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Review: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AM2

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 February 2007, 21:57

Tags: Athlon 64 X2 6000+, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qahxj

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System setup and notes

System AMD AM2 system Intel LGA775 system
Processors AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0GHz, 2MiB L2 cache, AM2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8GHz, 2MiB L2 cache, AM2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (2.6GHz, 2MiB L2 cache, AM2)
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (2.67GHz, 8MiB L2 cache, LGA775, quad-core)
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz, 4MiB L2 cache, LGA775)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67GHz, 4MiB L2 cache, LGA775)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.40GHz, 4MiB L2 cache, LGA775)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13GHz, 2MiB L2 cache, LGA775)
Motherboard ASUS M2N32-SLI Premium Vista Edition (nForce 590 SLI) Intel D975XBX2 Bad Axe 2 rev. 303 (Intel i975X)
Memory 2GiB (2 x 1024) Patriot PC8000 XBLK 2GiB (2 x 1024) Corsair PC8500
Memory timings and speed 4-4-4-12 @ 800MHz (PC6400)
Graphics card(s) ASUS/Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX 512MiB
Disk drive(s) Seagate 160GB SATAII (ST3160812AS)
Optical drive(s) Sony DW-Q30A
BIOS revision 0109 (01/02/07) 14/08/06
Mainboard software NVIDIA nForce Package 9.34 Intel Inf 8.0.1.1002
Graphics driver CATALYST 6.10 BETA
Operating System Windows XP Pro SP2 32-bit
PSU Dark Power PRO 430W OCZ PowerStream 520W
Monitor Dell 2405FPW


Here's what we evaluated the processors with:

Software

Benchmarks Sandra Lite 2k7 SP1 Build 2007.8.10.105 Float Buffered Memory Bandwidth
ScienceMark 2.0 32-bit Build 21MAR05 Memory Latency
CPU-Z v1.38
HEXUS Pifast
HEXUS Cryptography
LAME multi-threaded benchmark - 701.5MB file - encoded into 128kbps stereo.
DivX 6.4 (existing DV-avi source-file, Home-theatre profile, 1700Kbps, Insane-quality video, 40Kbps, Stereo, 16KHz Audio)
Cinebench 2003 R9.5
POV-Ray 32-bit 3.7.0 BETA 16 - Use internal benchmark mode - biscuit.pov
Far Cry 1.33 (low-end script (1024x768)
Quake 4 1.30 SMP Support Enabled - low-end script (1024x768) - demo001 recorded by HEXUS
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 1.05 (low-end script (1024x768)


Pricing thoughts

Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
Pricing as at 20/01/07 £300 £200 £150 £630 £615 £330 £200 £150


The meaningful comparison to look out for is the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ against Intel's Core 2 Duo E6700. The Intel CPU is priced around £30 higher and, taking similar pricing into account, it will be interesting to see how the X2 6000+ performs.

Other related comparisons include the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ vs. Core 2 Duo E6600 and 5200+ vs E6400.

We've included the quad-core Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and dual-core Core 2 Extreme X6800 processors for comparative reference only. Their £600+ pricing is double the X2 6000's and, as such, they appeal to a niche market.

We've not included the results from our Quad-FX testing, however. Our sample box was built by AMD and featured a BIOS that was some way from final. Consequently, results obtained from that testing may not be indicative of current performance. Quad-FX, really, is a work in progress and technology showcase for AMD.

Overclocking

Using default voltage as an indicator of the sample's frequency headroom, we were unable to run at the next speed grade up, 3200MHz, with any kind of stability. It's evident that the 90nm Windsor core doesn't have a whole lot of life left in it, and the 3GHz X2 6000+ will be its last hurrah.