The Lineup - Athlon 64 X2

As we mentioned earlier, the Athlon 64 X2 isn't going to be officially launched until June.  While AMD is purposefully vague in their discussion of availability, it looks like their plans are for system builders and OEMs to offer Athlon 64 X2 systems in Q3 of this year and for retail availability to be in Q4 of this year. 

For AMD, the Athlon 64 4000+ was the last single core Athlon 64 that they will make; all model numbers after 4000+ will be dual core Athlon 64 X2s.  Starting at 4200+ and going up to 4800+, the Athlon 64 X2 continues AMD's trend of basing model numbers on clock speeds and cache sizes.  You can see the breakdown below:

For starters, the Athlon 64 X2's clock speeds aren't that low compared to the current single-core Athlon 64s.  The top of the line Athlon 64 FX-55 runs at 2.6GHz, only 200MHz faster than the Athlon 64 X2 4800+.  This is in stark contrast to Intel's desktop dual core offerings, which run between 2.8 and 3.2GHz, a full 600MHz drop from their fastest single core CPU. 

The other major difference between AMD and Intel's dual core desktop approach is in pricing. Let's take a look at the cost per core of the Athlon 64 X2:

We see that AMD's desktop pricing is much more reasonable than their dual core Opteron pricing, but then again, also remember that their desktop CPUs won't be in volume until later this year.  The second core never costs more than the first one, which is honestly the only way you can ensure good desktop adoption rates. 

That being said, let's compare it to Intel's pricing:

Because Intel is only shipping lower clocked dual core CPUs, Intel's chip prices are much lower - not to mention that Intel's manufacturing abilities far exceed those of AMD.  Percentage-wise, the Pentium D 3.2 commands a high premium for that second core, but the prices are overall quite reasonable.  The fastest Pentium D is still cheaper than the slowest Athlon 64 X2 4200+, and the slowest Pentium D is ridiculously cheap compared to AMD's dual core offerings. 

AMD's answer to Intel's aggressive pricing is two-fold. Eventually, all of AMD's CPUs will be dual core, and thus, prices will be driven back down to single core levels. But for now, AMD feels confident enough that their single core CPUs are fast enough to compete with Intel's low clocked Pentium Ds.  We put that exact thinking to the test in Part II of our Intel dual core preview and concluded that it really depends on what type of a user you are. If you tend to multitask a lot or run a lot of multithreaded applications, then a slower Intel dual core is what you need; otherwise, a faster single core AMD is your best bet. 

The Lineup - Opteron x75 Dual Core Server Performance: AMD’s Opteron x75 Series
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  • saratoga - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    " The three main languages used with .NET are: C# (similar to C++), VB.NET (somewhat similar to VB), and J# (fairly close to JAVA). Whatever language in which you write your code, it is compiled into an intermediate language - CIL (Common Intermediate Language). It is then managed and executed by the CLR (Common Language Runtime).
    "

    Waaah?

    C# is not similar c++, its not even like it. Its dervived from MS's experience with Java, and its intended to replace J#, Java and J++. Finally the language which is similar to c++ is managed c++ which is generally listed as the other main .net language.

    http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/
    Reply
  • Shintai - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    #80, #81

    Tell me how much faster a singlecore 4000+ is compared to a 3800+ and you see it´s less than 5% in average, mostly about 2%. Your X2 2.2Ghz 1MB cache will perform same or max 1-1½% faster than a singlecore 2.2Ghz 1MB cache in games. So 10% lower for is kinda bad for a CPU with higher rating. Memory wont help you that much, cept in a fantasy world.

    And less take a game as example.
    Halo:
    127.7FPS with a 2.4Ghz 512KB cache singlecore.
    119.4FPS with a 2.2Ghz 1MB cache dualcore.
    And we all know they basicly have the same PR rating due to cache difference.

    And the cheap singlecore here beats the more expensive, powerusing and hotter dualcore CPU with 7% faster speed.

    So instead of paying 300$ for a CPU, you now pay 500$+, get worse gaming speeds, more heat, more powerusage....for what, waiting 2 years on game developers? Or some 64bit rescue magic that makes SMP for anything possible? It´s even worse for intel with their crappy prescotts, 3.2Ghz vs 3.8Ghz. Atleast AMD is close to the top CPU, but still abit away.

    Real gamers will use singlecores the next 1-2 years.
    Reply
  • Shintai - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Forgot to add about physics engine etc. For that alone you can add a dummy dedicated chip on say..a GFX card for it for 5-10$ more that will do it 10x faster than any dualcore CPU we will see the rest of the year. Kinda like GFX cards are 10s of times faster than our CPUs for that purpose. Not like good o´days where we used the CPU to render 3D in games.

    The CPUs are getting more and more irrelevant in games. Just look how a CPu that performs worse in anything else as the Pentium M can own everything in gaming. Tho it lacks all the goodies the P4 and AMD64 got.

    It makes one wonder what they actually develop CPUs after, since 95% is gaming, 5% workstation/servers and corporate PCs could work perfectly and more with a K5-K6/P2-P3.

    Then we could also stay with some 100W or 200W PSU rather than a 400W, 500W or 700W.
    Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    make that 'performed to 91% of the fastest gaming cpu around'. Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    #79 Are you smoking something? A dual core 4400+ running with slow server memory and timing plus no NCQ drive peformed within 91% of the fastest gaming chip around. Now the real X2 4400+ with get at least a 15% pefromance boost from faster memory timings and unregistered memory and that is before we even think about overclocking at all. Reply
  • Shintai - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    So what the tests show is like 64bit tests.

    Dualcores are completely useless the next 2+ years unless you use your PC as a workstation for CAD, photoshop and heavy encoding of movies.

    And WinXP 64bit will be toy/useless the next 1-2years aswell, unless you use it for servers.

    Hype, hype, hype...

    In 2 years when these current intel and amd cores are outdated and we have pentium V/VI or M2/3 and K8/K9. Then we can benefit from it. But look back in the mirror. Those early AMD64 and those lowspeed Pentium 4 with 64bit wont really be used for 64bit. Because when we finally get a stable driverset and windows on windows enviroment. Then we will all be using Longhorn and nextgen CPUs.

    Dualcores will be slower than singlecores in games for a LONG LONG time. And it will be MORE expensive. And utterly useless cept for bragging rights. Ask all those people using dual xeons, dual opterons today how much gaming benefit they have. Oh ye, but hey lets all make some lunatic assumption that i´m downloading with p2p at 100mbit so 1 CPU will be 100% loaded while im encoding a movie meanwhile. yes then you can play your game on CPU#2. But how often is that likely to happen anyway. And all those multitasking things will just cripple your HD anyway and kill the sweet heaven there.

    It´s a wakeup call before you be the fools.
    games for 64bit and dualcores ain´t even started yet. So they will have their 1-3years developmenttime before we see them on the market. And if it´s 1 year it´s usually a crapgame ;)
    Reply
  • calinb - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    "Armed with the DivX 5.2.1 and the AutoGK front end for Gordian Knot..."

    AutoGK and Gordian Knot are front ends for several common aps, but AutoGK doesn't use Gordian Knot at all. AutoGK and Gordian Knot are completely Independent programs. len0x, the developer of AutoGK, is also a contributor to Gordian Knot development too. That's the connection.

    calinb, DivX Forums Moderator
    Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Hmm, it does seem that dual core with hyperthreading can be a real help and yet some times a real hinderance. Some benchmarks show it giving stellar performance and some show it slowing the cpu right down by swamping it. Some very hit and miss results for Intel's top dual core part there makes me wonder if it is really worth the extra money for something that can be so unreliable in certain situations. Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    even if i can't spell them. Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Fish bits

    Words mean things sorry you don't like them.

    Cripple is true. The X2 is crippled in this test since it's not really and X2.

    It's a "misrepresentation" of it's true abilities.

    I was'nt bagging on Anand but highlithing what was said in the article then speculating of potential performance of the real X2 all things considered.

    Sorry I did'nt attend PC walk on my tip toes class. I say what I mean and use accurate words.
    Reply

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