Obscure CPUs: Sempron X2 198 and Athlon II X2 221
AMD introduced A-Series family of Accelerated Processing Units (APU) in June of last year. Those chips employed up to 4 tweaked Stars / K10 CPU cores, and required new socket: socket FM1. New feature of the APUs was integrated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), that could be also used to run highly parallel applications. Not all microprocessors for socket FM1 came with the integrated GPU, though. AMD produced several SKUs with disabled GPU, all of which used old Athlon II and Sempron branding. Three quad-core models, Athlon II X4 631, 641 and 651K, were sold as retail processors. Less known are dual-core Athlon II X2 221 and Sempron X2 198, which surfaced in CPU support lists in the middle of last year. However, unlike their quad-core counterparts, the dual-cores were not offered as boxed products, and it seemed that the chips were not shipped in OEM desktop PCs. As it turned out, these processors did ship in OEM computers, but only in one market, in China.
Sempron 198 was spotted in HP Pavilion p6-1152cx, Pavilion p6-1159cx, Pavilion p6-1230cx and p6-1231cx desktop computers. Athlon II 221 is shipped in HP Pavilion p6-1169cx and Pavilion p6-1226cn PCs. All computers were introduced in China in February - June time frame. The PCs use AAHD2-HY (Holly and Holly2) motherboards, and come with discrete graphics cards.
AMD Athlon II 221 and Sempron 198 are dual-core processors with 1 MB L2 cache. Despite different branding, the only difference between them is in the clock speed: the X2 221 operates at 2.8 GHz, whereas the Sempron is 300 MHz slower. Both models have support for AMD 64, Virtualization, and SIMD instructions up to SSE3. The chips integrate dual-channel memory controller, which supports DDR3 memory with 1600 MHz data rate. Athlon II 221 and Sempron 198 have 65 Watt TDP. Since the microprocessors do not integrate graphics unit, the systems with these chips require discrete graphics card to operate. Overall, AMD Athlon 221 and Sempron 198 should offer slightly higher performance than their predecessors, Athlon II 220 and Sempron 180, all thanks to tweaked microarchitecture and improved DDR3 memory controller. A summary of CPU specifications is provided below:
Related News (older articles):
Jan 10, 2012: Bits and pieces: new 65W APUs spotted in HP PCs
Aug 05, 2011: Athlon II and Sempron-branded Llano CPUs surface on Bisotar website