To better illustrate the new pricing policies we would like to offer you a chart showing the processor prices alongside with their average performance level.
As we see, AMD and Intel did a very good job on reforming their price policies. If we disregard the image solutions, Pentium Extreme Edition 965 and Athlon 64 FX-62, all the dots on this chart will fit into almost the same curve. It means that any of the dual-core processors has a justified price-to-performance ratio as of today. In other words, it means that the price of the processor corresponds very well to its actual performance, no matter what dual-core CPU we consider.
However, more in-depth data analysis suggests that AMD processors are still a little bit overpriced. There is a more expensive Core 2 Duo processor with much higher level of performance for each AMD Athlon 64 X2 starting with the 4200+ model. However, the fact that contemporary CPUs on Core microarchitecture require more expensive LGA775 platform may actually make up for the AMD’s pricing.
Now that we have paid due attention to the performance and pricing of our testing participants, let’s check out the “performance per watt” ratio, especially since Intel has been so excited about this particular concept.
I don’t think you need any additional comments here. Core 2 Duo processors combine high performance and low power consumption. Pentium D processors, on the contrary, feature low performance and relatively high power consumption. Athlon 64 X2 are still in the intermediate position, although we wouldn’t regard this result as a final statement just yet. The picture will most likely change when the Energy Efficient AMD processors get into the mass market.
In conclusion, I would like to offer you one more chart showing the performance per GHz ratio:
It is not just a beautiful picture. It shows empirical correlation between the frequencies of CPUs from different processor families that provide similar levels of performance. Thus, to achieve the performance level of a Core 2 Duo processor, AMD Athlon 64 has to work at about 20% faster clock speed, and the Pentium D processor has to run at about 90% faster clock speed. This ratio allows us not only to estimate the approximate relative performance of contemporary CPUs, but also to get a better idea of what new models will be eventually coming out in the Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 X2 processor families.