AMD Athlon X2
The dual-core AMD CPU lineup has recently been changed dramatically. Namely, AMD has shifted the focus to Athlon X2 7000 series solutions based on Kuma core. As a result, Athlon X2 7750 is not the only solution in the market today: you can also get a faster Athlon X2 7850 working at 2.8GHz frequency. At the same time, they retired a vast majority of Athlon X2 CPUs on Windsor and Brisbane cores. The reasons for these drastic measures are pretty common: it becomes not cost effective to manufacture special cores for inexpensive dual-core processors that is why CPUs based on defective quad-core semiconductor dies become more and more widely spread.
So, the number of dual-core AMD processors on K10 (Stars) microarchitecture that also have a 2MB L3 cache keeps growing. However, it is important to remember that Athlon X2 from the 7000 series is a derivative from the first-generation Phenom X4 CPUs on Agena core manufactured with old 65nm process. It means that Athlon X2 7000 series work only in Socket AM2/AM2+ mainboards and support only DDR2 SDRAM.
You can check out the key specifications of Athlon X2 processors on K10 (Stars) microarchitecture on the screenshot from the diagnostic CPU-Z utility, for example:
There is nothing unexpected here. The top Athlon X2 7850 model turned out only 100MHz faster than the predecessors we had already reviewed before. It works at 2.8GHz clock speed. Everything else remained exactly the same. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect the new Athlon X2 7000 series to work any wonders: their performance is just a little different from that of Athlon X2 on K8 microarchitecture, these CPUs do not overclock too well and have pretty high heat dissipation. However, nevertheless, there is not much choice for us at this point, and those of you who decide to go with a dual-core AMD processor will have to put up with all these drawbacks, at least until the company is ready to offer us new dual-core solutions on more advanced 45nm cores.