Vital Signs and Overclocking
Prior to benchmarking the new AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, we spent some time with CPU-Z to see if there was anything interesting to report in regard to the CPU's default configuration. We then took some notes regarding temperatures and overclocking.
CPU-Z: Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Other than the Athlon 64 X2 6000+'s clock speed, nothing much has changed since we last looked at the Socket AM2 Athlon 64 FX-62 a few months back. As you can see, the X2 6000+ processor is built using AMD's .09-micron manufacturing process and is clocked at 3.0GHz (15x200MHz), with 1MB of L2 cache per core, for a total of 2MB of L2 cache. There is also 128K of L1 cache (64K x 2) per execution core, for a total of 256K of L1 cache.
A few months ago there were reports that AMD would only be releasing Athlon 64 X2 processors with 512K of L2 cache per core and that only the FX series would be outfitted with 1MB L2 cache compliments. Obviously, that strategy is no longer in effect. The FX brand, however, will be reserved for the Quad-FX platform for now and the X2 6000+ will remain the fastest socket AM2 processor for the time being.
Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Overclocked to 3.2GHz
We also spent some time overclocking the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and had some interesting results. To overclock the processors, we used AMD's stock aluminum / copper PIB cooler. We bumped the CPU voltage up by .1v and set the memory voltage to 2.4v. We left the processor's multiplier at its stock value of 15x and raised the HT speed until the test system was no longer stable.
Ultimately, we were able to take the new Athlon 64 X2 6000+ to just under 3.2GHz with an HT clock of 214MHz. The 192MHz overclock equates to a 6.4% increase in clock speed, which is relatively small by today's standards. As we mentioned in our Quad-FX platform coverage a while back, it seems that AMD is getting close to hitting a clock speed ceiling with their 90nm SOI manufacturing process.
Through all of our preliminary tests, we also monitored processor temperatures via Asus' PC Probe II software. While idling at stock speeds, we found that the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processors' core temperature hovered around 48oC. And under load temperatures peaked at around 67oC. Overclocking the CPU to almost 3.2GHz didn't drastically effect temperatures, but we did see a max of about 72oC at one point, at least according to the Asus' health monitoring software.