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Phenom II X2 550 O/C Performance And Efficiency

Guide: Overclocking AMD And Intel CPUs On A Budget
AMD Phenom II X2 Test Settings


Default Settings

Overclock Settings


AMD Phenom II X2 550 3.1 GHz
1MB L2+6MB L3 Cache, 1.288V

3.94 GHz (19.5x 202 MHz), 1.50V


DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.50V

DDR3-1616 CAS 6-6-5-18, 1.65V


MSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3, 790FX/SB750, BIOS 1.3 (04/27/2009)


Zotac GeForce GTX260²
576MHz GPU, 999 MHz Shader, 896MB GDDR3-2484

Hard Drive

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD30000HLFS
300 MB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB Cache


Integrated HD Audio


Integrated Gigabit LAN


Operating System

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1


GeForce 182.08 Desktop

A clock speed increase of 27% won’t surprise many experienced overclockers, but the Phenom II X2 550 started out at a fairly high 3.10 GHz. Its final clock rate of 3.94 GHz is fairly impressive for an AMD processor, even though the percent-gained is not. Does this increase translate directly into CPU performance?

CPU Arithmetic performance improved by 25%, while Multimedia extensions performance increased by 26%. The small difference between frequency improvement and performance improvement can likely be attributed to our use of a near-stock HT clock, as described on this guide’s previous page.

Our efforts to reduce memory timings using the processor’s highest memory ratio resulted in a tiny 8% gain in memory performance.

Average power consumption increased by 33%, mostly because of the increased CPU core voltage.

An average CPU performance increase of 26% at an average power increase of 33% yields an average efficiency decrease of around 5%. Overclockers looking for improved efficiency can instead choose a lower core voltage, as overclocking at stock voltage, though limited in performance gain, usually increases efficiency.

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