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Conclusion

Summing up everything we have said about the new AMD Socket AM2 platform we have to admit that the introduction of DDR2 SDRAM support is a small evolutionary step forward. Our tests showed that the transition to DDR2 SDRAM doesn’t bring in any significant performance gain. Moreover, you have to make sure that your system uses the fastest DDR2 SDRAM with 800MHz frequency and minimal timings if you want to see any performance improvement at all. The widely spread DDR2-667 SDRAM may sometimes provide absolutely no performance gain at all compared with the Socket 939 platforms supporting DDR400 SDRAM with low timings settings.

In conclusions I would like to say that the arrival of the Socket AM2 platform supporting DDR2 SDRAM is still not an ordinary occasion. Even though Socket AM2 systems do not boast any superior advantages over the Socket 939 platform at this time, the positive effect from this transition will be more evident in the future. Of course, DDR2 SDRAM is a much more promising memory standard. Its working frequency and bandwidth increase dynamically, its price goes down faster and it allows building high-capacity memory DIMM modules. As a result, AMD will certainly win from betting on DDR2. And the timing is simply perfect: no one will accuse AMD of unjustified moves neither from the performance nor from the pricing standpoint.

However, there is no real pressure from Intel, AMD’s main competitor, at this time. AMD CPUs retain their leading positions practically in all applications. The increasing clock speed of the top models has definitely contributed to that: Athlon 64 X2 is now running at 2.6GHz and Athlon 64 FX-62 - at 2.8GHz. Of course, there is some concern that this state of things may change when new Intel Core processors come out, but it is still too early to talk about it.

I have to confess that I was left with a little bit of disappointment deep inside now that I have taken a close look at the new core Revision F processors from AMD. The thing is that company engineers have once again done just a few minor modifications and didn’t make any in-depth architectural changes. This approach to processor improvement will sooner or later lead AMD Athlon 64 processor family to a frustrating defeat in the “armament drive”. Unfortunately, we do not have any information about significant changes of the K8 micro-architecture at this time.

 
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