Mainstream Dual-Core Processor from AMD Reviewed

@ 2005/08/03
AMD Athlon 64 X2 microprocessors family have already proven to be capable of performing tasks as fast as their singe-core counterparts an even faster when in multi-threading environments. One of the obstacles for AMD to penetrate mainstream market with its processors with two processing engines was relatively high price on such chips. With the introduction of AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core microprocessor, the dual-core AMD chips are available starting from $354, however, the question is how much performance has been sacrificed in order to achieve this price-point.

“I would only like to say that according to the benchmark results, Athlon 64 X2 3800+ appeared a faster processor than its competitor from Intel, the Pentium D 830. So, it looks like this new AMD solution has pretty promising future ahead,” concludes X-bit labs analyst Ilya Gavrichenkov.

A number of web-sites have reviewed the chip and came to rather similar conclusions: the new product does offer world-class performance in both single-threaded and multi-threaded environments.

“If necessity is the mother of invention, then the birth of the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ should be no surprise to anyone. In one of their strongest CPU paper-launches ever, AMD put their best foot forward this past May and introduced the Athlon 64 X2 processor. While AMD was late to the desktop dual core game compared to Intel, the Athlon 64 X2 processor had absolutely no problem outperforming Intel’s Pentium D. But at the end of the day, despite AMD’s clear victory, our recommendations were quite complicated, thanks to one major flaw in AMD’s execution: price,” writes AnandTech .

In addition to relatively high performance the entry-level AMD Athlon 64 X2 may also be overclocked.

“I was able to get the X2 3800+ running stable at 2.4GHz by setting the HyperTransport clock to 240MHz. […] Now, that’s a sweet overclock all by itself, but hitting 2.4GHz has the added benefit of bringing everything into line. When the memory clock is set to the proper divider for DDR333 operation and the HyperTransport clock is raised to 240MHz, the memory actually runs at 400MHz even. Lock down the PCI and PCI-E bus speeds using the motherboard's BIOS, and you’re running virtually everything but the CPU and HyperTransport link at stock speeds. I was able to leave the RAM timings at 2-2-2-5, nice and tight. This is the sort of overclock I could live with for everyday use,” explains The Tech Report .

“When it comes to features and performance, both AMD and Intel show their muscle. Both the X2 3800+ and Pentium D 820 offer two cores, 64 bit OS support, SSE3, and noeXecute support to protect against most buffer overflow attacks. What I believe will end up giving the X2 a distinct advantage over the Pentium D is the X2’s on die memory controller, and the Pentium D’s lack of Hyper Threading (except with its 840 Extreme Edition processor),” claims Legit Reviews .

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