by July 20, 2006 0 comments



Speed wars in CPUs have definitely faded away. Now dual core technology at
the desktop is catching on and definitely looks like the way ahead for
processors. For the uninitiated, the technology packs two CPU cores in a single
packaging. This gives much more power and performance to the desktop user. AMD
recently introduced its latest dual core processor, the Athlon FX-62, based on
the new AM2 socket. In this processor, both cores run at 2.8 GHz and each has 1
MB L2 cache. AM2 is a 940-pin socket designed to take advantage of the faster
DDR2 memory modules. The processor has a new memory controller that supports
DDR-2 400 to 800 MHz.


Price:
Rs 50,000 (approx)

Meant For:

High-end desktop users

Key Specs:

Athlon 64 FX-62 dual core; each processor is clocked at 2.8 GHz and has one MB L2 cache to itself. New AM2 socket with 940-pins; Support for faster DDR2 RAM 

Pros:

Excellent performance even while encoding DivX and MP3 files simultaneously

Cons:

None 

Contact:

AMD Far East, Bangalore. Tel: 4137 2400. E-mail:
rohit.verma@amd.com
 

The power of dual-core is felt if you either run multi-threaded applications
or multiple applications. Otherwise, you won’t see any difference with a dual
core processor. 

To test the processor, we used an Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard with 1 GB
DDR-2 400 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card and a 7200-RPM hard
drive. We compared this processor with a Pentium D 820 2.8 G and even an AMD
Athlon 64×2 4800+ processor (both of which have been reviewed earlier by us).

To stress the Athlon 64 FX-62, we first ran PCMark05, which has several tests
to check for things such as file compression, image processing, audio
conversion, physical calculation and 3D. To check gaming performance with this
processor, we run 3DMark 2005, and finally we also did DivX encoding and MP3
encoding tests to really stretch the processor to its limits. All tests were
done at 1027x764x32 resolution.

In our tests, Athlon 64 FX-62 dual core (2.8 G) did much better than the
Pentium D 820 and Athlon 64×2 4800+ processors in 3DMark 2005. It scored 7796,
whereas Pentium D 820 and Athlon 64×2 4800+ had only scored 5560 and 4887
respectively. In PCMark 2005, the processor gave a lower score than its younger
cousin Athlon 64×2 4800+, but was better than the Pentium D 820. In DivX and MP3
encoding tests, the Athlon 64 FX-62 did remarkably well compared to the other
two. It took around 9 mins to encode a 700 MB movie (VCD) to DivX and encoding
700 MB of WAV files to MP3 took just 2 min 7 secs.

Athlon 64
FX-62 test results

Model PCMark05 3D
Mark05
Encoding
        3D
Mark 05   
 CPU
Mark   
 DivX     MP3
Pentium
D Dual Core 820   
 4661     5560     5140     17.25     5.21
Athlone
64×2 4800+   
 6963     4887     5909     11.14     2.41
Athlon
64 FX-62   
 6162     7796     7015     9.41     2.07
Socket 939 pin (above left) and socket AM2 that has 940 pins (above right)

Finally, to check the dual core capabilities of the processor, we ran the
same encoding tests together. This shot the CPU utilization to 100%, but both
jobs were completed in around around 10 mins. That’s quite a feat, which shows
the power of using dual core processors.

Bottom Line: From the test results, it is clear that the new platform
is meant for users who need lots of processing power at the desktop, such as
those into graphics, multimedia, and of course gamers.

Sanjay Majumder

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