Athlon Dual Core: Overclocking the 4200+

The official introduction of the Dual-Core or X2 Athlon 64 happened at Computex the first of this month. As you saw on AnandTech in AMD's Athlon 64 X2 4800+ & 4200+ Dual Core Performance Preview the performance of the AMD Dual-Core desktop was stellar. The pricing, however, was a little hard to swallow with the range from just over $500 for the lowest-priced 4200+ to around $1000 for the top-line 4800+.

To refresh your memory, there are really very few differences between processors in the X2 line:

There are really just two speeds - 2.2GHz and 2.4Ghz - and either 512KB cache on each CPU or 1MB cache on each CPU. In addition nearly any Socket 939 motherboard can in theory run the new Dual-Core Athlons, as all that is required is a BIOS update.

Now that the Dual-Core AMD processors are starting to appear in the market, we have received many emails asking which X2 is the best value. With prices so high that is a very fair question. To shed some light on the answer we decided to take the X2 entry level $500 4200+ to the limit on our DFI nForce4 platform to see what we could really achieve with basic air cooling of the 4200+.

The Stock and Overclock Tests
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  • Qarl - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    As others have already posted, my two biggest questions are:

    Why wasn't the overclocked 4200+ benchmarked against a stock 4800+?

    Why wasn't a 4400+ used instead of a 4200+? It has double the cache and is only slightly more expensive.
  • redhatlinux - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    Another great review from the Boss
  • DigitalDivine - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    What paper launch, the x2s have been in newegg for a week
  • val - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    paper launches sucks!
    AMD have no cpus
  • at80eighty - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    #45 Wesley:- "Specializing in certain review areas, as we do at AnandTech, makes you a lot less stupid and easily duped than you might imagine"

    a very nicely veiled jab there Wesley. Hope the recepients have skulls thin enough for it to trickle in!! Kudos!
  • at80eighty - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    wtf is up with these bitchy bitches bitching about the 'integrity' of AT these days?

    is it the replacement for the 'Soviet Russia.." cliche ???
  • boban10 - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    very nice review, im very happy that you tested this cpu and overclocked it. thanks.
  • Icehawk - Friday, June 24, 2005 - link

    Sheesh, I thought we'd put Anandtech's integrity to bed by now? I have no concerns.

    Wesley - I hope you can get a 4400+ as I am very curious to see what the results look like. The small price bump over the 4200+ makes it pretty appealing, especially if it can OC as well and provides a but of a performance bump.

    I too would LOVE to see some 1gb vs 2gb RAM comparisons with various configurations.
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, June 24, 2005 - link

    #42 & #35 - To bring the news to you first, our ONLY choice is manufacturer-supplied samples. When we test there is usually nothing available in the retail channel.

    In this case we had one one Retail 4200+ and one manufacturer-supplied 4200+. They performed within 5MHz of each other in overclocking, which is equal performance. Our performance with both processors is lower than sites that publish a screen capture of an OC speed and don't run any benches, so we stand by our results on air cooling.

    The "Conspiracy" theory sounds good, and is usually spouted by the manufacturers who didn't do well in a roundup. In a truly competitive world like computer components there is no point to providing "cherry" parts to reviewers. If people buy a product due to a review that shows x performance and their part won't do the same they RMA the part. RMA's cost manufacturers lots of money. A high RMA rate will quickly kill any profits on a product.

    Even memory - a business based on binning or hand-picking of parts for performance - has settled down on cherry parts. Manufacturers who tried that got burned on RMAs and came back the second time with representative parts.

    There is always variation in overclocking results, but huge variation from reported results are someone who doesn't know how to overclock, a change in parts used (which is why overclockers are big on production weeks), or a change in binning (selection criteria). Specializing in certain review areas, as we do at AnandTech, makes you a lot less stupid and easily duped than you might imagine.
  • cryptonomicon - Friday, June 24, 2005 - link


    here is the 3g on air

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