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AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE & Athlon II X4 635 & X3 440 Processors

Date: January 25, 2010
Products: Phenom II X2 555 BE & Athlon II X4 635 & X3 440 CPUs
Company: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Author: Jason Rabel

AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE & Athlon II X4 635 & X3 440 Processors

More Processors, Lower Prices:

Today AMD is releasing five new processors in their Phenom II & Athlon II lineups. Along with these new chips comes lower prices to existing products, most notably the Athlon II X4 630 (2.8 GHz) will replace the X4 620 (2.6 GHz) at the $99 retail price point! This means that AMD now has two quad core processors priced at $99 or less, and one quad core at only $119! Briefly, the new processors being released are as follows:

  • Phenom II X4 910e - $169 (2.6GHz / 65W TDP / 4 Cores)
  • Phenom II X2 555 BE - $99 (3.2GHz / 80W TDP / 2 Cores)
  • Athlon II X4 635 - $119 (2.9GHz / 95W TDP / 4 Cores)
  • Athlon II X3 440 - $84 (3.0GHz / 95W TDP / 3 Cores)
  • Athlon II X2 255 - $74 (3.1GHz / 65W TDP / 2 Cores)

The 910e is a full-featured Phenom II quad core processor, however instead of the usual 95W TDP, these energy efficient / low voltage processors are rated at 65W TDP! The rest of these new processors are 100 MHz faster models from existing CPUs. It may not sound like much at first, but when someone offers you a little more speed at the same price as the previous model was, who's complaining?

The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is AMD's fastest ever dual-core processor, with a TDP of only 80W. The 555 will be priced at $99, bumping down the cost of the 550 (which is currently at $99). Another noteworthy feature of the 555 is that it uses the latest C3 revision silicon, which has hardware C1E and *might* overclock better than the previous C2 chips (no spoilers this early in the article). Being a Black Edition processor means that the CPU multiplier is unlocked, making it much easier to overclock.

In this review we will be specifically testing and comparing the performance of the Athlon II X4 635, Athlon II X3 440, and Phenom II X2 555 BE. A quad core, triple core, and dual core... mmmm...


The two pictures below are enlarged views of the Phenom II core (left) and the Athlon II core (right). The Phenom II is most distinguishable by the typical 6MB of L3 cache (about the bottom third of the chip), whereas the Athlon II does not have any L3 cache.


As with previous Athlon II / Phenom II releases, a BIOS update will probably be needed to ensure complete compatibility and functionality with existing AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 motherboards. Most updates that support these chips have been out for a while, but it's always good to check for an update. Worst case scenario if you are trying to run a newer chip on an older AM2 / AM2+ board without an update is you will probably have to disable CnQ.


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