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Phenom II X2 555 Vs. Pentium G6950: New Budget Dual-Core Titans

Clash Of The $100 Dual-Core Titans

On one hand, we have AMD's newest and fastest dual-core processor, the Phenom II X2 555. Armed with the architecture's full 6MB of L3 cache and a 3.2 GHz clock rate, this top-of-the-line dual-core CPU is even multiplier-unlocked, as indicated by its Black Edition designator. This means that overclocking the 555 is as easy as upping the multiplier in the BIOS, or by using AMD's Overdrive tool. No need to sweat the details; the Phenom II X2 555 can provide a notable increase in speed with some simple and quick experimentation.

The value-oriented Pentium G6950 is a stark contrast indeed. Intel has gone out of its way to avoid highlighting this new CPU, deliberately leaving it out of the launch documentation sent to press and "relegating" it to the Pentium family. It is the only Clarkdale-based processor that doesn't sport Hyper-Threading. It's clocked at a fairly conservative 2.8 GHz, and the CPU doesn't support Turbo Boost, like the Core i3s. It only has 3 MB of cache, too (1MB less than the Core i3 CPUs and half that of the Phenom II X2 555).

After reading those two comparisons, you're probably wondering why these CPUs are even mentioned on the same page. Well, they have two important things in common. First, they both cost about $100. And second, they both represent the newest dual-core models available from Intel and AMD.

Phenom II X2 555Pentium G6950
Codename:CallistoClarkdale
Process:45nm32nm
CPU Cores:22
Clock Speed:3.2 GHz2.8 GHz
Socket:AM2+/AM3LGA 1156
L1 Cache:2 x 128KB2 x 64KB
L2 Cache:2 x 512KB2 x 256KB
L3 Cache:6MB3MB
Thermal Envelope:80W73W

In fact, the Pentium G6950 is not necessarily the underdog you might have interpreted it to be. Based on the new Clarkdale architecture, it might demonstrate a clock-for-clock advantage over the older Phenom II. This also means that the G6950 enjoys the benefit of 32nm manufacturing, compared to the Phenom II's older 45nm technology. Consequently, we're expecting positive things from Intel with regard to overclocking.

Our original plan was to benchmark the Phenom II X2 555 and Pentium G6950 at stock and overclocked speeds in order to see how far we can push them, and to see how close we could get to a more expensive option: the Core i5-750. Yes, that was our plan. Of course, life is what happens while you're making other plans... 

  • footsoldier
    Kudos to AMD! Gogogo!
    Reply
  • jasont78
    good article we like to know ur human and can blow shit up
    Reply
  • alchemy69
    Bring on the battle of the fanboys. I'll get the popcorn.
    Reply
  • obarthelemy
    I see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?

    My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?
    Reply
  • burnley14
    obarthelemyI see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?It's pretty much a free way to get better performance, so I'm glad they have so many articles about it.
    Reply
  • That's great news for my next budget PC :D
    Reply
  • volks1470
    I'd say a decent majority do overclock, and this site isn't exactly for the general public. Not very people get what's going on here on Tom's.

    POLL!!
    Reply
  • blackjellognomes
    obarthelemyI see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?
    More like 50% and 5%, I think.
    Reply
  • melangex3
    If you read this article, you are probably in a higher percentage group than the general public!
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Good showing by AMD!
    Reply