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AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Processors Reviewed

AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Processors Reviewed  - PCSTATS
Abstract: AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and Athlon64 X2-5000+ are both dual core, support DDR-2 667/800 MHz RAM, virtualization, and install into a new 940-pin socket called 'AM2'.
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD May 24 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Athlon64 FX-62 / X2 5000+

Hello DDR-2, the AM2's Memory of Choice

The fact of the matter is simple, the DDR memory standard simply cannot provide enough memory bandwidth to a dual core Athlon64 X2 or FX processor, that's why AMD needed to turn to DDR-2 RAM.

Here's an example, the dual core Athlon64 FX-62 can use up to 12.8GB/s worth of bandwidth, while DDR400 memory can provide just 6.4 GB/s bandwidth when running in a dual channel configuration. With the CPU industry moving towards parallelism, giving the processing cores enough memory bandwidth will be a key issue in improving performance.

Dual core Socket AM2 Athlon64's are compatible with DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-667 and DDR2-800 memory. Wouldn't you know it, two DDR2-800 DIMMs running in dual channel configuration can provide a dual core Athlon64 X2 or FX processor with as much memory bandwidth as it needs. Single core Socket AM2 Athlon64's support memory up to DDR2-667, more than what a single core processor requires.

Here are a few AM2 Athlon64-friendly Low Latency DDR-2 modules to begin with:

- Corsair CM2X1048-6400C4
- Corsair CM2X1048-8500C5
- Corsair CM2X512-8500
- Buffalo FireStix FSX1000D2C-K2G PC2-8000
- Patriot Memory PDC22G8000+XBLK Rev.2
- Patriot Memory PDC22G8000ELK PC2-8000
- Super Talent PC2-6400 T800UX2GC4
- Crucial Ballistix PC2-4200
- Corsair Twin2X1024-8000UL
The socket AM2 Athlon64 processor platform should go a long way to stimulating the DDR-2 memory industry, because key to the AM2's survival will be access to low latency DDR-2 parts. Up until now that's been something of an oxymoron... companies like Corsair, Patriot Memory, OCZ, and Buffalo Technology have already begun releasing quick low latency DDR-2, much of it currently based on Micron Rev.E DRAM.

This will prevent some confusion for consumers, because while PC2-6400 DDR-2 with timings of 5-5-5-15 has been just dandy for Intel Pentum D processors, the integrated memory controller of the socket AM2 Athlon64 processor is much more picky. A starting place to begin is PC2-8500 or PC2-6400 DDR-2 that can run with CAS latency timings of 4-4-4-12. Judging from what we've seen of the socket AM2 in benchmarks, memory with these latency timings will have a much greater impact on overall performance than bumping up memory speed.

DDR-2 and nForce 500 Series EPP Memory

Enhanced Performance Profiles take over where JEDEC's SPD leaves off, and as the name implies, adds performance profiles to the memory in addition to the conservative compatibility settings programmed in the SPD. EPP compliant memory is dubbed "SLI Ready" (great marketing on nVIDIA's part) and allows the system to automatically tighten up memory timings and increase voltages for more performance on compatible chipsets - currently anything in the nForce 500 series. Corsair and nVIDIA have developed the open standard, but there is nothing to prevent SIS or even VIA from adopting Enhanced Performance Profiles.

Whether you're a novice or experienced computer user, the benefits of EPP memory are immediate. Corsair is the initial memory manufacturer out the door with this new feature, and it looks like OCZ has already jumped on the trend with its own set of EPP-based DDR-2 memory parts. I'd expect most enthusiast memory brands to follow suit.

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Contents of Article: AMD Athlon64 FX-62 / X2 5000+
 Pg 1.  AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Processors Reviewed
 Pg 2.  Complete Socket AM2 CPU Family
 Pg 3.  Behind the Heatspreader - Common AM2 CPU Features
 Pg 4.  AMD Virtulization Technology
 Pg 5.  Performance-Per-Watt Metrics
 Pg 6.  Socket AM2 System Power Draw
 Pg 7.  — Hello DDR-2, the AM2's Memory of Choice
 Pg 8.  VIA / SIS Chipsets for Socket AM2
 Pg 9.  nVIDIA, the AMD chipset market leader
 Pg 10.  Socket AM2 Heatsinks and Retention Frame
 Pg 11.  Overclocking the Athlon64 X2 5000+ and FX-62!
 Pg 12.  Flagship AMD Athlon64 FX-62 Overclocking
 Pg 13.  Prelude to Benchmarks - Test System Configuration
 Pg 14.  Pure 32-bit Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 15.  Pure 32 bit Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra 2005
 Pg 16.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Maya Render Test, Super Pi
 Pg 17.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 18.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 19.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 20.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 21.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 22.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 23.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 24.  64 Bit Benchmarks: ScienceMark 2.
 Pg 25.  64 Bit Benchmarks: Mini-GZip, DiVX Encoding
 Pg 26.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 27.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 28.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 29.  Welcome to the family Socket AM2!

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