AMD is gradually going to move its entire Athlon64 processor line over
to socket AM2. As the new 940-pin socket is not backwards compatible with existing DDR-based
socket 754/939/940 K8 processors, the company is introducing chips from the value Sempron series all the way
up to the flagship Athlon64 FX-62.
focusing on just the top two socket AM2 processors in this review, and they
just happen to be the most expensive chips AMD is offering. If you're on a
budget and hankering to adopt an AMD socket AM2 processor you should be able to find compatible
processors for as little as $77USD.
|Initial AMD Socket AM2 Processor Models and Energy Efficient
| Athlon64 FX-62
| Athlon64 X2 5000+
|Athlon64 X2 4800+
|Athlon64 X2 4600+
|Athlon64 X2 4400+
|Athlon64 X2 4200+
|Athlon64 X2 4000+
|Athlon64 X2 3800+
||$303 / $323 / $364|
||$189 / $231|
||$97 / $145|
||$87 / $119|
||$77 / $101|
What's even more interesting is that AMD is set to introduce a series of energy efficient socket AM2 processors that consume dramatically
less power than its standard models. Still, there's no overlooking the
fact that the worst offender in the AM2 line up is the Athlon64 FX-62, it has
a maximum power spec of 125Watts. However, going forward it's clear that some
power optimizations have occurred between identical processor models on socket
939 and AM2 platforms. For example, the AM2 Athlon64 X2 series
now draw 89W, a reduction from 110W for
identical socket 939 parts. The vanilla Athlon64 CPU has dropped from 89W to 62W on socket AM2 also.
A special class of energy efficient socket AM2 processors will offer further power
reductions when they are released. This collection of AM2 CPU models is listed in the
above chart, and the chips boast operational power specifications as low as
65W and 35W. Nice! The energy efficient processors have the same
operating frequencies, L1/L2 cache, etc. as the standard models, but obviously come
at a price premium.
In this course of this review PCSTATS will measure real world system
power loads for the socket AM2 Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ processors. We'll introduce
you to a metric born of server hosting facilities, discuss how the new socket
AM2 formfactor shapes up, its supporting chipsets, and cover a few other
new technologies before diving into a comprehensive set of gaming, workstation
content creation, and office benchmarks so you can see for yourself what
potential these processors offer.
There is a lot to cover,
so feel free to jump ahead to specific sections if that is
what interests you most.