We do not have tons of reviews devoted to server and workstation processors on our site. The reason is because these are very special CPUs, and they are hardly of that much interest to the majority of computer users and hardware enthusiasts. The thing is that these processors are relatively expensive and require use of specific platforms adapted primarily for server applications. Moreover, server processors very often boast some features, which will be of absolutely no use in regular desktop platforms. For example, multi-processor configurations support or additional L2 and L3 cache memory. So, AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon are overall very different solutions that can arouse well-deserved interest only from a smaller number of professionals, who deal with servers and high-performance workstations.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions to every rule. Here I am talking about an Opteron CPU model from AMD that turns out to be quite interesting for hardware enthusiasts these days. It is Opteron 165, which appears to be the today’s best-value dual-core CPU on AMD64 architecture. It is officially selling for less than $300, which means that it is even cheaper than the Athlon 64 X2 3800+, the youngest fellow in the desktop dual-core processor family from AMD. However, the price would certainly be not enough to attract so much attention to the server solution.
Another really important reason why we got so much interested in taking a closer look at Opteron 165 is the fact that it is very much different from the majority of Opteron CPUs from other families: Opteron 165 can work just fine in a regular desktop platform. Firstly, this processor is compatible with Socket 939 infrastructure, and secondly, it supports regular non-Registered DDR SDRAM. In other words, AMD Opteron 165 can be installed into regular Socket 939 mainboards without any incompatibility threats. From this standpoint AMD Opteron 165 doesn’t differ much from Athlon 64 X2. Moreover, if AMD didn’t want to push this processor into the Value server segment, it could have easily been known as Athlon 64 X2 3500+.
So, today we are going to take a closer look at the best-value dual-core Socket 939 processor from AMD. And this is exactly its main attraction: all other dual-core CPUs are still quite pricy these days, unfortunately. And this is especially true for AMD CPUs. Unfortunately, there is no solution in the Athlon 64 X2 processor family that would be priced below $300, while Intel if offering Pentium D processors in this price range. So, those users who did not have that much of a budget to spend, have been limited down to Intel platform only, when it came to dual-core solutions. Looks like Opteron 165 can resolve this situation. Moreover, we expect it to reveal some great overclockability, which may also make it a superior overclocker’s choice.