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The Gigahertz Battle: How Do Today's CPUs Stack Up?

AMD Socket 940 (AM2)

Socket AM2 is AMD's current Athlon 64 platform, and although it is scheduled to be updated by the middle of 2007 (faster interface speed), it will not be changed any time soon. Socket AM2 carries 940 pins and supports a plethora of Sempron and Athlon processors, both single-core and dual-core models. While socket 939 was designed for DDR400 memory, socket AM2 runs DDR2 memory at up to DDR2-800 speeds.

Although Intel's Core 2 Duo processors are clearly faster than the Athlon 64 X2 family, Socket AM2 remains an interesting choice: AMD is currently working on 65-nm quad core processors, which are expected to become available by the middle of this year. Although the HyperTransport interface will be accelerated, we expect that the new quad cores will work in most AM2 motherboards after a simple BIOS update as long as the board supports high-end AMD processors (e.g. the Athlon 64 FX).