The Lineup - Athlon 64 X2

As we mentioned earlier, the Athlon 64 X2 isn't going to be officially launched until June.  While AMD is purposefully vague in their discussion of availability, it looks like their plans are for system builders and OEMs to offer Athlon 64 X2 systems in Q3 of this year and for retail availability to be in Q4 of this year. 

For AMD, the Athlon 64 4000+ was the last single core Athlon 64 that they will make; all model numbers after 4000+ will be dual core Athlon 64 X2s.  Starting at 4200+ and going up to 4800+, the Athlon 64 X2 continues AMD's trend of basing model numbers on clock speeds and cache sizes.  You can see the breakdown below:

For starters, the Athlon 64 X2's clock speeds aren't that low compared to the current single-core Athlon 64s.  The top of the line Athlon 64 FX-55 runs at 2.6GHz, only 200MHz faster than the Athlon 64 X2 4800+.  This is in stark contrast to Intel's desktop dual core offerings, which run between 2.8 and 3.2GHz, a full 600MHz drop from their fastest single core CPU. 

The other major difference between AMD and Intel's dual core desktop approach is in pricing. Let's take a look at the cost per core of the Athlon 64 X2:

We see that AMD's desktop pricing is much more reasonable than their dual core Opteron pricing, but then again, also remember that their desktop CPUs won't be in volume until later this year.  The second core never costs more than the first one, which is honestly the only way you can ensure good desktop adoption rates. 

That being said, let's compare it to Intel's pricing:

Because Intel is only shipping lower clocked dual core CPUs, Intel's chip prices are much lower - not to mention that Intel's manufacturing abilities far exceed those of AMD.  Percentage-wise, the Pentium D 3.2 commands a high premium for that second core, but the prices are overall quite reasonable.  The fastest Pentium D is still cheaper than the slowest Athlon 64 X2 4200+, and the slowest Pentium D is ridiculously cheap compared to AMD's dual core offerings. 

AMD's answer to Intel's aggressive pricing is two-fold. Eventually, all of AMD's CPUs will be dual core, and thus, prices will be driven back down to single core levels. But for now, AMD feels confident enough that their single core CPUs are fast enough to compete with Intel's low clocked Pentium Ds.  We put that exact thinking to the test in Part II of our Intel dual core preview and concluded that it really depends on what type of a user you are. If you tend to multitask a lot or run a lot of multithreaded applications, then a slower Intel dual core is what you need; otherwise, a faster single core AMD is your best bet. 

The Lineup - Opteron x75 Dual Core Server Performance: AMD’s Opteron x75 Series
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  • patrick0 - Sunday, April 24, 2005 - link

    If they would have the dual-core in stores in June, I would buy one, but this isn't the case, so I'll buy San-Diego 4000+.
    I'll upgrade when quad-core will be out.
    Reply
  • Barneyk - Sunday, April 24, 2005 - link

    oh, you cant edit your comments...

    Anyway, im really excited about this development of computing, not having good multitasking ability feels so outdated, i've been crying about that for years, and fianlly its here...
    Well, almost, and its probably another year before i can afford it, but still... :)
    Reply
  • Barneyk - Sunday, April 24, 2005 - link

    test Reply
  • jvarszegi - Sunday, April 24, 2005 - link

    Again, the lack of technical superiority of AT's "experts" is obvious. On SQL Server, you're not supposed to prepend stored-procedure names with "sp_", as it introduces a performance penalty. This is basic knowledge. Some have remarked before on how their .NET "experts" code like, um, transplanted ColdFusion "experts". :) Reply
  • Visual - Sunday, April 24, 2005 - link

    a minor error: on page 12 right above the graph it says "The Dual Opteron 252's lead by 19% over the closest Xeon, which was the Quad Xeon 3.6 GHz 667MHz FSB" but the slowest xeon is the 3.3 GHz one. Reply
  • mechBgon - Saturday, April 23, 2005 - link

    Zebo... hehe, yep :D Reply
  • justly - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    An outstanding article about AMDs duel core, just what I would expect from Anandtech (to bad I had to go to techreport.com to read it). Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    Hahaha makes Chetta's drool: Looks just like you MECH.:) Reply
  • MACKTEK - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    I appreciate the article but am disappointed by the misleading title... AMD's dual core Opteron & Athlon 64 X2 - Server/Desktop Performance Preview. The 939 is not equal to 940. Also, the article clearly says
    COMPARE ATHLON 64 X2... right on the 1st page. In fact the article does not admit to "not having a real x2" until page 13. I love reading anandtech's articles and visit frequently... Perhaps a better title would have been... Preview of Athlon64 X2 using an Opteron CPU.
    Reply
  • mechBgon - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/mechBgon/drool.jpg



    #82 says "and corporate PCs could work perfectly and more with a K5-K6/P2-P3."

    Ahhh, this again. You obviously haven't worked with a fully-armed installation of McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.0i. *evil grin* Hope you enjoyed your stay in 1999... welcome to 2005.

    ;)
    Reply

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