up to date. Even the clockspeed is healthy enough at 3GHz on the nose.

Of course, at this price point something has to give. Compared to AMD's more expensive dual-core chips, such as the Phenom II X2 550,that something is cache memory. The Athlon II X2 250 only has 1MB of L2 cache per core. There's no shared L3 memory at all.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Thermal Design Power65 W
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Product FamilyAthlon II X2
Clock Speed3 GHz
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-938
Brand NameAMD
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification74°C
L2 Cache2 MB
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Product Model250
Product NameAthlon II X2 Dual-Core 250 3GHz Desktop Processor
Product LineAthlon II X2
Input Voltage1.4 V DC
Manufacturer Part NumberADX250OCGMBOX
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.amd.com
Marketing Information

Do more in less time with amazing multi-core performance at a great price

Do more of the things you want to in less time and enhance your digital life with the multi-core performance and energy efficiency of AMD Athlon II processor-based desktop systems. Combined with superior ATI Radeon HD graphics technology, systems based on the AMD Athlon II processor deliver a vivid visual experience, superior multi-tasking, and exceptional digital media performance with next-generation energy efficiency.

Process Technology45 nm
Package Contents
  • Athlon II X2 Dual-Core 250 3GHz Desktop Processor
  • Installation Manual
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • AMD Processor Case Sticker
  • Heatsink/fan with Thermal Interface
Limited Warranty3 Year