What about AMD? Sadly, not much has happened for most of this year other than having further processor model number revisions due to core revisions. This has unfortunately confused people at different times because there are cases where up to three different variants of the so-called same processor model exist at the same time. Some were more power efficient cores of the same core model, while other models jumped to a new core offering different technical specs, but retained the same processor model name. To add on to these, AMD has in recent times offered a "Black Edition" model that is basically means that the multiplier is unlocked and is great for overclocking efforts. The Black Editions are currently limited to the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and the 6400+ models though.
For the most part of this year, AMD has been revising its processor prices to stay competitive with Intel, and has been trying hard to transition the 65nm Brisbane cores for its processor family. Unfortunately, the latter has been tough for AMD has they have difficulty scaling the processor frequencies. Thus even after a year since Brisbane first appeared, AMD still relies on its older 90nm Windsor cores to drive their higher performance parts. It's hard to imagine how AMD is going to deliver Barcelona and Phenom processors when they couldn't even transition to Brisbane properly. In fact, AMD has an Athlon 64 X2 5200+ model using the Brisbane core, but its availability is quite scarce for a long time. As such, most in the market are still the Windsor models.
While AMD has difficulty ramping clock speeds of the Brisbane core, they have however binned the better quality cores for 45W TDP rating and are available under the new AMD Athlon X2 BE-2xxx naming scheme. That's a good move, albeit they command a premium that gets people thinking if power savings or better performance makes better sense for their needs. With that said, here is how AMD's product mix stacks up currently:-
|Processor Model / Processor Characteristics||Clock Speed||L2 Cache||Processor
|Max TDP (W)||Price|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
|3.2GHz||1MB x 2||Windsor||125||US$220|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+||3.0GHz||1MB x 2||Windsor||125||US$167|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+||2.8GHz||1MB x 2||Windsor||89||US$146|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+||2.6GHz||1MB x 2||Windsor||89||US$125|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+||2.6GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||65||US$115|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+||2.5GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||65||US$104|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+||2.3GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||65||US$89|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+||2.2GHz||512KB x 2||Windsor||65||US$78|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+||2.1GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||65||US$68|
|AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400||2.3GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||45||US$104|
|AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350||2.1GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||45||US$96|
|AMD Athlon X2 BE-2300||1.9GHz||512KB x 2||Brisbane||45||US$91|
As always, we would love to test as many processors as possible, but as much as we've tried requested from AMD, they were unable to obtain some of the Brisbane processors for our testing needs. As such these processor models are unavailable in our comparison matrix: Athlon 64 X2 4800+, 4400+, 4000+ and the BE-2400 processors. The latter is just too new that it's hard to come by, just like the high-end 6400+ model that is also not in the comparison.
With the recap of dual-core processors, variety and updates to the series since we've last discussed about them, we're all set to lay down the test setup specs used to benchmark them. The outcome of which, we have obtained roughly 400 results that we've compiled from running 18 different processors across our suite of benchmarks. Here then are the testbed specifications used for this review:-