Performance Analysis And The Final Word
Benchmark And Performance Summary:
Our testing with the new Energy Efficient Athlon 64 X2 3800+ and 44600+ went as we projected with very few surprises along the way. The processors fall in line with the performance characteristics of their non-energy efficient counterparts in the Athlon 64 X2 family. Often times the 4600+ actually held strong with Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 965, a processor that retails for over $1000. Overclockers in our midst should also enjoy the benefits of the extra headroom these new Athlon 64 chips have within them, realizing at least 10-15% more available clock speed on standard air cooling at stock voltages, and 25 - 30% more clock speed with a voltage boost to 1.5v.
From a power consumption and heat profile perspective, these new Energy Efficient Athlon 64s offered some of the lowest draw characteristics we've seen in a long time. Even under 100% CPU load the highest clock speed 4600+ CPU never broke 40oC in our open air bench test.
Pricing for the new Energy Efficient Athlon 64 X2 series of product will roll out accordingly:
|Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (socket AM2 only)||$301|
|Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (Energy Efficient*)||$276|
|Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (socket AM2 and 939)||$240|
|Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (Energy Efficient*)||$215|
|Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (socket AM2 and 939)||$187|
|Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Energy Efficient Small Form Factor**)||***|
|Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Energy Efficient*)||$176|
|Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (socket AM2 only)||$152|
*65Watt TDP - **35watt TDP
We don't have pricing in yet for the SSF variant of the 3800+ but that was in fact the version of the processor we tested in this article. As you can see the EE varieties carry about a 10-15% premium. When all is said and done it's nice to have a bit more selection from AMD targeted toward lower power consumption and better thermal characteristics. Either one of the processors we showed you today would make for excellent choices in a Home Theater PC setup or other Small Form Factor configuration.
Essentially these processors are a re-characterization of the current Athlon 64 X2 but at lower operating voltages and with lower profile thermal solutions required. There's no question, clock for clock the Core 2 Duo has one up on the Athlon 64 X2 right now but AMD is making every effort to "sell what they have" and they're still trying to bring a value-add approach to their current processor line-up.