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On May 17, 2006, AMD announced its first 64 bit dual-core laptop processors: the Turion 64 X2 series. Thanks to its two processor cores, these CPUs are capable of concurrently running several applications. This means that they substantially reduce input delays when the user switches tasks, and enable the development of much more powerful laptops. Even better, power consumption is apparently not much higher than that of its predecessor, the Turion 64.
Unlike its competitor, AMD's Turion 64 X2 mobile platform is open: the chipset and WLAN components are not made exclusively by AMD, but come from renowned manufacturers like ATI, nVidia, Airgo, Atheros and Broadcom. However, this won't be the case for long, as ATI is reported to be joining the AMD fold shortly...
Be that as it may, ATI offers two chipset variants for Turion 64 X2 laptop processors: the Radeon Xpress 1100 and 1150. nVidia's portfolio features a combination of nForce Go 430 MCP and GeForce Go 6150 IGP for these CPUs. Both chipsets have integrated graphics cores.
In terms of communication and distribution policy, AMD follows a number of new, surprising strategies for its latest mobile processor. For the first time, the AMD Notebook Portal provides information to potential Turion 64 X2 customers about available laptops based on the mobile CPU.
This is a smart, totally new approach. Instead of sending test machines to editorial offices, AMD searched for 50 qualified laptop testers on the Internet (see "AMD Provides Bloggers with Laptops"). The bloggers were given the opportunity to gain a first impression of the performance and stamina of the devices even before the media representatives. Their opinions, impressions, and results were published in a blog specially created for the purpose.
Of course, a blog won't answer the question of whether AMD's Turion 64 X2 with ATI's Radeon Xpress 1100 chipset can challenge the Intel technology based on Core Duo and the 945GM chipset, in terms of battery life and performance. Therefore, in keeping with tradition, THG decided to compare old with new, pitting the old Turion 64 against the new Turion 64 X2 and the competition.
AMD has also introduced yet another new feature, now selling its Turion 64 X2 laptops in its "own" web shop. The shop is expected to go online at http://shop.amd.com/US-EN/ in August.