AMD Goes to 3GHz: The Athlon 64 X2 6000+

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2007-03-01 Print this article Print

Review: AMD ships a 3GHz Athlon 64 X2, meaning AMD's top single-socket CPU actually runs at a higher clock frequency than Intel's fastest Core 2 CPUs. We do the benchmarks to see whether that matters. (ExtremeTech)

Its ironic, really. AMDs latest Athlon 64 X2 6000+ runs at 3.0GHz, while Intels fastest Core 2 Extreme Edition tops out at 2.93GHz. Talk about a turnabout. To be fair, Intel is still shipping higher-clocked Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors, but few people pay attention to those, nor do most users want one.
The new Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is also interesting because it uses a fixed clock multiplier. So, in the universe of single-socket AMD CPUs, the FX-62 is the top unlocked single-socket CPU at 2.8GHz.
AMD rolls out its first ATI integrated chip sets. Click here to read more. These odd machinations in clock speeds and part numbers come about because of AMDs positioning of its Quad FX as the top FX series CPU, although those require highly specialized motherboards costing upwards of $400. You can buy single FX-70 series processors now and theoretically run a single Socket F CPU in a Quad FX motherboard, but thats not the optimum configuration. If what you want is a single-socket, 3GHz Athlon 64 X2 CPU, then the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ turns out to be a pretty good deal. Its priced right, at $459 (for quantity 1,000.) Weve already seen preorders on the Web for $489. That makes it about $30 to $60 cheaper than Intels Core 2 Duo E6700 CPU. But the picture isnt entirely rosy. Lets take a closer look at the CPU specs and then discuss performance. Given all the hype about AMDs recent 65nm processor shipments, its a little disconcerting to discover that the 6000+ is built on a 90nm process and consumes up to 125W. The current FX-62 will be replaced by the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, which clocks at 2.8GHz and also is a 90nm part rated at a thermal design power of 89W, considerably lower than the original FX-62. Read the full story on ExtremeTech: AMD Goes to 3GHz: The Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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