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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  • KillerBob - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    Griswold,

    MT Test 1: PEE 1 - X2 0 Very likely scenario
    MT Test 2: PEE 2 - X2 0 Likely scenario
    MT Test 3: PEE 2 - X2 1 So-so scenario
    MT Test 4: PEE 3 - X2 1 Likely scenario
    MT Test 5: PEE 3 - X2 2 Likely scenario
    MT Test 6: PEE 3 - X2 3 Unlikely scenario

    I play a lot of games, but I never have things in the background, as a matter of fact I don't want to have anyting in the background, except for perhaps a big NewsPro download.
    Reply
  • MrEMan - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    102,

    Artificial stupidity run rampant?

    or

    Natural deselection (survival of the twitest)?
    Reply
  • Quanticles - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    I vote that 90% of the people on here have no idea what they're talking about... lol Reply
  • erwos - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    "It's odd that some picture game developers immediately supporting the PhysX chip as soon as it's available, but think they'll drag their feet to take advantage of another whole CPU core at their disposal."

    It's basically about the implementation differences of the two. You can be relatively certain that PhysX is going to be shipping their chips/cards with libraries that allow game devs to just speed up certain processing with special function calls (ie, calculate_particle_spread()). Multi-threading requires that you design your application from the very start to take advantage of it (mostly - I would wager splitting off the background music to its own thread is reasonably straightforward).

    Game logic doesn't always lend itself to multi-threading, either. If I shoot my gun, I want to hear the sound next. I don't want it to be thrown at the sound thread, where it may or may not execute next. Threading introduces latency, in other words, unless you so tightly bind your threads together that you may as well not use multi-threading.

    -Erwos
    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    KillerBob, so that makes you a brilliant illiterate, since it's not what the benchmarks say. :) Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    #83 Get a clue, a single core 3500+ is faster than the quivelant Opteron at the same speed. Why? Unregistered memory and tigher memory timinings. ECC memory comes with a 2-4% performance penalty but the big difference comes with the command speed, 2T for the Opteron and 1T 3500+, the AMD64 thrives on lower lower latancies that can make as big as an 10% performance difference and that is BEFORE we start to even think about raising the FSB speed which makes a significant difference to overall system perfomance. 15% is in no way unrealistic with a mild overclock and lower latancies, if you don't believe me then email Anand and ask him. Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    Jep4444 (#89) What do you mean X2's "arent nearly as good as the dual core Opterons"??

    Comming from XS I suspect don't OC very well?

    But they are the same cores as the Opterons are. and with ram should run signifigantly faster.

    Or do you mean buggy? That's easily attibuted to BIOS, IE none released yet so no working BIOS.

    How about a link please.
    Reply
  • Umbra55 - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    The benchmark overviews show "dual opteron 252 (2.6 GHz)" all over the review. I suppose this is single 252 instead of dual?

    Please correct accordingly
    Reply
  • emboss - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    #40 (Doormat):
    You're forgetting that the size of a dual-core is (roughly) double that of a single-core. So, assuming 1000 cores/wafer, 70% defect rate per core, then a single-core wafer (with an ASP of $500) will net AMD 700*500 = $350K.

    The same wafer with dual-cores will produce (approximately) 1000/2 * (0.7)^2 = 245 CPUs. So, to get the same amount of cash per wafer, AMD needs an ASP of $1429, or the second core costing 85% more than the first core.

    Of course, it's not quite this simple ("bad" chips running OK at lower speeds, etc) but it's not entirely unreasonable to see dual-cores with prices ~3 times that of a single core at the same speed grade. Intel is almost dumping (in the economic sense of the word) dual-core chips.
    Reply
  • saratoga - Friday, April 22, 2005 - link

    "saratoga, waah? There are similarities between C# and C++. While agree it's java'ish as well, it definitely has similarties to c++. One could say c# shaes similarities with c/c/c++.

    read away:

    http://www.mastercsharp.com/article.aspx?ArticleID...

    http://www.csharphelp.com/archives/archive138.html

    "

    I'm guessing you're not a c++ programmer ;)

    Anyway, yes they both use c syntax, however thats pretty much irrelevent given that Java also uses c syntax (as does Managed c++ which incidently IS the .net language directly based on c++) and I've never heard anyone call it related to c++. Beyond (some) syntax heritage and the fact that they're both OO langauges, they're very different beasts.

    ""C# is directly related to C and C++. This is not just an idea, this is real. As you recall C is a root for C++ and C++ is a superset of C. C and C++ shares several syntax, library and functionality." Quoted from above.

    L8r."

    Err yeah c++ is mostly a superset of c++. Thats neither here nor there. Just try and use the c/c++ preprocessor in c# and you'll see very quickly what the difference is. Or try using c++ multiple inherritance. You'll find that just because you took java and added operator overloading and made binding static by default, its not c++.
    Reply

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