AMD has been taking a beating lately; when Intel released its Core 2 microprocessor family it was priced and performed aggressively, too aggressively for AMD to adequately compete with at the time. AMD's marketing even went into remission as reviewers weren't even seeded for speed bumps to the Athlon 64 X2 line, the X2 5000+ and FX-62 were the fastest Socket-AM2 parts AMD sent out for review and they were the first ones we'd ever reviewed as well. Sometimes no PR is good PR, and an article around the launch of the Athlon 64 X2 5200+, 5400+ or 5600+ simply proclaiming that Core 2 is once again on top would only work in Intel's favor.

Quad FX came and went with limited interest from the enthusiast community, but the new platform signified a change in AMD's product lineup. Expensive FX series processors would no longer be simply speed bumps of mainstream CPUs with more cache, they would be reserved for a completely different socket as well and sold in bundles of two for Quad FX platforms. It's almost fitting that the FX line has been relegated to a platform that we didn't recommend as it makes the task of encouraging users to stay away from FX-class processors a little easier. And if having to move to a new socket wasn't reason enough to pick an AM2 processor over its FX counterpart, AMD's latest price cuts should seal the deal:

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz 1MBx2 $459
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ 2.8GHz 1MBx2 $326
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.8GHz 512KBx2 $267
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz 1MBx2 $232
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 $222
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.5GHz 512KBx2 $217
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz 512KBx2 $195
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3GHz 512KBx2 $170
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz 512KBx2 $159
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.1GHz 512KBx2 $144
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 $113
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ 1.9GHz 512KBx2 $102

The most expensive Athlon 64 X2, in fact the one being introduced today, is priced at under $500. Clocked at 3.0GHz with a 1MB L2 cache per core, the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ isn't even the most attractive part of AMD's lineup. Shave 200MHz off the 6000+ and you get the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, priced at $326. Note that the X2 5600+ is simply a FX-62 in disguise, what used to be a $999 processor has been reduced to less than a third of its cost - ain't competition grand?

Of course a price war isn't in AMD's best interest when it comes to making money, but it's the best AMD can do until its new micro-architecture makes its debut later this year. As a reference, below is a table of Intel's Core 2 price list:

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $183
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.80GHz 2MB $163

The Core 2 Duo E6700 is $70 more expensive than the X2 6000+ but it is Intel's closest competition to the new AMD processor. The E6600 lines up pretty well with the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ at a price $10 lower, while the E6400 is only $2 away from the X2 5000+. While we know that Intel's Core 2 processors are faster, the question that remains is whether AMD's aggressive pricing changes the value equation at all.

Still 90nm

Despite AMD's recent move to 65nm, the highest clocked cores are still built on a 90nm process; this is usually the case when a new process isn't mature enough to produce adequate yields at higher clock speeds. There's also the fact that higher volume processors run at lower clock speeds so it makes sense for a capacity constrained company like AMD to move high volume parts to 65nm production before the lower demand SKUs.

The Test - Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
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  • leexgx - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe

    are you useing the older corsair XMS2 sticks 1.2v as i cant get my 2.1v sticks to even POST some times in my pc

    allso this test is 2 months old other review good thing is your useing an 8800GTX to test the limits of the CPU, other web site was still useing and ATI X1950 and fiding that thay was GPU limted (dono why thay still bother testing them with that x1950 as the test will be GPU limted not CPU)
    Reply
  • photoguy99 - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - link

    I've been critical of AMD's chances, but they do have a shot - The problem is their chance to catch up depends on Intel slipping up.

    AMD needs a perfect storm to happen:
    1) Barcelona needs re-capture performance/watt leadership
    2) Barcelona neees to re-capture performance/watt be damned leadership
    3) Barcelone needs to ship in big quantity during calendar Q3 07
    4) Intel needs to slip Penryn ramp up to Q2 08 and slip their next micro-architecture to 09

    If any one of these doesn't happen it's going to be rough going.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - link

    Well, the big question, WHY Vista 64 bit ? The other question WHY AMD 6000 + ?

    For me, personally, testing on Vista 64bit, is a bit odd, and perhaps is used to confuse the real subject: Why pay a $200+ premium for a CPU (direct comparrison to the E6600), that only does better in video related applications ? Oh, and in case anyone is interrested, I am NOT a fan boy, but if I were to pick a preffered platform, it would be AMD / nVidia. Currently I'm using an AM2 system, with the best budget motherboard on the market period(this is my opinion of course: the ABIT NF-M2 nView).

    Also. personally, I would have rather seen the data done in XP, because this would give us a real idea of how this CPU would compare to previous tests, and again, in my opinion, was very bad timing on anandtech's behalf if this was not intentional. I've done my own testing in Vista as well, so I KNOW pretty much where the performance differences lie, although I have not personally tested Ultimate 64bit. I, not unlike many others, will not see the need for Vista for at least a while longer, and Directx 10 games become mainstream . . . XP Pro performance data PLEASE!

    The main reason that I havent moved to C2D, or intel as of yet, is simply, because of the motherboards availible for this platform, and I simply do NOT like what the Intel side of the camp is offering, period. Motherboard features / cost, is nearly the only thing keeping me from switching sides ATM, and I for the life of me, can not figure out how AMD gets off charging a $200 price premium for a CPU that isnt very good overall. Now, if some manufactuer, made a motherboard that was both attractive in features, and cost, I personaly think AMD would be in serious trouble, which would be very bad for everyone, not just AMD.

    Based on these 'scores' you've given, I would think the CPU to buy from AMD would be the 5600+, and perhaps that what your conclusion said ? I wouldnt know, I make my own 'assumptions', based on the test data (IE, I didnt read the conclusion) ;)
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the good laugh! Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - link

    You show me, a good C2D capable motherboard, for $80 usd, that is as feature rich as the AM2 ABIT NF-M2 nView, and perhaps I'll laugh with you. Until then, your comment isnt / wasnt even nessisary. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    That $200 price premium on the AMD processor you mention plus your $80 motherboard budget will get you almost any board in the C2D camp. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Except, that you completely missed the whole point. $80 budget board, does NOT mean, someone is going to go out and purchase a sub $500 CPU for it, thats just silly. However, I also wouldnt stop them from upgrading to that CPU, when the prices drop over time. Also, not everyone wants SLI, or crossfire GPUs, so by the time, you find a board with as good features, be it i680, or one of the Intel chipsets, you gain, SLI, dual GbE, and a very good chance of other goodies, but you lose, integrated graphics, which if you're building a very low budget PC, this can save you a good amount of cash. Also, this motherboard will accept just about any aftermarket CPU cooler you could care to put on it, but honestly, IMO, this isnt a board I'd use to OC anyhow, but it will OC well compared to the cost you put into it.

    There are lots of motherboards out there, that have some very cool features, personally, I really, really like the Workstation line from Asus, 2x 16x PCIE, 2x 133 PCI-X, and 2x PCI 2.3, and I beleive they make them for either AM2, or C2D, but the plain simple fact of the matter is, they also cost more than $300, thats nearly as much as an E6600 . . .

    Take a look at the $80, and under Intel CPU capable motherboards, and tell me you can find one that is as stable, with as many features as this one. Then realize just how many of those, actually supports C2D . . . Trust me, I've looked, because I really want to move away from AMD atm, but it does not make sense, if you have to compromise, on what you get stablity/support/feature wise.
    Reply
  • defter - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - link

    New A64 6000+ actually performs slightly worse (loses more benchmarks) than E6600. However, A64 6000+ costs $459 while E6600 costs only $316. Worse performance for 45% higher price??? Is that a good deal? Reasonable price for A64 6000+ would be about $300. Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - link

    That $102 dollar 3600 chip and a new AMD HDMI chipset or the Abit 6150 board. For more performance, sure, C2D, but hey, can't beat $102 for good dual core performance.

    I wonder how Fusion will push prices lower...
    Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - link

    At idle and load do these charst include 8800gtx power consumption too?
    Is this the whole system powerconsumption including the graphic card?
    I thought 8800gtx power consumption alone is 245wtts.

    Reply

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