Price Guides - July 2005: More 64-bit CPUsby Derek Wilson & Manveer Wasson on July 23, 2005 10:03 AM EST
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Aside from dual core processors, AMD's current generation Venice and San Diego processors have also moved significantly since their launch three months ago. OEM versions of the processors surfaced about three weeks ago and AMD's stock heatsink-fan (HSF) combo is actually quite good (particularly when compared to Intel's plastic monstrosity). Anand recently wrote about Athlon 64's "unofficial" DDR500 memory support on Venice, San Diego (and other revision "E" processors), so make sure you take a look at that when you have a chance. Don't get your hopes up too much - unfortunately the additional speeds did very little to performance for the Athlon 64.
That being said, you should still buy a revision "E" processor anyway. The different between 90nm AMD processors is less than a dollar in most situations, and why stick yourself with a 130nm or a revision "D" chip instead? For those of you playing at home, check out price fluctuations on the Athon 64 Venice 3500+ processor [RTPE: ADA3500DAA4BP]:
A few merchants had a very nice sale going on last week that put the Venice 3500+ around $250; money well spent in our opinion. Price on the 3800+ and 4000+ processors has been very stagnant since their launch; don't expect any great deals above 3500+ this week.
It's getting to be about time we stop recommending Socket 754; at least for non-budget uses. Virtually all Socket 754 processors cost more than their Socket 939 counterparts at this point, and again, why hamper yourself with the 130nm chips that lack SSE3 and only have a single channel memory controller? Socket 754: you will be casually missed.
However, if you just need a decent budget PC, Socket 754 is actually a very good alternative to Socket 462 (or a Celeron). Check out the next page for our opinion on AMD budget processors.