CPU Guide

AMD Athlon 64 FX-62: DDR2 versus DDR1

AMD Athlon 64 FX-62: DDR2 versus DDR1


Just How Useful is DDR2 for AM2?

Just How Useful is DDR2 for AM2?

With the emergence of the new AM2 platform, AMD has updated its entire desktop processor portfolio to be AM2 compliant, albeit AMD will continue to support the existing Socket-939 and Socket-754 platform as long as there's a sizeable demand in those segments. To start off with a bang, AMD also launched faster processor versions in the guise of the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and the Athlon 64 FX-62 processors; both of which we had the pleasure of testing them thoroughly. As it turned out, their higher clock speed configurations easily earned them top-dog status and the performance advantage they held against their predecessors and the competitors pleased us too.

There was however one key question that had to be answered: Just how useful or pivotal had the adoption of DDR2 memory been to their top AM2 processors? There was no one processor in AMD's current lineup to pit the flagship AM2 processor against. To answer this interesting question, we overclocked the Athlon 64 FX-60 (Socket-939 using DDR memory) to 2.8GHz and then set it against the Athlon 64 FX-62 processor. Remember, at a clock speed of 2.8GHz, the FX-60 is almost identical to the new FX-62 processor, with the exception that the former uses DDR memory while the FX-62 obviously uses DDR2 memory. In essence, this is an FX-62 on Socket-939 versus an FX-62 on Socket AM2. Since the upper echelon of AM2 processors support memory frequencies as high as DDR2-800, we used low latency Corsair XMS memory of this speed grade whereas the Socket-939 based FX-60 was paired with low latency DDR-400 memory. Basically, we used the best speed grade available for both Socket platforms to keep the comparison objective. Below then are the complete test bed setups for both systems; do have them in mind as we proceed to the benchmarks segment immediately after:-


The components used in the AMD Socket AM2 testbed include:-

  • ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe (nForce 590 SLI chipset)
  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 and Athlon 64 X2 5000+ processor
  • 2 x 512MB Corsair DDR2-800 non-ECC memory modules (CAS 4, 4-4-12)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA hard disk drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • MSI GeForce 7900 GT 256MB - with NVIDIA Detonator XP 84.21
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2


The components used in the AMD Socket-939 testbed include:-

  • ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe (nForce4 SLI X16 chipset)
  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 and FX-60 overclocked to 2.8GHz
  • 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR-400 non-ECC memory modules (CAS 2, 2-2-5)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA hard disk drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • MSI GeForce 7900 GT 256MB - with NVIDIA Detonator XP 84.21
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2


The benchmarks used in this review include:-

  • BAPCo SYSmark 2004
  • SPECCPU 2000 v1.2
  • Lightwave 3D 7.5
  • Futuremark PCMark 2005 Pro
  • Cinebench 2003
  • XMpeg 4.5 (DivX encoding)
  • Futuremark 3DMark05 Pro
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 Pro
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • AquaMark3
  • Quake 4 ver.1.20
  • F.E.A.R.