If you are reading this review, it means you still have believe in AMD Company and hope that they haven’t given up their desktop market share completely. You have high hopes for AMD’s ability to suddenly release a product that will impress the computer community with its performance, overclocking potential, power consumption or some other positive features. These are exactly the feelings we have lately every time we get our hands on the new processors from this manufacturer. Although none of the AMD processors released over the past two and a half years have proven up to all our expectations, we still remember the success of K8 microarchitecture very well, when there was simply no worthy competitor out there. So, we are still very enthusiastic about the new AMD solutions and that stimulates our search for their indisputable advantages and strengths. It is our sincere enthusiasm that explains why you often see something like that in the conclusions to our recent AMD CPU reviews: “taking into account this and that and making a few allowances, we can conclude that the new AMD processor may be of interest to a certain user category”. Actually, AMD new products have definitely proven one thing to us that the company specialists responsible for pricing and positioning are very down to earth and haven’t lost their feel for reality. Athlon and Phenom processors are extremely inexpensive and sometimes you can really save some cash if you decide on an AMD CPU over a competitor solution.
AMD once again decided to play this very strong card. Today they are announcing new dual-core processors in their Athlon X2 family. They stand out due to the fact that they belong to a new 7000 series. Although, the today’s computer community still pins most of its hopes over the upcoming launch of the new Phenom II X4 that will finally work at competitive frequencies due to the long-awaited transition to 45nm production process, AMD decided to fire a “warning shot” in the budget segment before launching their new flagship solution.
So, today we are going to talk about new budget dual-core processors. AMD decided to oppose them to the pretty popular Pentium Dual Core CPUs from Intel. The new processors from Athlon X2 7000 series are in fact not as simple as you may think they are: they belong to remarkable Stars (K10) microarchitecture. In other words, the microarchitecture that has been used in quad- and triple-core Phenom processors has finally arrived into dual-core CPUs. As a result, new Athlon X2 7000 will acquire L3 cache, HyperTransport bus with increased bandwidth and a bunch of other microarchitectural improvements. But on the other hand, Athlon X2 7000 series will inherit all the issues from the 65nm Phenom CPUs leading to low clock frequencies. This dualism makes the new processors extremely interesting for us. The main question e will try to answer in this article is the following: have the new Athlon X2 become better than the old ones and will they be able to successfully compete against the refreshed Intel Dual Core CPUs on 45nm Wolfdale-2M cores?