Articles: CPU

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The x86-64 architecture is becoming ever more popular as processors that support the 64-bit AMD64 and EM64T technologies from AMD and Intel are widely available in the market and Windows XP, the number one operating system in this world, is officially available in its 64-bit version. The list of software titles that use the 64-bit modes is on the rise, too.

In fact, if we put aside some unavoidable transition-related troubles like unrefined drivers or unresolved compatibility problems with some programs, there is only one thing inhibiting an all-out migration to x86-64. We mean the lack of low-end 64-bit systems. And this problem seems to be going to be solved soon, too. Not long ago Intel began to offer LGA775-packaged Celeron D processors with EM64T technology and then AMD followed suit, releasing Semprons with enabled AMD64.

Thus, users with a limited budget can now enjoy the delights of those 64 bits, too. It doesn’t take much money anymore to build an x86-64 computer since junior CPU models with support of EM64T and AMD64 now cost a mere $60-70.

Along with the introduction of its AMD64-supporting Semprons, AMD also revealed a new and faster CPU model in this series. The new processor with a recommended price of $134 has got a rating of 3400+ and we’ve received a sample of it in our labs. The Sempron 3400+ is based on an updated Palermo core (revision E6) (for details see our article called Another Gift to Overclockers: AMD Sempron 3100+ on E Core Revision ). Since the x86-64 architecture is the main distinguishing feature of this product, we decided to test it in the 64-bit mode using Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

In other words, we’re going to see how today’s low-end processors perform in a 64-bit environment.

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