Athlon 64 X2 5000+: A Cheap FX or Overpriced 4800+?

Although the FX-62 conclusion was pretty straight forward, the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ gives us another ambiguous candidate to evaluate. Clocked at 2.6GHz, the 5000+ gives you a nice clock speed advantage over previous X2s. However, with only a 512KB L2 cache there may be situations where the clock speed advantage over the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ is diminished.

3D Rendering - Cinebench 9.5

3D Rendering Performance - Cinebench 9.5

We've already seen that many of our 3D rendering and media encoding tests are cache-size independent when running on Athlon 64 X2/FX processors, thus it's no surprise that the X2 5000+ is able to offer identical performance to the FX-60 despite having half the L2 cache per core. The clock speed advantage over the X2 4800+ is also significant enough to offer a pretty decent performance advantage; in fact, in this light, the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ looks pretty impressive.

3D Rendering - 3dsmax 7

3dsmax 7 - SPECapc Benchmark

The story under 3dsmax 7 is pretty similar to what we saw under Cinebench; there is a slight performance penalty compared to the FX-60 thanks to a smaller L2 cache, but overall the performance of the X2 5000+ is quite respectable. As we saw in our FX-62 investigation from the previous page, the Extreme Edition 965 is very tough to beat in this test thanks to its high clock speed, very fast FSB and dual core + Hyper Threading combination.


Video Encoding - DivX 6.1.1 Pro

DivX 6.1.1 Pro with Xmpeg 5.0.3

Once again, there's no performance difference between the X2 5000+ and the FX-60, bringing the 5000+ very close in performance to the FX-62 at a significantly lower cost. Thanks to the clock speed advantage, the 5000+ is also clearly faster than the X2 4800+.

Video Encoding - Windows Media Encoder 9

Windows Media Encoder 9 - Advanced Profile

Windows Media Encoder 9 also has the X2 5000+ and FX-60 performing identically, and obviously outperforming the X2 4800+.

Video Encoding - Quicktime 7.0.4 (H.264)

H.264 Encoding with Quicktime Pro 7.0.3

The video encoding trend continues with our Quicktime H.264 test, the 5000+ is second only to the FX-62.

MP3 Encoding - iTunes 6.0.1.4

MP3 Encoding with iTunes 6.0.1.3

Our iTunes MP3 encoding test produces identical results to what we've already seen in previous benchmarks, the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ isn't really hampered by its 512KB L2 cache thus far.

Gaming - Quake 4

Quake 4

The tables do turn as we look at gaming performance however; not only does the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ lose to the FX-60, but it also loses to the lower clocked Athlon 64 X2 4800+. While the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ is wonderful in our application tests, it looks like there may be a very different verdict for gamers.

Gaming - F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R.

Under F.E.A.R. the FX-60 is faster than the X2 5000+ once again, but this time the best the X2 4800+ can manage is to tie the performance of the 5000+. Given the $51 price premium for the 5000+, we'd want something that was at least faster than the 4800+.

Gaming - Oblivion

Oblivion

Finally in Oblivion we see that the X2 4800+ is ever so slightly faster than the 5000+, once again thanks to its larger L2 cache (despite a lower core clock speed).

The Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Conclusion

Once again we see the problem with AMD's model number system, where in some cases the 5000+ is no different than a FX-60 and in others it is only as fast if not slower than the cheaper X2 4800+. Our recommendation here would be to only opt for the 5000+ if you aren't a gamer, as it seems that 3D games are far more likely to appreciate a larger L2 cache than a higher clock speed with these chips.

A New FX The Odd Multiplier Issue
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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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