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AM2: AMD Reinvents Itself

Features: Virtualization And TCPA

AMD has joined the pack in using Pacifica virtualization technology, equipping all Athlon 64 and FX CPUs with it. It is fully compatible with Intel's VT technology.

What's more, these CPUs have a new security feature that goes by the codename "Presidio". This refers to support for TCPA/Palladium, which Intel calls Vanderpool. AMD thus places itself in the software developers' camp, in an effort to stem the flow of pirate copies and ensure more security for sensitive applications in banking, the military sphere and public services.

AMD has yet to announce any more concrete information about either feature. Whether this is a deliberate or not is as of yet unclear. Sempron64 processors do not support either feature yet.

Prices And Extra Costs For Less Dissipation

The following table lists the prices for CPUs when purchasing 1,000 units at a time.

AM2 Prices per 1000 Units
X2 5000+$969
X2 4800+$645
X2 4600+$558
X2 4400+$470
X2 4200+$365
X2 4000+$328
X2 3800+$303
Athlon 64 3800+$290
Athlon 64 3500+$189
Athlon 64 3200+$138
Sempron 3600+$123
Sempron 3500+$109
Sempron 3400+$97
Sempron 3200+$87
Sempron 3000+$77
Sempron 2800+$67

AMD doesn't come cheap if you're looking for a processor with lower thermal dissipation: price differences of 3.9% to 33.1% are the order of the day. The pricing for the Sempron CPUs in the lower energy classes is clearly exaggerated. Soon, what appeared to be a bargain quickly gobbles up money, sometimes making it a third more expensive than the conventional model.

Cost Differences among Energy-Efficient Processors
CPU89 Watt65 WattExtra Cost
X2 4800+$645$6713.9%
X2 4600+$558$6017.2%
X2 4400+$470$5148.6%
X2 4200+$365$41712.5%
X2 4000+$328$3537.1%
X2 3800+$303$3236.2%
CPU89 Watt35 WattExtra Cost
X2 3800+$303$36416.8%
CPU62 Watt35 WattExtra Cost
Athlon 64 3500+$189$23118.2%
Sempron 3400+$97$14533.1%
Sempron 3200+$87$11926.9%
Sempron 3000+$77$10123.8%

AMD knows that CPUs with lower dissipation are very popular, and so they want to make money from them. You'll have to pay more if you want a reasonably priced CPU for overclocking.