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Socket M2 Cometh!

The Athlon 64 FX Overclocked to 3 GHz
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AMD is now planning the generational switch to DDR2 memory, too. High DDR2 clock speeds will be affordable soon and the switch will eventually make sense. The successor to Socket 939 is called Socket M2 and will work on 940 pins, similar to today's Opteron sockets. The Opteron 100 series will end up in the same sockets given that the chips are in any case almost identical to the Athlon 64. Future Opterons and the 200 and 800 series, meanwhile, will probably be designed for Socket F (1207 pins).

With Socket M2, the maximum current rises from 80 to 95 A; CPUs may well suffer from greater dissipation as a result. The revision F version of the Athlon 64 could bring further energy optimizations with it, so that a 2.6 GHz Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and a 3.0 GHz Athlon 64 FX-59 could be the top models at CeBIT 2006. Higher clock rates are not yet planned for these devices, because the 90 nm production process would raise heat dissipation levels.

Windsor, Orleans, Manila

AMD chose very apt code names for its chips for DDR2 memory and Socket M2: The royal category is called Windsor (dual core) and is more a play on the British royal family than the town near London. The new single-core chip is dubbed Orleans - a fitting allusion, because AMD sees a rosier future for single-core CPUs than Intel. It was the French city of Orléans, which until its liberation on May 8, 1429, was the last bastion against the dual cores - I'm mean the English. We wouldn't like to say what the significance of Manila is, which is also the code name for the future Sempron. It also sports a dual-channel memory interface and will be a Socket M2 processor.

Only the two Athlon models Windsor and Orleans feature Pacifica, the virtualization technology, and Presidio, AMD's answer to Platform-Level Trusted Computing.

New Processors In August

In August, new Sempron processors with more power and 64 bit capabilities (but still for Socket 754) are on the menu. Price cuts for other processor lines and the launch of another dual-core Athlon 64 X2 are also planned.

Intel, it so happens, is concentrating all its energies on the Pentium D processor. Although it runs at a mere 2.8 to 3.2 GHz, given the right applications it can pick up to some awesome speeds . The critical issue for AMD, however, are the very low prices Intel commands for the Pentium D.

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