Eeech, Model Numbers

Although all current AMD processors retain their original names, the two being introduced today are the first to use AMD's new model numbers. As announced during its Phenom introduction, AMD is dropping the 64 from its product names - the new chips are simply Athlon X2s. The 64-bit race is over now that both AMD and Intel have 64-bit support on a majority of their processors, and now it's time to move on. All previous X2s will still be called Athlon 64 X2s and AMD isn't changing the logo just yet, but eventually it will phase out the old names/model numbers in favor of the new system.

What exactly is the new system? It's a slightly more complicated version of Intel's model number system. Here's the explanation of the new system straight from AMD:

The introduction of the AMD AthlonTM X2 dual core processor BE-2350 and BE-2300 brings the first opportunity to learn about AMD's new model methodology. The goal with the new system was to better inform processor choice and utilize a methodology that be long lasting. Existing products will retain their current model numbers. Our customers are familiar with the current models and we will continue to utilize that system until it is phased out over a period of time by new product introductions.

Let's look at a sample model number: BE-2350 (This is the AMD Athlon X2 dual-core 45-watt desktop CPU you have for review)


The new AMD desktop processor models have an alpha numeric format of A A - # # # #.

First two characters: BE-2350

The first and second alpha indicate the processor class. The second alpha character indicates the TDP of the processor. The "BE" class is comprised of sub-65W processors. This chip's TDP is 45 watts. As additional products are introduced, new classes will also be introduced and these new classes will distinguish between key attributes of the processors.

First numeric digit: BE-2350

The first numeric digit after the dash is the processor series and indicates reflects major increments in processor attributes. The "2XXX" series is currently contained within the AMD Athlon X2 family of processors.

Note that we have dropped the "64" from the Athlon X2 name. AMD pioneered simultaneous 64/32-bit x86 processing. Now that 64-bit processing is ubiquitous and AMD is recognized for its leadership, maintaining a "64" in our desktop product naming methodology is not necessary, and the shortened name simplifies product references.

Last three numeric digits: BE-2350

The last three numeric digits after the dash indicate the relative position of the CPU within its class series. Increasing numbers within a class series indicates increments in processor attributes.

In summary:

Please note that the actual assignment of letters and numbers are intentionally arbitrary, but these digits are combined in such a way as to avoid confusion between models while indicating major and minor processor increments. Just by reading the "BE-2350" model number, you know that it is a mainstream desktop CPU. You know its power consumption level is below 65 watts. You know that it is in the Athlon X2 family. And you know its position relative to other CPUs. As new processors are introduced, the combination of class and models should be of increasing value in identifying and distinguishing AMD processors. Previously, our model numbers indicated relative performance but were unable to capture the step function performance multi-core processors in many usage scenarios and were unable to capture additional processor features or attributes.

Normally we don't quote manufacturer emails to us verbatim, but this one just seemed so appropriate. To break it down for you, we'll compare AMD's new naming scheme to Intel's.

The first letter in Intel's naming system indicates processor class, for example the E6600 vs. X6800. With AMD's new system, we have two letters that describe the class, with the second one being used to indicate TDP. The following four digits in Intel's system simply indicate performance of the processor relative to others in its class; e.g. an E6600 is faster than an E6320, the first digit indicating major performance differences between chips (e.g. E6600 has 4MB L2 cache 1066MHz FSB, while the E4300 has a 2MB L2 cache and 800MHz FSB). AMD's system is similar, the first digit is reserved for major differences in performance, while the latter three digits are used for minor differences (think speed bins).

All in all, AMD's system is a response to Intel's system, neither of which is perfect. We liked Intel's naming system on the Core 2 lineup back when it was simple and each model was separated by increments of 100. The introduction of the E6420 and E6320 made the system a bit more messy and the upcoming 1333MHz FSB CPUs will only further complicate the lineup. AMD appears to be starting in a period of disarray and if recent articles on the forthcoming lineup are correct, we'll absolutely hate talking about CPUs from both manufacturers.

Index The Test
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • reload1992 - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    I am building my first pc. Is this a good cpu for gaming
  • Nil Einne - Monday, June 11, 2007 - link

    The reviewer correctly pointed out at the beginning that AMD has remained competitive by aggresively pricing their processors. Then at the end, they correctly pointed out that for non-overclockers, the BE-2350 isn't a bad choice. But the reviewer then somewhat stupidly suggested that people wanting a quite office system should just go with the E4300 because it offers better performance. This misses several points. Firstly if you just have an office system, you're probably rarely using the extra performance so it's questionable whether it's worth it. Secondly, the reviewer didn't consider mobo price. From what I've seen equivalently speced AMD mobos tend to be a bit cheaper then Intel ones.

    More importantly perhaps, the reviwer didn't consider other Intel or AMD offerings. There are the Pentium Es as others have mentioned. But there are also the older AMD chips. The X2 4200+ EE for example if you're looking for a low power chipped. And if you're not quite so worried about power, the X2 4600+ is about the same price as the E4300 but generally performs better. For a typical office system, the processor will mostly be in CnQ mode anyway so the actual power consumption probably won't change much.

    So unfortunately, it appears the reviewer, despite agreeing at first that AMD is competitive, has then completely missed the point of why AMD is competitive. AMD may be clock for clock slower, but they've priced their processors aggresively enough that they remain competitive for non overclockers from a price/performance standpoint. This trap is something a lot of reviwers seem to fall in sadly. Rather then saying stupid things like well the Intel system is faster and only a 'little bit' more (even when you don't need the extra performance) so you should go Intel, what they should be acknowledging is that price/performance wise they're fairly competitive because you can (at the low to medium end) get a better performing AMD system for a 'little bit' more too. If editors aren't going to consider the details, they should just refrain from making frankly silly comments in the conclusion.
  • psychobriggsy - Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - link

    AMD will be positioning these chips to be used with the AMD690G chipset.

    The Tech Report found that the nVidia SLI chipset used 14W more than the 690G (when used with an external graphics card).

    Comparing SLI with the Intel P965 is rather disingenous, and makes the power consumption page worthless, and quite misleading. Why didn't you use nVidia's Intel SLI chipset to make things more even? Or at least have a test with a motherboard using AMD's chipsets?
  • cocoviper - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Anand could we get an update to the article testing equivalent chipsets? (Either an integrated graphics chipset on the AMD side vs. the 965; or retest the Intel power consumption numbers with an Nvidia SLI chipset?)

    Otherwise we might as well just toss out that entire power consumption page, because as it is right now the power delta between different mobo chipsets is as much or more than the power delta between the processors on that graph.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link


    AMD argues that with integrated graphics you can deliver a lower overall TDP on one of its systems, which we tend to believe given that the P965 is one of the lowest power Intel chipsets you can buy whereas the nForce 590 SLI that's a part of our normal AMD test bed is far from the lowest power offering out there. We will be looking at integrated graphics/platform performance in a future CPU article when we will address this topic in greater detail.

    First paragraph, last page.
  • Nil Einne - Monday, June 11, 2007 - link

    I think you're missing the point tho. It was a bit silly to include the power graph in the first place since it's meaningless. Some reviewers seem to like to include graphs and data which is pointless at best and at worst misleading. This isn't exclusive to this instance or to Anandtech. There are a lot of stupid stuff out there (other examples include benching medium end cards at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 8x Aniso). Other then wasting a readers time, the trouble here is that a lot of people don't properly read reviews, just skip through them and look at the graphs briefly. They see the graph and conclude the Intel has a lower power usage. They don't notice that the reviewer was bizarrely enough, comparing a SLI mobo with an integrated one so the graph is somewhat useless.
  • yacoub - Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - link

    My E4400 runs at 3.0GHz w/o breaking a sweat. $135 CPU that clocks to a $300 CPU's speed. I haven't been able to buy a CPU that cheaply literally in a decade. Last one that offered such a high ROI with a simple 50% overclock was the Celeron 300A (300MHz, ran at 450MHz).
  • myterrybear - Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - link

    I think I am mentioning something that was greatly missing from this review .. the results of the cpu on a AMD690G based motherboard. There should be a big diffrence especialy on the thermal ussage test IF a AMD690G based board was used insted of a nvidia based one.
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - link

    fully agree on that.

    it is again a wrong comparisson. you put on of the most expensive en powerhog board to measure the performance of a low tdp cpu and put it against a mainstream competitor board.

    you can lower each powermeasurement by approx 20-25W for all the k8 series in this test.

    not even to mention the big price difference if you also use a mainstream board from AMD.

    Strange that Intel won't provide you some new e2xxx series. might already tell enough about the price/performance ratio.

    fromm older articles we alreaady know that a e4300 must be compared with the x2 4600 and a e6300 with 5000-5200. they already have the same price and in amd's favor if you add the motherboard to the combo.
  • MRM - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Maybe the tester here should look at this test">

    Here you can see the difference. Put the AMD on a nVidia board, and it will consume more power then the intel, but put the AMD on a 690g board, then the AMD will save more energy.

    So my conclusion is, if you want performance, go with Intel. But if you want a low power system ( maybe for Office, Internet or as HTPC ) then AMD is better, because it consume less power - but only if you pick the right chipset.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now