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CPU Core Details

CPU Codename Agena Regor
MoBo Socket Socket AM2+ Socket AM2+ / AM3
Notebook CPU no no
Release Date 27 Mar 2008 02 Jun 2009
CPU Link GD Link GD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

{
CPU Cores 4 2
CPU Threads 4 -
Clock Speed 2.5 GHz 3 GHz
Turbo Frequency - -
Max TDP 125 W 65 W
Lithography 65 nm 45 nm
Bit Width 64 Bit -
Max Temperature 61°C -
Virtualization Technology no no

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size 512 KB 256 KB
L2 Cache Size 2048 KB 2048 KB
L3 Cache Size 2 MB -
Memory Types
Memory Channels 2 -
ECC Memory Support no no

CPU Graphics

Integrated Graphics no no

CPU Mini Review

Mini Review Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Black Edition is a performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture. <br/> <br/> It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.5GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache. <br/> Among its many features, <b>Virtualization</b> is activated and the processor has unlocked multiplier, meaning it can be overclocked easily. <br/> <br/> The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 125W. <br/> <br/> It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications. The Athlon II series is based on the AMD K10 architecture and derived from the Phenom II series. However, unlike its Phenom siblings, it does not contain any L3 Cache. There are two Athlon II dies: the dual-core Regor die with 1 MB L2 Cache per core and the four-core Propus with 512 KB per core. Regor is a native dual-core design with lower TDP and additional L2 to offset the removal of L3 cache. The three core Rana is derived from the Propus quad-core design, with one core disabled.

Gaming Performance Comparison

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Black Edition is massively better than the AMD Athlon II X2 250 when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

Both the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Black Edition and the Athlon II X2 250 were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

The 4 has 2 more cores than the Athlon II X2. { With 4 cores, the 4 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Phenom 9850 Quad-Core and Athlon II X2 are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Athlon II X2 has a 0.5 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the 4.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Phenom 9850 Quad-Core and the Athlon II X2 have the same L2 cache size, but the Athlon II X2 does not appear to have an L3 cache, so the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core definitely wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.