Let’s take a look at our projected roadmap for AMD for the next year:
Note: The 5000+, 4800+, 4400+, 4000+ are listed in italics as they’re based on AMD’s 65-nm process
Looking over the above table, you’ll see that AMD’s got quite a busy quarter ahead for Q4’06. Not only will AMD be introducing new FX CPUs, the FX-74, FX-72, and FX-70, but they’ve also got a trio of new X2 CPUs on tap for Q4’06 as well. The FX CPUs in particular are the chips grabbing the most headlines, as they’re based on AMD’s 4x4 technology.
4x4 is AMD’s two processor, dual-core solution for hardware enthusiasts. The CPUs will all ship with 1MB of L2 cache per core (2x1MB L2) and will be clocked at 3.0GHz, 2.8GHz, and 2.6GHz respectively. AMD has stated that they plan to make the 4x4 platform less expensive than previous dual-processor solutions in the workstation/server space, but we do know that AMD’s 4x4 CPUs will not be based on AMD’s AM2 socket, relying on their server-oriented 1207-pin Socket F instead. This could end up making 4x4 motherboards more expensive than the comparable Intel-based solution, as Intel’s first-generation quad-core CPUs will be compatible with many of today’s existing motherboards.
Let’s take a closer look at AMD’s upcoming X2 lineup:
|AMD 90-nm Windsor Athlon 64 X2 CPUs|
|Model Number||Clock Speed (GHz)||L2 Cache Size|
To compliment today’s X2 lineup, which tops out with the ultra rare 5200+, AMD plans to introduce the 6000+, 5600+, and 5400+. All of these chips are based on AMD’s 90-nm Windsor core, which is in use today on AMD’s current Athlon 64 FX/X2 AM2 CPUs. With their larger caches, the 6000+ and 5600+ were originally intended to be sold as the FX-64 and FX-62, but AMD has decided instead to re-task them as X2s.
All of the aforementioned CPUs, including the 4x4 FX processors, are rumored to be debuting in November.
One additional chip which may also be introduced worldwide in Q4 that’s not listed in the table above is the X2 3600+. This CPU is actually shipping today in select regions of Europe and Asia, where it’s used in low-cost dual-core systems from OEMs, but it hasn’t hit North American shores just yet, and perhaps it may never will. Some analysts expect AMD to release it worldwide, and some don’t. In quarterly conference calls AMD has admitted to “walking away” from some business in order not to erode the ASP (average selling price) of their CPUs, so it’s possible that they may not release this CPU for the rest of the world, as AMD’s current low-end CPU, the X2 3800+ already officially lists for $152.
The X2 3600+ is built on the exact same Windsor core as the rest of AMD’s Socket AM2 X2 CPUs, and it runs at the same 2.0GHz clock speed as the 3800+. The only difference is that half its L2 cache is disabled, leaving it with 256KB L2 cache per core (2x256KB).