Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

AMD's dual-core CPUs come out fighting

Filed under
Hardware

Two weeks ago, AMD released its dual-core Opteron server chips and announced that we'd soon see dual-core technology brought to the desktop in the form of its Athlon 64 X2 processors. We have tested one of the new chips, and today we can share performance figures. The results are dramatic. AMD's new dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4800+ CPU hands the company a decisive victory over rival Intel; a system from AMD using the X2 4800+ beat an Intel-submitted PC with the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (PEE 840) on every one of our dual-core benchmarks.

With four Athlon 64 X2 chips announced today, AMD gives PC buyers greater dual-core CPU choices than you get with Intel and its lone PEE 840. What's more, the Athlon 64 X2 chips work with existing AMD motherboards, providing DIY consumers flexibility in bringing dual core to their current platform without having to overhaul the entire PC, starting with the motherboard.

AMD's initial shipment will consist of four different CPUs. We received a test system from AMD with the highest-end Athlon 64 X2 4800+ ($1,001) chip. The X2 4600+ ($803), the X2 4400+ ($581) and the X2 4200+ ($537) round out the line. Both the X2 4800+ and the X2 4600+ are clocked at 2.4GHz; the X2 4800+ costs more because it has 1MB of L2 cache on each processing core to the X2 4600+ core's 512KB. The X2 4400+ and the X2 4200+ both have a clock speed of 2.2GHz, with a similar breakdown of L2 cache: 1MB on each X2 4400+ core and 512KB on each X2 4200+ core.

Because AMD's processors use a different chipset than Intel's and the comparison 'white box' units use different memory, hard drives and other hardware, we can't make a perfect direct comparison between the two CPUs. The best we can do is set every component to factory specs and compare those baseline-to-baseline results. Using that methodology, we found AMD's chip the clear winner. Still, it's hard to pinpoint specifically why the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ is faster than the Pentium Extreme Edition 840. AMD claims its chip is lightning-fast because of its built-in memory controller -- and judging from our dual-core tests, we'd have to agree that it plays a part in giving AMD the edge. Intel's PEE 840 must communicate with system memory via a separate memory controller connected via the frontside bus (FSB), a pathway on which data can travel at 1,066MHz at best. With its integrated memory controller, the Athlon 64 X2, AMD's chip removes the FSB bottleneck and can communicate with system memory at the processor's full clock speed.

Link to full story with graphs.

More in Tux Machines

Latest Nvidia Shield player runs Android TV on Tegra X1

Nvidia’s $199 STB version of Nvidia Shield runs Android TV on a Tegra X1, and boasts 4K video, 50 optimized games, and game streaming from a “Grid” service. The 2015 set-top box version of the Nvidia Shield follows two earlier models, including 2013’s original handheld Shield game console, now called the Nvidia Shield Portable, which was based on the Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip. Last year, the chip designer-cum-hardware developer released an Nvidia Shield Tablet built around a more powerful Tegra K1 SoC with Kepler graphics, and featuring new stylus and WiFi Direct gaming controller. Read more Also: NVIDIA 346.47 Linux Drivers Launched with Support for New GPUs

​Companies really want Linux-savvy employees and they want them now

According to the Linux Foundation and tech job company Dice, in the 2015 Linux Jobs Report, "Nearly all hiring managers are looking to recruit Linux professionals." While programmers and Linux system administrators are in high demand, your chances of landing a great job are greater if you have cloud, security, and/or software defined networking (SDN) skills. In particular, "42 percent of hiring managers say experience with or knowledge of OpenStack and CloudStack are having a big impact on their Linux hiring decisions" while "49 percent of Linux professionals believe open cloud will be the biggest growth area for Linux in 2015." Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 Flavors Beta 1 Available to Download

Ubuntu 15.04 flavors have a first beta version, it now available to download and install for testing. In this release, There are only available images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Xubuntu and ubuntu cloud. Read more

Mozilla's *Really* Important News: Thunderbird Lives

So why does that matter? After all, there are lots of ways of accessing email, so why should we care whether Thunderbird has been semi-abandoned or not? As I wrote at the end of 2013, the world has changed dramatically in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks about massive surveillance of our online activities. That makes using encryption crucial, and that, in its turn, gives Thunderbird a renewed importance, because it is currently one of the most popular ways for using GNU Privacy Guard, the free software version of the core PGP technology, via Enigmail. Indeed, it's fascinating to see from the Thunderbird blog post on "Active Daily Installations" that privacy-loving Germany headed the list with 1.7 million out of a total of 9.3 million (UK could only manage a rather feeble 254,000.) Read more