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AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 - Attacking the Power Efficiency Angle
By Zachary Chan - 5 Jul 2007

Athlon X2 BE-2350

In Comes the Athlon X2 BE-2xxx

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 Technology and Specifications Compared
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)
Processor Models
  • 3600+ - 5000+
  • BE-2300 - BE-2400
3600+ - 6000+ E6300, E6400, E6320, E6420, E6600, E6700, X6800
  • E4300, E4400
  • E2140, E2160
Processor Frequency
  • 1.9GHz - 2.6GHz
  • 1.9GHz - 2.3GHz
2.0GHz - 3.0GHz 1.86GHz - 2.93GHz
  • 1.8GHz - 2.0GHz
  • 1.6GHz - 1.8GHz
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
Virtualization Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes
Packaging AM2 AM2 LGA775 LGA775
Process Technology 65nm SOI 90nm SOI 65nm 65nm
Processor Codename Brisbane Windsor Conroe Allendale
Die Size 118 - 126mm² 230mm² 143mm² 111mm²
No. of Transistors 154 - 221 million 154 - 227.4 million 291 million 167 million

What's In a Name?

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.

Our sample chip still has the Athlon 64 X2 etched on it, but retail models should only show the new Athlon X2 naming scheme.

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.

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