The balancing act between performance and cost is a
difficult one to juggle when it comes to the entry level market. AMD has had
success in the past with its Duron processors, and it looks like it has a real
winner with its new value oriented line, the Sempron.
It's okay if you're
not familiar with the Sempron name, there's been little news about the line even
though it wipes the floor with its Celeron competition. The current generation
of Sempron's are based on the Athlon64 design which should tell you something
about the Sempron's capabilities as we have seen from the benchmarks.
The AMD Sempron 3600+ is Socket AM2 compatible which
means if you're tight on a budget, you can build yourself a lean Socket AM2
machine and upgrade to something more powerful when you're ready. Or if you're
looking to build an entry level system with total cost in mind but want a bit of
flexibility, the 2.0GHz Sempron 3600+ fits the bill suitably.
With a retail price
of $117 CDN ($105 US, £55GBP), the AMD Sempron 3600+ is an absolute steal. From
the benchmark results in workstation style applications the 2.0GHz Sempron 3600+
is competitive with the competition, often equaling Intel Pentium D performance.
In these office oriented applications and it is not even that far behind AMD's
higher end processors.
In tests that require a lot of CPU power, like games or
rendering programs, the AMD Sempron 3600+ lags behind mainly due to a small L2
cache size. AMD had to handicap the Sempron a bit otherwise it would steal sales
away from the socket AM2 Athlon64, much like how the socket A Duron stole sales
away from the AthlonXP processor.
In 3D applications, the smaller L2 cache size holds the
Sempron 3600+ back a bit, although it is not as much apparent as with pure
CPU-number-crunching tests. Team the AMD Sempron 3600+ up with a high powered
videocard and a fast motherboard and you should have a pretty decent gaming
machine, as the benchmarks indicated. You'll get much better framerates from an
Athlon64 X2, but the two are wildly disparate when it comes to cost....
The 2.0GHz AMD Sempron 3600+ processor offers users on a
budget a stable and reliable platform from which to build a workstation PC. The
Sempron 3600+ is the ideal chip for mundane tasks like word processing,
spreadsheets, email, surfing the internet and like chores - particularly if
total computer cost is a limiting factor. If you decide you want to have some
fun the Sempron 3600+ is also up to the gaming task so long as you've splurged
on a good videocard, but just keep in mind that it won't break any FPs records
when you're blasting away at enemies.
If you're a "bang for the buck" type of person, the
Sempron 3600+ processor is certainly up there. It doesn't have the biggest bang,
but it is an excellent processor for bargain hunters that's for sure.
Find out about this and many other reviews by joining
the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS
latest reviews right here.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- Intel Pentium D 940 3.2GHz Dual Core Processor
- AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Processors
- AMD Athlon64 FX-60 Dual Core Processor Review
- The Underclocking Experiment
Overclocking and WindowsXP x64