Athlon 64 X2 Processor Family
Athlon 64 X2 processor family includes four CPU models with the 4800+, 4600+, 4400+ and 4200+ ratings. They can be based on Toledo and Manchester cores. The difference between these two cores lies with the size of the L2 cache memory. Toledo codenamed processors with the 4800+ and 4400+ ratings feature two L2 caches (one for each core), each 1Mb big. Manchester codenamed processors feature twice as little cache memory: two times 512KB.
AMD dual-core processors work at pretty high clock frequencies: 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz. In other words, the clock frequency of the top dual-core AMD processor equals that of the top Athlon 64 processor model. It means that even in applications that do not support multi-threading Athlon 64 X2 will still run pretty fast.
As for the electrical and thermal characteristics of the new processors, Athlon 64 X2 are hardly any different from the single-core CPUs, despite their relatively high working frequencies. The maximum heat dissipation of a processor with two cores is 110W against 89W of the regular Athlon 64, and the current rose to 80A vs. 57.4A by the single-core CPU. However, if we compare the electrical specifications of the Athlon 64 X2 with those of the Athlon 64 FX-55, the maximum heat dissipation will be only 6W higher, and the peak current value will be just the same. So, we can conclude that Athlon 64 X2 processors set pretty much the same requirements to the mainboard voltage regulator as Athlon 64 FX-55. The complete list of the Athlon 64 X2 lineup characteristics looks as follows:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core
Max. heat dissipation
1MB + 1MB
512KB + 512KB
1MB + 1MB
512KB + 512KB
I would like to note that AMD positions its Athlon 64 X2 as an entirely independent processor family designed for its specific user group. The CPUs from this processor family are targeted for advanced users who intend to use a few resource-hungry applications at a time or who work with digital content creation applications, most of which support multi-threading. In other words, Athlon 64 X2 looks like a certain analogue of the Athlon 64 FX designed not for gamers but for PC enthusiasts using their computer for work.
At the same time the launch of Athlon 64 X2 CPU family doesn’t interfere with the markets for all the already existing families: Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 and Sempron. All of them will stay in the market.
I would like to specifically stress that Athlon 64 X2 processor family and Athlon 64 processor family have unified ratings system. It means that Athlon 64 processors with the ratings above 4000+ will never appear in the market. At the same time, the single-core Athlon 64 FX CPUs will keep developing, because the gaming community does want more of these processors.
The price point of the new Athlon 64 X2 processors suggests that they can be regarded as the continuation of the regular Athlon 64 CPUs. In fact, this is true. While the top Athlon 64 models will move into the mainstream price range, their positions will be taken by the Athlon 64 X2.
The newcomers are expected to start selling in June. Here are the recommended AMD’s retail prices:
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ - $1001;
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ - $803;
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ - $581;
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ - $537.