AM2: AMD Reinvents Itself

Athlon 64 X2: Now Somewhat Slower

For buyers of the Athlon 64 X2 model, the new platform is a bitter disappointment on three scores:

  • In order to attain the same performance as the old Socket 939 platform, you first have to somehow obtain DDR2-800 memory with low latency (CL4.0). This memory is still very rare - with a price tag to match.
  • Processors in the midrange price segment, up to $500, suffer in performance with the DDR2 memory interface.
  • Because the memory divider on the Athlon 64 X2 5000+, 4400+ and 4200+ CPUs doesn't result in an even value without remainder, the maximum memory clock speed will be DDR2-733 or DDR2-740, meaning that these processors lose performance.

One of the most popular CPUs is the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ with a design profile of 89 W, for $303. If you'd prefer the 35 W version with more overclocking potential, be prepared to shell out $364. The intermediate model at 65 W still costs a fairly steep $323.

Sempron 64: More Speed

Sempron users can at least be happy that they have more performance as these processors now use a dual-channel memory interface.

More money is still required for overclocking, or a quieter PC. The Sempron 64 3400+ in the 65 W version costs just $97. For the 35 watt version AMD asks you to part with quite a bit more money: $145.

Tom's Hardware News Team

Tom's Hardware's dedicated news crew consists of both freelancers and staff with decades of experience reporting on the latest developments in CPUs, GPUs, super computing, Raspberry Pis and more.