Articles: CPU

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The second processor we tested today, Athlon 64 X2 5000+, works at the nominal frequency of 2.6GHz but features smaller L2 cache memory than FX-62. Each of its cores has 512KB of L2 cache memory.

The CPU-Z utility detects this processor as follows:

Note that all dual-core processors from Athlon 64 X2 family, including the 5000+ model, have lower Vcore lying between 1.3V and 1.35V. As a result, these CPUs can fit into the 89W thermal envelope.

If we compare the results from our practical electrical measurements for Socket AM2 CPUs, we will get a very interesting picture. As always, we used a special S&M utility to measure the maximum power consumption (you can download this utility here ). We measured the current that goes through the CPU power circuitry. So, the numbers given below do not take into account the efficiency of the CPU voltage regulator laid out on the mainboard.

We have already got used to the fact that high heat dissipation is one of the features of processors based on NetBurst micro-architecture. So the numbers on the diagram can have a shocking effect on you. But we cannot deny the facts. The top-of-the-line AMD processor, Athlon 64 FX-62, boasts slightly higher heat dissipation and power consumption than the top dual-core CPU from Intel – Pentium Extreme Edition 965 based on Presler core revision C1. The top models of the mainstream dual-core processor families from AMD and Intel – Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and Pentium D 960 - are now showing about the same heat dissipation, too. So, AMD’s top processor models can no longer retain the title of the most economical CPUs. The latest Intel processors based on the newest Presler core revision are not any worse from this prospective. So, it is not for nothing that the Socket AM2 platform eases the electric current and heat dissipation requirements.

But let’s get back to Athlon 64 X2 5000+, and namely to its overclocking potential. Since the maximum value for the clock frequency multiplier is locked, we can only overclock this processor by raising the clock generator frequency. But this is not an issue and we can still achieve high results. Having increased its Vcore to 1.5V, we got our CPU running stably at 2.99GHz.

The obtained overclocking results for both new Socket AM2 processors used with the regular air-cooler show that the frequency potential of the core Revision F has become slightly higher than the previous AMD processors had. So, the new Socket AM2 platform may be of some interest to overclocking fans, no doubt about that.

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