The new Athlon X2 BE-2xxx series of processors are simply a variant of the existing 'Brisbane' core with a lower maximum TDP of 45W compared to 65W of the regular Athlon 64 X2s. As such, there are actually no technical or architectural differences between the new processors and the existing Brisbane based Athlon 64 X2 except for another naming convention change (other than the already mentioned the lower 45W TDP that is). The following table shows a quick comparison of processor specifications:-
|Processor Name||AMD Atlhon 64 X2 / Athlon X2 (Brisbane)||AMD Atlhon 64 X2 (Windsor)||Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe)||Intel Core 2 Duo / Pentium Dual Core (Allendale)|
||3600+ - 6000+||E6300, E6400, E6320, E6420, E6600, E6700, X6800||
||2.0GHz - 3.0GHz||1.86GHz - 2.93GHz||
|No. of Cores||2||2||2||2|
|No. of Logical Processors||2||2||2||2|
|Front Side Bus (MHz)||-||-||1066||800|
|HyperTransport Bus||1GHz (2000MT/s)||1GHz (2000MT/s)||-||-|
|L1 Cache (data + instruction)||(64KB + 64KB) x 2||(64KB + 64KB) x 2||(32KB + 32KB) x 2||(32KB + 32KB) x 2|
|L2 Cache (per core)||512KB||256BK / 512KB / 1MB||2MB / 4MB (shared)||1MB / 2MB (shared)|
|Memory Controller||Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR2-800)||Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR2-800)||Dual Channel (up to DDR2-800)||Dual Channel (up to DDR2-800)|
|VID (V)||1.15 - 1.25||1.25 - 1.35||0.85 - 1.3625||1.162 - 1.325|
|TDP (W)||45 / 65||35 / 65 / 89 / 125||65||65|
|Execute Disable Bit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel EM64T / AMD64||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) / AMD Cool 'n' Quiet||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Process Technology||65nm SOI||90nm SOI||65nm||65nm|
|Die Size||118 - 126mm²||230mm²||143mm²||111mm²|
|No. of Transistors||154 - 221 million||154 - 227.4 million||291 million||167 million|
In the past, AMD processors were identified primarily based on its performance index alone. According to AMD, this singular identification number is no longer capable of providing an accurate description of a processor and its technologies. Thus, the new naming scheme.
Firstly, AMD removed the '64' from Athlon 64 X2 and shortened the name to Athlon X2. This does not mean that the processor no longer features 64-bit technology. On the contrary, AMD claims that since they're already recognized as the pioneer of 64-bit consumer processor technologies and that 64-bit capable CPUs have already become ubiquitous in the market, there is no longer the need to identify processors with the '64' in its name. However, the Athlon 64 logo will remain as it is the branding image of the AMD64 family.
Moving on to the actual numbering of the processor itself, AMD's new numbering consists of a six digit alphanumeric sequence in the format of AA-0000. The two alpha characters in the front represent the processor class and power. The first character denotes processor class as being entry level, mainstream or performance. In this case, the 'B' class processors are supposed to be the mainstream models and there will be additional entry level and high performance classes to be added in the future. The second letter represents the processor power envelop. 'E' in this case stands for energy efficiency below 65W TDP. The new Athlon X2 BE-2xxx series all have a 45W TDP only.
The next four numeric characters determine processor family and performance. The first number is supposed to correspond with the family and tied to the number of cores, while the last three numbers denote the processor performance index or position within its family. Thus, the Athlon X2 BE-2350 can be read as a mainstream, low TDP, dual core processor in the same family as other Athlon X2s, more powerful than the BE-2300, but less than the BE-2400.
This new naming scheme will only reflect a processor position within its own family and is no longer a direct indicator as to how the processor will perform in comparison to competitor products or market performance numbers. Currently, only the Athlon X2 BE-2xxx series have adopted this new naming scheme and you can expect all future processor launches to take on the same sequence.