Final Words

And there you have it, quite possibly the most unimpressive launch from AMD (from a performance perspective), but given what we had already seen prior to today there shouldn't be any surprises. The introduction of the Athlon 64 FX-62 means that there is an even faster alternative for those looking to spend as much as possible on a desktop or workstation CPU, but the new 5000+ isn't really all that appealing, especially if you're a gamer.

Socket-AM2 is unfortunately not about performance, and much about bringing a unified memory platform not only to AMD but to the industry as a whole. With all desktop AMD CPUs sharing a single socket end users and OEMs alike will have a much easier job when building AMD systems. On a much more macro scale, with both AMD and Intel using DDR2 memory prices should be driven down even further and switching between platforms will no longer require throwing away your entire memory investment.

The big story with Socket-AM2 is really the introduction of the new Energy Efficient and Energy Efficient Small Form Factor CPUs, but unfortunately those are not yet available. Instead, today's launch ends up being much more about the chipsets being used on AM2 motherboards rather than the CPUs. Later today we will be looking at NVIDIA's nForce 500 series and how the evolution of the most popular AMD chipset has taken to the Socket-AM2 platform.

It is ironic and equally unfortunate for AMD that on the eve of Intel finally getting its act together, that the Socket-AM2 launch is so devoid of any sort of performance improvements. It's clear that AMD's architecture just simply isn't starved of memory bandwidth at this point, and it will take either higher clock speeds or architectural improvements to make the move to DDR2 necessary. We are happy with the fact that AMD at least kept memory latency down while moving to DDR2, but at this point there's simply no use for the bandwidth.

In the coming months we will see the official launch of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, based on the Conroe core. Only time will tell how availability will affect pricing of those CPUs, but Intel is quite eager to release them. AMD is also awaiting the launch of Core 2 Duo, though for different reasons; in fact one of its stipulations for sending out Socket-AM2 review kits was that the CPUs not be compared to Conroe. We understood and agreed with AMD's stance on the issue, simply because Core 2 Duo (Conroe) isn't shipping yet while AM2 is, but we do get a sense of concern whenever Conroe is brought up around AMD.

AMD does have one last trick up its sleeve before the end of the year, and you will hear about it in June. It's not K8L and it's not going to affect the majority of people, but it is an interesting stop gap solution for the high end in 2006...

Power Consumption
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  • Slappi - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    That is the real question.

    Very biased these last few months.

    I sure hope Conroe can cook dinner and clean my house because if it can't someone has some explaining to do.
    Reply
  • lewisc - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    How was that review at all biased? AM2 showed very very small improvements over socket 939, Anand said so. Is it biased because the result was not what you wanted? How you could possibly suggest buying a a new platform that has hardly any improvement over a predecessor is beyond me. Reply
  • Slappi - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    Just all his talk about Intel the last few months has been really biased. Not necessarily this article.

    Just my opinion and I really like this site it just seems like someone is being taken care of.

    I could be wrong.
    Reply
  • clnee55 - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    I agree in the last few months, AMD has shown that it doesn't have anything ready to compete with Conroe. I certainly can trust Anand's analysis. Your conspiracy theory is full of it.

    By the way, just how much AMD stock do you own?

    Reply
  • EdisonStarfire - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    I've owned AMD systems since 1998 starting with an Athlon 600 OEM. I've built several other AMD systems since then. Sure, there is a slight chance Intel had some influence on their test systems anand tested but from seeing other pre-release samples around the web I think its just a case of Intel finally waking up and building a good cpu. I hope AMD has a good answer but if they don't and fooled themselves into thinking Intel didn't have the resources or need to build something (like alot of fanboys do) then they were kidding themselves badly. If the Core 2 Duo chips are the best out when its time to dump my X2 4400 then thats what I will be buying. I know AMD is limited in resources but the Dothan should have been a sign of what was coming and made some revisions with the AM2 release. Let's hope the deerhound cores improvements add about 20% IPC so can keep some good competition going between the two companies.

    in short... I don't think Anand is being biased about anything. Just my 2 cents.
    Reply
  • peternelson - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link


    I am interested in the changes from 939 to AM2/940 and opteron/940 and SocketF/1207

    I would like detailed PINOUTS for these.

    eg how many pins are GND, how many power / core power, how many ddr, how many ddr2, how many hypertransport links.

    Ideally full pinout not just summary by group function.

    Is this information available anywhere or would I have to/my company have to sign an NDA with AMD to obtain it?
    Reply
  • ultraCODE - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link

    Have anyone managed to benchmark new AM2 platform with RightMark RMMA? It shows the real peak speed (I don't trust crappy Sandra) for mem. read/write. Any results highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Best wishes,
    uC
    Reply
  • jmke - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link

    here ya go

    quote:

    Dual-Channel DDR2-800 on AMD Athlon 64 X2 "AM2" — the First Test Results of the New Integrated Memory Controller in RightMark Memory Analyzer


    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/mainboard/ddr2...">http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/mainboard/ddr2...
    Reply
  • Xenoid - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - link

    Ok so AM2 is AMD's offering for 2/4 06.

    The article title mentions same performance, faster memory, lower power. Wouldn't faster memory (in this case, ddr2) net a higher performance than what we're seeing here? Why is AMD bothering with DDR2 if it's not a significant improvement? If the power usage is so low, does this mean we can overclock a lot easier? I never understood the huge deal behind power usage on a cpu.
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link

    DDR production is slowing down, and DDR2 is continuing to mature, AMD does need to change to this memory type now, regardless if they like it or not.

    DDR2 also allows higher capacities, so you can probably reach 4x2Gb now as 2Gb modles are actually available on DDR2.

    Considering DDR2 biggest advanatge bandwidth, is what AMD doesn't really need more fo right now, performance improvements will be negligible.
    Reply

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