AMD Phenom II X2 550
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AMD Phenom II X3 720
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom II X2 550 Phenom II X3 720
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 344% 201%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 344% 201%
PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds 228% 123%
FIFA 19 123% 51%
Assassins Creed: Odyssey 265% 148%
Forza Horizon 4 287% 162%
Battlefield V 265% 148%
Monster Hunter World 315% 182%
Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 265% 148%
NBA 2K19 220% 117%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Phenom II X3 720 is massively better than the AMD Phenom II X2 550 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.

The Phenom II X2 was released less than a year after the Phenom II X3, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Phenom II X3 has 1 more core than the Phenom II X2. However, while the Phenom II X3 will probably perform better than the Phenom II X2, both CPUs are likely to struggle with the latest games, and will almost certainly bottleneck high-end graphics cards. This should not affect games that are a few years old, and even the latest games should at least be playable on very low settings, as only recently have game developers begun to harness the power of multiple cores.

The Phenom II X3 has 1 more threads than the Phenom II X2. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

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 II X2 and Phenom II X3 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 Phenom II X2 has a 0.3 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 Phenom II X3.

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 II X3 has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Phenom II X2, and the two CPUs have the same L3 cache size, so the Phenom II X3 wins out in this area with its larger L2 cache.

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.

The Phenom II X2 has a 15 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom II X3 (though they were created with the same size 45 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Phenom II X2 will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCallistoHeka
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+ / AM3Socket AM2+ / AM3
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date04 Nov 200901 Sep 2009
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs3
CPU Threads2vs3
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs2.8 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP80 Wvs95 W
Lithography45 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature70°Cvs73°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs384 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs1536 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs6 MB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
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PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewPhenom II X2 550 is a middle-class processor based on the 45nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.1GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 80W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Phenom II X3 720 is a performance processor based on the 45nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 3 Physical Cores (3 Logical), clocked at 2.8GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.