The Test

Unfortunately the platform that we were testing on would only allow us to run our DDR2-800 at 4-5-4 timings, instead of the 3-3-3 that's possible with this memory on socket 775. That hurts performance a bit, but the real world difference between 4-5-4 and 3-3-3 isn't going to be more than a few percentage points.

The only DDR2-800 we had on hand was in the form of 1GB modules, so we had to use a pair of 1GB DDR-400 which ran at 2-3-2, instead of the 2-2-2 we normally run with our smaller 512MB modules. Once again, the difference in performance isn't tremendous, but we wanted to explain why the timings were different than what we've used in the past.

Both our Socket-AM2 and Socket-939 Athlon 64 X2 processors ran at the same clock speed with the same cache sizes, so the results should give us a clear indication of whether or not AM2 is faster than equivalent 939 configuration.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Socket-AM2
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Socket-939
Motherboard: ASUS A8N32-SLI (Socket-939)
Unnamed MCP55 Socket-AM2 Motherboard
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce4 SLI x16
NVIDIA MCP55
Chipset Drivers: nForce4 6.70
Hard Disk: Seagate 7200.9 300GB SATA
Memory: OCZ PC8000 DDR2-800 4-5-4-15 (1GB x 2)
OCZ DDR-400 2-3-2 (1GB x 2)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 84.21
Desktop Resolution: 1280 x 1024 - 32-bit @ 60Hz
OS: Windows XP Professional SP2

What's AM2? Socket-AM2 Performance Preview
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  • tony215 - Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - link

    Who in their right mind is going to fork-out hard earned cash for an AM2 mobo, CPU, & DDR2 if there's little to no gain in performance over AMD Socket 939. This review makes depressing reading for AMD fans looking to upgrade, it's obvious that AM2 has little to offer this year, I expect to see many jumping ship when Conroe is released. Reply
  • clairvoyant129 - Thursday, April 13, 2006 - link

    Don't count on many people jumping ships. AMD has a pretty good enthusist fanbase (fanboys mostly). I know Im going to drop my FX-55 for the 2.67GHz Conroe but don't expect many to switch sides... besides, most of these fanboys are probably going to cook up some conspiracy theories to degrade Conroe. Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, April 13, 2006 - link

    I might jump ship to AM2 from my Duron 600MHz processor. For me, a dual channel architecture coupled with cheap Sempron processor and onboard video would make a lot of sense - especially a low power Sempron, if such beasts could be found.
    I am waiting for the AM2 platform (processors, chipsets, mainboards)
    Reply
  • tony215 - Thursday, April 13, 2006 - link

    Calin, by jumping ship I meant switching from AMD to Intel. Let's see what June brings, if this review is anything to go by I don't expect a massive leap in performance from the AM2 platform over current socket 939, People with money in their pockets now aren't interested in what AM2 /DDR2 may develop into in the year 2007. If Conroe lives up to the hype of offering more bang for less bucks ... I'll make the switch, screw brand loyalty. Reply
  • tekkstore - Monday, April 17, 2006 - link

    http://www.tekkstore.com">tekkstore.com Reply
  • clairvoyant129 - Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - link

    My god, that website has to be the most biased **** I've ever seen. Explain Victor Wong's resoluts on SuperPI 1M (21secs) with a $300 processor with an unsupported motherboard and BIOS. I've never seen such fanboyism in my life. You can't believe anything from that website. Reply
  • Anemone - Monday, April 10, 2006 - link

    AM2 may not hold up against Conroe, but until you can buy them in a store, they are vaporware. Intel is late a LOT, so I'm not buying this "don't worry it'll be soon" stuff. Merom prediction: Jan 07. Conroe prediction Oct 06. That's a long, long time for AMD to sell superb chips to a lot of folks.

    $.02
    Reply
  • mkruer - Monday, April 10, 2006 - link

    Everyone is bitching how the Conroe is going to kick AM2 @$$ but the facts of the Conroe are starting to leak out. http://sharikou.blogspot.com/">http://sharikou.blogspot.com/ Does this illegitimate Conroe? No, but it does clarify why Conroe preformed so well in the benchmarked apps. and that Conroe is still more memory constrained then the AM2. The AM2 might just get 4MB of Cache per Core thanks to Z-RAM or at least the K8L server editions sure will. Will the real Conroe to step forward? Reply
  • Shintai - Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - link

    I love how that site only compared Conroes worst results, also the Conroe used crappy memory timings, DDR2-533, preproduction boards, ES sample CPU. Oh, and did we forget its a 300$ CPU vs a 1200$ AMD CPU? Ye we might have forgotten than...didn´t we. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - link

    Most important it's NON-EXISTENT vs. $1200 CPU.

    Seems many people forget about it.
    Reply

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