Articles: CPU

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Making CPUs more economical is actually as important as switching to new DDR2 memory. Especially, since the performance-per-watt concept is gaining more and more attention and is being actively promoted by the CPU developers as a major metrics for product quality evaluation.

However, lower heat dissipation of mass AMD processors is not the last thing yet. As a matter of fact, Socket AM2 platform and the use of Revision F core for the new AMD processors allowed introducing the whole new family of more Energy Efficient processors. AMD is going to offer two types of Energy Efficient CPUs: with 65W and 35W peak heat dissipation levels. Of course, the processors with 65W maximum heat dissipation will compete with Conroe from the thermal and electrical point of view, while the 35W solutions will target at small, quiet and economical systems. AMD is not going to use any specific manufacturing techniques to produce Energy Efficient CPUs. They will simply sort out dies from the Revision F batch that meet the low thermal requirements.

AMD processors will migrate to AM2 Socket massively. The company will launch dual-core Athlon 64 X2 as well as single-core Athlon 64 and budget Sempron processors at the same time. Therefore, there will be a few modifications of the Revision F cores in the market. All the possible modifications and their specifications are given in the table below:

And this is what the Athlon 64 X2 core Revision F looks like:

Note that even though this core acquired DDR2 SDRAM support, it doesn’t have any ultimate enhancements from the micro-architectural standpoint. Since the first Athlon 64 processors came out, AMD persistently avoids making any changes to the core decoders or execution units. In other words, we are still witnessing the extensive development of the K8 architecture by means of slight additional modifications. And it used to be more than enough to ensure that they compete successfully with Intel. But today the situation is different. The Intel Core 2 Duo processors coming out this summer feature principally new micro-architecture that allows processing up to 4 commands per clock cycle. And AMD CPUs will have really hard times competing with them, keeping in mind that they cannot boast the same theoretical peak performance. From this standpoint, we are a little bit disappointed with the core Revision F despite all the innovations. Frankly speaking, we wish they had done more on the micro-architectural level. However, looks like not this time.

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