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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  • Zebo - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    It's all good Jep. I was mainly hoping you'd link me to a real live X2 over at xtreme which is why I persisted;) Reply
  • Minotar - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    All I can say is WOW!!! AMD keeps kicking more and more ass!!!!!! Reply
  • Jep4444 - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    why would i make this up? im just saying what i was told, for all i know that person made it up

    PS if anyone tries to comment and i dont respond within the next 3 days, its cause i wont be on, not cause im backing out of what i said
    Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    Frankey Jep I'm not buying it. It would cost AMD signifigantly more to make these dual 1MB L2 cores different at the core level. 8XX, 2XX, 1XX, and X2 are identical except for tracing in the pakageing and pins to make them function differently. Check out Tomshardware's recent CPU article about AMD manufacturing and you'll see what I'm talking. Reply
  • Jep4444 - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    im not trying to start a rumour, im very much pro AMD(and if you knew me, i generally dislike attention)

    all im saying is dont decided it'll be so fast until we see the real thing
    Reply
  • Son of a N00b - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    #107......rumor.....looking for attentin....engineering sample...of course rushed....BIOS........shhhh jep...........period

    :-P
    Reply
  • Filibuster - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    If you've actually read through this entire thing, congratulations! Reply
  • Jep4444 - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    #98 what i heard is from word of mouth, not from the site itself

    while it is true they don't OC very well, apparently the Athlon X2 was rushed and so its functionality wasn't as good as the Opteron 875

    from what i hear they don't multi-task nearly aswell as the Opteron does but single threaded performance should still be up to par

    the Athlon 64 has had changes made to the ALU amongst other places which would differentiate it from the Opteron aswell

    keep in mind i have no actual proof of this and i would love to be wrong but the guys at XS generally know what they're talking about
    Reply
  • UzairH - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    AT should run the doom 3 tests again, this time not using the timedemo but actual gameplay run-throughs. If Doom3 uses a seperate thread for physics then dual-core should definitely benefit. Reply
  • fitten - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    #102 ++ Reply

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