AM2 in Detail

Of course the most prominent feature of AMD's Socket-AM2 platform is the new socket and its support for DDR2 memory.  As we've already mentioned, Socket-AM2 is a 940-pin socket that is keyed differently from the original 940-pin Athlon 64/Opteron sockets; only AM2 processors will physically fit into an AM2 motherboard. 


Socket-939 (left) vs. Socket-AM2 (right)

Socket-939
Socket-AM2

 

One of the Athlon 64's strongest selling points continues to be its on-die memory controller, which has of course been significantly changed for the new Socket-AM2 platform.  All AM2 CPUs feature a 128-bit wide DDR2 memory controller, compared to the 128-bit DDR memory controller that we've come to know from the Socket-939 platform.  A DDR2 memory interface actually requires more pins than a DDR1 interface, but AMD was able to keep the AM2 pin count down by removing a large number of unnecessary pins on the Athlon 64's package.  When the Socket-940/939 Athlon 64s were first designed, approximately 10% of their pins were redundant and could be removed in later designs.  Not desiring to introduce a new socket as frequently as its competition had, AMD waited until Socket-AM2 to remove those unnecessary pins thus enabling a dual-channel DDR2 interface in virtually the same pin count as the earlier DDR1 equipped CPUs. 

All of the Socket-AM2 CPUs support up to DDR2-667, but the AM2 Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX models support up to DDR2-800.  Since Socket-AM2 unifies AMD's desktop socket strategy, all Semprons, Athlon 64s, X2s and FX processors will feature this dual channel DDR2 memory controller. 


Corsair partnered with AMD and NVIDIA for the Socket-AM2 and nForce 500 review kits

The lineup of Socket-AM2 processors being introduced today are in the table below:

 CPU Clock Speed  L2 Cache Size  TDP Price
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.8GHz 1MBx2 125W $1031
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 89W $696
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.4GHz 1MBx2 89W $645
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz 512KBx2 89W $558
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.2GHz 1MBx2 89W $470
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz 512KBx2 89W $365
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.0GHz 1MBx2 89W $328
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 89W $303
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4GHz 512KB 62W $290
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz 512KB 62W $189
AMD Sempron 3600+ 2.0GHz 256KB 62W $123
AMD Sempron 3500+ 2.0GHz 128KB 62W $109
AMD Sempron 3400+ 1.8GHz 256KB 62W $97
AMD Sempron 3200+ 1.8GHz 128KB 62W $87
AMD Sempron 3000+ 1.6GHz 256KB 62W $77

 

There's basically no price premium for the new Socket-AM2 chips, encouraging a quick transition to AMD's new DDR2 platform.

You will also notice that none of the model numbers have changed, so an Athlon 64 X2 4800+ on Socket-AM2 has the same clock speed and L2 cache size as the Socket-939 version.  Since AMD's model numbers haven't changed, you already know not to expect any major changes in performance with Socket-AM2.  In fact, the only difference on the CPU side is the introduction of the new Athlon 64 FX-62, Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and Athlon 64 X2 4000+.

Index The New Heatsink Tray
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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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