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AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (Socket AM2)

Core Clock: 3.0GHz (200 x 15.0)
L1 Cache: 64KB data, 64KB instruction
L2 Cache: 1MB per core
Price (as reviewed): £300 (inc VAT)
Latest UK Pricing
Latest US Pricing

Yesterday morning, AMD announced its first member of the Athlon 64 X2 product family to break the 3GHz barrier, but it is not the company's first 3GHz processor for general consumers. That title goes to AMD's Quad FX platform and FX-74 processors, which launched back in November, almost four years after Intel broke through the same barrier. Admittedly, performance per clock has moved on quite a bit since 2002 and AMD has been able to remain competitive at much lower clock speeds than Intel.

However, the landscape changed significantly when Intel announced its Core 2 processors in July last year, as Intel finally caught up, and overtook AMD when it came to the number of instructions per clock its architecture was capable of. We don’t need to harp on about how bad Netburst was and how great Core is – you’ve seen the benchmarks on countless occasions.

AMD has been very quiet ever since the launch of Intel’s Core 2. That’s because the company hasn’t really had a real answer for Intel’s aggressively priced products – the only course of action the company has taken is to reduce its prices to try and at least match Intel on price with similar performance. This move has affected every single one of AMD’s socket AM2 processors, with the exception of the flagship FX-62, which has continued to stay at a relatively high price point, making it remarkably poor value for money.

With the exception of that chip, AMD has significantly reduced the prices on its socket AM2 Athlon 64 processors again and despite having a higher clock speed, the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is actually considerably cheaper than the FX-62. The former will set you back just under £300 (inc VAT), while the latter is going to cost you over £450 (inc VAT).

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AMD Athlon X2 64 6000+ AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AMD Athlon X2 64 6000+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ – a familiar sight
The X2 6000+ is based on AMD’s 90 nanometre Windsor core, but there has been a new stepping to help reduce the thermal design power (TDP). The FX-62 was based on the F2 stepping Windsor core and had a maximum TDP of 125W – the X2 6000+ keeps the same thermal design power. To gauge the improvements made in the F3 stepping core, we need to look at the X2 5600+ which, with the exception of the unlocked multiplier, has the same specifications as the FX-62. The X2 5600+’s TDP has been reduced to 89W, while the operating voltage has also been reduced from 1.40V to 1.35V too.

Because the chip uses an odd-numbered CPU multiplier and the memory clock is derived from the CPU clock, we’ve got more memory madness going on with the X2 6000+. The 15.0x multiplier means that the memory is forced to use the CPU/8 divider to derive its actual clock when it’s set to DDR2-800 in the system BIOS. A quick calculation reveals that the memory is running at 375MHz or 750MHz DDR on the X2 6000+.

Without further ado, let’s get onto the benchmarks.

Test Setup:

AMD Athlon 64 System Setup:

ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard (NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI chipset); BFG Tech GeForce 7900 GTX OC video card (operating at 670/1640MHz); 2x1GB Corsair XMS2-6400C3 DDR2 memory (running at DDR2-800 with 3.0-3-3-9-1T timings); Seagate 7200.9 200GB SATA Hard Disk Drive; LG 16x DVD-ROM drive, OCZ GameXStream 700W PSU; Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2; NVIDIA nForce Standalone 9.35 WHQL platform drivers; NVIDIA Forceware 91.31 WHQL.

Processors:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ - 3.0GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x1MB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor;
  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 - 2.8GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x1MB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor;
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ EE - 2.6GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x512KB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Brisbane;
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ - 2.6GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x512KB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor;
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ - 2.4GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x512KB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor;
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ - 2.2GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x512KB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor;
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - 2.0GHz, 1GHz HTT, 2x512KB L2 cache, two cores, 90nm, Windsor.

Intel Core 2 System:

Intel Desktop D975XBX2 motherboard (Intel 975X/ICH7R chipset); BFG Tech GeForce 7900 GTX OC video card (operating at 670/1640MHz); 2x1GB Corsair XMS2-6400C3 DDR2 memory (running at DDR2-800 with 3.0-3-3-9 timings); Seagate 7200.9 200GB SATA Hard Disk Drive; LG 16x DVD-ROM drive, OCZ GameXStream 700W PSU; Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2; Intel Inf 7.22 WHQL platform drivers; NVIDIA Forceware 91.31 WHQL.

Processors:

  • Core 2 Extreme QX6700 - 2.67GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 2x4MB L2 cache, four cores, 65nm, Kentsfield;
  • Core 2 Extreme X6800 - 2.93GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Conroe;
  • Core 2 Duo E6700 - 2.67GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Conroe;
  • Core 2 Duo E6600 - 2.40GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Conroe;
  • Core 2 Duo E6400 - 2.13GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Conroe;
  • Core 2 Duo E6300 - 1.86GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Conroe;
  • Core 2 Duo E4300 - 1.80GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache, two cores, 65nm, Allendale.

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition System Setup:

Intel Desktop D975XBX motherboard (Intel 975X/ICH7R chipset); BFG Tech GeForce 7900 GTX OC video card (operating at 670/1640MHz); 2x1GB Corsair XMS2-6400C3 DDR2 memory (running at DDR2-800 with 3.0-3-3-9 timings); Seagate 7200.9 200GB SATA Hard Disk Drive; LG 16x DVD-ROM drive, OCZ GameXStream 700W PSU; Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2; Intel Inf 7.22 WHQL platform drivers; NVIDIA Forceware 91.31 WHQL.

Processors:

  • Pentium Extreme Edition 955 - 3.46GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 2x2MB L2 cache, two cores, Hyper-Threading Technology Enabled, 65nm, Presler.