AMD’s major hopes for regaining their success as the processor manufacturer are closely connected with the promising K8L micro-architecture that is due to come in the second half of this year (for details see our article called AMD's Next Generation Microarchitecture Preview: from K8 to K8L). So far AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors can only compete with Intel CPUs in the budget and mainstream price range. AMD has been pursuing very aggressive pricing policy for the last few months, offering their dual-core processors at very attractive prices.
However, this doesn’t prevent AMD from manufacturing the expensive products for hardware enthusiasts as well, such as the Quad FX platform that we have reviewed recently, which includes Athlon 64 FX-7X processors. Although AMD Quad FX platform lost to the competitor solution from Intel, the quad-core Kentsfield CPU, from almost all standpoints, it proved once again to all users out there, that AMD still bears huge engineering potential.
Today AMD made one more step of similar nature: they announced new dual-core Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor. And although this CPU turns out the today’s fastest AMD processors for Socket AM2 systems, we are not expecting it to hit any tremendous heights. The working frequency of the new Athlon 64 X2 6000+ got only 200MHz higher than that of the Athlon 64 FX-62, which loses to top Intel Core 2 processors in almost all the tests. So, the 200MHz seem to be hardly sufficient for successful competition against the today’s performance leaders.
Therefore, the new AMD announcement is primarily curious from the technological rather than performance standpoint, as the company managed to increase the working frequency of its mass 90nm processors with K8 micro-architecture to 3.0GHz. And of course, Athlon 64 X2 6000+ can be of certain interest to the owners of older Socket AM2 systems, as a great upgrade option, although not the best one from the price-to-performance prospective, because of the $459 price AMD is asking for this new processor.