AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Processor Review
By Nathan Kirsch •
AMD Gets a Much Needed Speed Boost
In 2006, the desktop processor race once again became interesting as Intel successfully took away the performance crown from AMD. While AMD doesn’t deny the lead by Intel they have broken their silence and believes that 2007 will be the year of their comeback. When AMD announced the Athlon 64 FX-62 processor back in May of 2006, little did we know that it would remain the fastest socket AM2 processor thanks to it’s 2.8GHz clock speed. Nearly nine months later AMD has launched a faster socket AM2 processor called the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+. This processor is clocked at 3.0GHz and other than the increased multiplier that allows the 200MHz speed bump, it has no other changes architecturally speaking.
Other than launching the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor, AMD is also bringing to market a pair of energy-efficient 45-watt AMD Athlon 64 single-core processors called the 3500+ and 3800+. The new energy-efficient AMD Athlon 64 processors 3500+ and 3800+ are based on their recent 65nm process. Today, Legit Reviews will be focused on covering just the 6000+ as it’s the processor we have in our hands. Let’s take a closer look at the specifications.
Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Specifications
|Clock Speed||3.0GHz (15 x 200MHz)|
|Manufacturing Process||Dresden Fab 30 and 36, 90-nm DSL SOI|
|Packaging||Socket AM2 (940-pins)|
|Hypertransport Technology||Supports single HT link – up to 8. 0GB/sec|
|Memory controller||Shared integrated 128-bit wide|
|Supported memory speeds||DDR2 Memory up to and including DDR2-800 unbuffered|
|HyperTransport spec||2.0GHz (2x1000MHz/DDR)|
|Memory bandwidth||Up to 20.8GB/sec (8.0GB/sec Hypertransport+12.8GB/sec dual-channel memory)|
|L1 cache size||64K instruction + 64K data|
|L2 cache size||1MB L2 cache per core (1MB total)|
|Approximate transistor count||227.4 million|
|Approximate die size||218mm2|
|Nominal voltage||1. 35-1.40V|
|Max thermal power||125W|
|Max ambient case temp||55-63 degrees Celsius|
|Min power state (with CnC)||1.0GHz|
|Distributor Pricing (in quantities of 1,000)||$459|
The AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ has 1MB of L2 cache per core and is still manufactured on the 90nm process, so in terms of energy efficiency and overclocking it should have the same characteristics that AMD users have become accustomed to. By remaining on the 90nm process it makes for an easy upgrade to exisiting motherboards as a BIOS upgrade is not required and th 90nm processors have lower memory latency over the new 65nm parts.
Let’s take a look at pricing!
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AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+: Competing with Aggressive Pricing
by Anand Lal Shimpion February 20, 2007 3:37 PM EST
- Posted in
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AMD has been taking a beating lately; when Intel released its Core 2 microprocessor family it was priced and performed aggressively, too aggressively for AMD to adequately compete with at the time. AMD’s marketing even went into remission as reviewers weren’t even seeded for speed bumps to the Athlon 64 X2 line, the X2 5000+ and FX-62 were the fastest Socket-AM2 parts AMD sent out for review and they were the first ones we’d ever reviewed as well. Sometimes no PR is good PR, and an article around the launch of the Athlon 64 X2 5200+, 5400+ or 5600+ simply proclaiming that Core 2 is once again on top would only work in Intel’s favor.
Quad FX came and went with limited interest from the enthusiast community, but the new platform signified a change in AMD’s product lineup. Expensive FX series processors would no longer be simply speed bumps of mainstream CPUs with more cache, they would be reserved for a completely different socket as well and sold in bundles of two for Quad FX platforms. It’s almost fitting that the FX line has been relegated to a platform that we didn’t recommend as it makes the task of encouraging users to stay away from FX-class processors a little easier. And if having to move to a new socket wasn’t reason enough to pick an AM2 processor over its FX counterpart, AMD’s latest price cuts should seal the deal:
|CPU||Clock Speed||L2 Cache||Price|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+||3.0GHz||1MBx2||$459|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+||2. 8GHz||1MBx2||$326|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+||2.8GHz||512KBx2||$267|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+||2.6GHz||1MBx2||$232|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+||2.6GHz||512KBx2||$222|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+||2. 5GHz||512KBx2||$217|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+||2.4GHz||512KBx2||$195|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+||2.3GHz||512KBx2||$170|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+||2.2GHz||512KBx2||$159|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+||2. 1GHz||512KBx2||$144|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+||2.0GHz||512KBx2||$113|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+||1.9GHz||512KBx2||$102|
The most expensive Athlon 64 X2, in fact the one being introduced today, is priced at under $500. Clocked at 3.0GHz with a 1MB L2 cache per core, the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ isn’t even the most attractive part of AMD’s lineup. Shave 200MHz off the 6000+ and you get the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, priced at $326. Note that the X2 5600+ is simply a FX-62 in disguise, what used to be a $999 processor has been reduced to less than a third of its cost — ain’t competition grand?
Of course a price war isn’t in AMD’s best interest when it comes to making money, but it’s the best AMD can do until its new micro-architecture makes its debut later this year. As a reference, below is a table of Intel’s Core 2 price list:
|CPU||Clock Speed||L2 Cache||Price|
|Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800||2.93GHz||4MB||$999|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E6700||2.66GHz||4MB||$530|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E6600||2. 40GHz||4MB||$316|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E6400||2.13GHz||2MB||$224|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E6300||1.86GHz||2MB||$183|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E4300||1.80GHz||2MB||$163|
The Core 2 Duo E6700 is $70 more expensive than the X2 6000+ but it is Intel’s closest competition to the new AMD processor.