Since launching the AM2 platform in May, AMD has quietly launched a slew of new Athlon 64 X2 CPUs for the desktop market, starting with the X2 5200+ in early September, 65-nm Brisbane parts on December 5th, and the 5400+ and 5600+ on December 13th.
All of these processors were stealth launches with little or no fanfare from AMD. Additionally, on launch day they were all primarily focused on the OEM market, with droves of X2 5200+ processors going into HPís dc5750 business PC in particular. In fact, the 5400+ and 5600+ launch was so low key that AMD didnít even issue a press release on the day the CPUs became available!
Fortunately for AMD enthusiasts, these processors are now readily available at the retail and e-tail levels, and we should also add that todayís Athlon 64 X2 6000+ launch isnít a repeat of past recent events, in fact some e-tailers began selling the X2 6000+ prematurely a few weeks ago.
Like AMDís other recent high-end CPU launches, todayís Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processors are based on AMDís 90-nm Windsor core, if you recall AMDís Quad FX processors are also built at 90-nm. From a business perspective, it makes sense for AMD to focus most of their 65-nm production on less expensive CPUs first as these processors tend to carry lower profit margins anyway. Once their 65-nm process is more mature, AMD can then introduce faster 65-nm parts at higher clock speeds.
The X2 6000+ runs at 3.0GHz and features 2MB of onboard L2 cache total (1MB of L2 cache per core). With these specs, the X2 6000+ is actually faster than the FX-62, making it the fastest processor for AMDís AM2 socket. On that note, we should also mention that AMD has basically replaced the FX-62 with the X2 5600+, which ships at the same 2.8GHz clock frequency and 1MB of L2 cache per core, only it consumes less power Ė 89W max power consumption in the 5600+ versus 125W in the FX-62 (of course, you do lose the unlocked clock multiplier in the process).
Letís take a look at the X2 6000+ specs:
|Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Specifications|
|Manufacturing Process||Fab 30 and 36, 90-nm DSL SOI|
|Hypertransport Technology||Supports single HT link - up to 8.0GB/sec|
|Memory controller||Shared integrated 128-bit wide|
|Supported memory speeds||DDR2 Memory up to and including DDR2-800 unbuffered|
|HyperTransport spec||2.0GHz (2x1000MHz/DDR)|
|Memory bandwidth||Up to 20.8GB/sec (8.0GB/sec Hypertransport+12.8GB/sec dual-channel memory)|
|L1 cache size||64K instruction + 64K data|
|L2 cache size||1MB L2 cache per core (1MB total)|
|Approximate transistor count||227.4 million|
|Approximate die size||218mm2|
|Max thermal power||125W|
|Max ambient case temp||55 Celsius-63 degrees Celsius|
|Min power state (with CnC)||1.0GHz|
|Distributor Pricing (in quantities of 1,000)||$459|
Overclocking the 6000+
With most Windsor-based Athlon 64 X2 CPUs topping out around 3.1-3.2GHz, our OCíing efforts with the X2 6000+ were about in line with what we expected:
As you can see, we were able to hit speeds just north of 3.2GHz with the X2 6000+ on an ASUS M2N32-SLI Premium motherboard and Zalman CNPS9500 cooler. Unfortunately we needed over 1.55V to hit those speeds, but our temps werenít too bad, around 50 degrees Celsius under load. Weíve included performance results at the end of this article at 3.225GHz.