Confirmed today, the latest chip in the X2 line comes in at the expected 3800+ mark and, incredibly, it looks set to cost less than an equivalent single core Athlon 64. This is unbelievably good news for multitasking extremists like myself who never have less than five programmes running at any one time (including Photoshop!?!).
Like all upcoming CPUs from AMD, the new X2 will be manufactured at 90nm (replacing the 130nm process) meaning greater power efficiency and reduced development costs. The company called the transition “one of the most rapid and efficient in AMD’s history” which is surely going to cause a few furrowed brows at Intel.
As for the gigahertz involved in all of this, the two cores of the X2 3800+ are actually clocked hitting just two of them, but – as we all know these days – the importance of this figure in determining how fast a processor will perform is virtually zilch. More significantly, you’ll find 512KB of secondary cache on each core as well.
Incidentally, gamers shouldn’t hide away from dual core processors either. With the release of Falcon 4.0 we already have the first game on the market to be specifically programmed to take advantage of these chips. In fact, developer Lead Pursuit said it saw performance gains of up to 30 per cent when run alongside single core CPUs and this figure can only widen as software houses become more experienced with this new way of code writing.
So how will Intel respond? It needs to get its act together, because the first round of the dual core fight clearly went to AMD and if it doesn’t show some haste it is going to lose the second as well.
The 3800+ X2s are available immediately and will set bulk buyers back just $354 when purchased in quantities of 1,000 or more (we were so close, predicting $345). As for end users, they should see the price rise a mere $20 on top of that.
Ever feel like Apple backed the wrong horse?