AMD Socket-AM2: Same Performance, Faster Memory, Lower Powerby Anand Lal Shimpi on May 23, 2006 12:14 PM EST
- Posted in
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)
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+.