The time of dual-core processors has come. The CPUs equipped with two computational physical cores will start their invasion into desktop PCs in the near future. By the end of next year most new computers should be already equipped with dual-core processors.
The developers have been working hard on introducing dual-core architectures for a reason: all other means of growing the processor performance have already been exhausted. The clock frequencies cannot be increased that easily any more, and the higher bus frequency as well as larger cache size do not provide the expected efficient result. At the same time the improvement of 90nm production technology has finally reached the point when the manufacturing of super-large 200sq.mm dies turned profitable. This is exactly the reason why processor manufacturers began to integrate dual-core architectures into our life so actively.
So, today on May 9 2005, AMD followed into Intel’s footsteps and also pre-released its dual-core desktop processors. However, just like in case of Smithfield CPUs (Intel Pentium D and Intel Extreme Edition), we are not talking about the beginning of shipments yet. These processors are going to start shipping somewhat later. Right now AMD gives us the chance to take a closer look at what they are going to offer the market quite soon.
The dual-core processor family from AMD is called Athlon 64 X2. This name reflects not only the fact that the new dual-core solutions are based on AMD64 architecture, but also the fact that they are designed with two physical cores inside them. Besides the name, the dual-core desktop processors also acquired a new logo:
Athlon 64 X2 processor family will include four CPUs by the time it hits the stores. These will be 4200+, 4400+, 4600+ and 4800+. Their price will range from $500 to $1000 depending on the performance level. In other words, AMD positions its Athlon 64 X2 processor family a little bit higher than the regular Athlon 64 CPUs.
However, before we make our judgment about the efficiency of the new processors, let’s take a closer look at their features.