Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ was an excellent performer in virtually every category. Throughout our entire suite of benchmarks, the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ was consistently ranked at the top of the charts, either matching the performance level of a similarly clocked Athlon 64 4000+ in the single-threaded tests, or outperforming every other reference system in the multi-threaded tests. Only in the Office XP SP2 performance module built into WorldBench 5.0, was an Intel processor able to outpace the Athlon 64 X2 4800+.
Over the last couple of years, AMD's Athlon 64 processors have firmly established a reputation for being some of the fastest desktop processors for gaming and general computing. However Intel historically held onto the performance lead in many encoding and 3D rendering tests. Intel's performance advantage in these categories came by way of its HyperThreading capabilities and SSE3 optimizations. However many of these advantages have been negated with the introduction of Athlon 64 X2. With their new dual-core processors, AMD's CPUs are now able to handle multiple threads more efficiently than their single-core counterparts, and the X2 also has SSE3 optimization built-in as well. After spending some time evaluating the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, there is no denying the power of this processor. It's simply the fastest all-around CPU we have ever tested. Higher-clocked single-core processors like the Athlon 64 FX-55 may be a bit faster for gaming (for now), but that advantage is completely over shadowed by the X2 4800+'s performance in every other category in our opinion. The Athlon 64 X2 4800+ also requires less power than Intel's dual-core Pentium-D, it runs cooler, and even in its infancy the X2 seems to be highly overclockable. AMD seems to be in an excellent position based on our early findings with this new high-end desktop processor.
Prices for the first batch of Athlon 64 X2 processors will range from about $530 to just over $1000 when they are officially released in the coming weeks / months. The breakdown is as follows:
The price scale for AMD's dual-core processors is on the high side when compared to Intel's dual-core CPUs, which start at about $250 for a 2.8GHz processor and shoot up to $999 for the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, but that price premium is somewhat offset by the fact that users won't need a new motherboard to upgrade to a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 and the X2's superior performance, at this point in time. All told, as far as high-end desktop processors, AMD's new Athlon 64 X2 looks to be a better alternative currently for the general consumer, workstation professional or computing enthusiast.