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Can AMD'S 65 nm Core Fight Back?

Athlon 64 X2 Model Overview

The following table includes all current Athlon 64 X2 processor models that are available for AMD's Socket AM2. Be sure to check the model number (right column) if you want to purchase a specific processor.

ModelFrequencyL2 CacheCoreMultiplierVoltageTDPReleasedModel Number
Athlon 64 X2 3600+2.0 GHz2 x 256 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO3600IAA4CU
Athlon 64 X2 3800+2.0 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA3800IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 3800+2.0 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO3800IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 3800+2.0 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.025-1.075 V35 WMay 2006ADD3800IAA5CU & ADD3800IAT5CU
Athlon 64 X2 4000+2.0 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA4000IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4000+2.0 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx101.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO4000IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4000+2.1 GHz2 x 512 kBBrisbane 65 nmx10.51.25V-1.35V65 WDec 2006ADO4000IAA5DD
Athlon 64 X2 4200+2.2 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx111.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA4200IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 4200+2.2 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx111.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO4200IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 4400+2.2 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx111.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA4400IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4400+2.2 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx111.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO4400IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4400+2.3 GHz2 x 512 kBBrisbane 65 nmx11.51.25V-1.35V65 WDec 2006ADO4400IAA5DD
Athlon 64 X2 4600+2.4 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx121.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA4600IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 4600+2.4 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx121.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO4600IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 4800+2.4 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx121.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA4800IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4800+2.4 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx121.20-1.25 V65 WMay 2006ADO4800IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 4800+2.5 GHz2 x 512 kBBrisbane 65 nmx12.51.25V-1.35V65 WDec 2006ADO4800IAA5DD
Athlon 64 X2 5000+2.6 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx131.30-1.35 V89 WMay 2006ADA5000IAA5CS & ADA5000IAA5CU
Athlon 64 X2 5000+2.6 GHz2 x 512 kBBrisbane 65 nmx131.25V-1.35V65 WDec 2006ADO5000IAA5DD
Athlon 64 X2 5200+2.6 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx131.30-1.35 V89 WSept 2006ADA5200IAA6CS
Athlon 64 X2 5400+2.8 GHz2 x 512 kBWindsor 90 nmx141.30-1.35 V89 WDec 2006ADA5400IAA5CZ
Athlon 64 X2 5600+2.8 GHz2 x 1024 kBWindsor 90 nmx141.30-1.35 V89 WDec 2006ADA5600IAA6CZ

Model Research: Wikipedia Better Than Amd.com

AMD's 65 nm processors aren't really available yet, so when we researched them, we decided to start off with Google. We looked for the part number of our Athlon 64 X2 5000+ sample, and only found a link to AMD's forum instead of a model table. The fourth link led us to Wikipedia, and the Athlon 64 summary page proved to be more helpful than the information we found on AMD's website.

Overclocking The Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane

Of course we wanted to see if the new 65 nm processor offers a better overclocking margin than the 90 nm chips. To make a long story short: as of early January, they do not. We were able to run our test sample with a 3.0 GHz clock speed and increased 231 MHz HyperTransport base clock. Having started at 2.6 GHz, this equals a clock speed increase of approximately 15%. Compared to Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, which users report running at far beyond the 3.0 GHz mark, we had expected a bit more - especially since the fastest version of the 90 nm Windsor core (Athlon 64 FX-74) also runs at 3.0 GHz.

We didn't spend a lot of time tweaking and fine-tuning the system, and there might be some room for a few megahertz of additional clock speed, but since this is AMD's first-generation 65 nm processor we expect upcoming products and steppings to do clearly better. From an overclocking point of view, it doesn't make a lot of sense to upgrade to the latest processor type right away anyhow, unless you're specifically looking to save some energy. As our test results show, Brisbane is clearly more efficient than Windsor.