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.