The New AMD Phenom X2

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Continuing their fierce rivalry with Intel, AMD has released a new line of dual-core processors in hopes of finally settling the score with Intel. It wasn’t long ago when AMD dominated Intel with their Athlon 64 processors but since then, Intel has upped the ante with their Core2Duo line all the way to their quad-core i7Q. AMD somewhat became an afterthought that only satisfied those on a budget with the way Intel has been releasing processor after processor. In a way, AMD probably got Intel’s attention and the latter hasn’t looked back ever since.

Intel has been a dominant force in the dual-core category with AMD’s X2 coming in second most of the time. With the release of the new Phenom X2 line of processors, things look to be brighter for AMD. This new line of processors are based on AMD’s Phenom line which previously carried quad-cores and tri-cores named X4 and X3 respectively. The new Phenom X2 processors are basically quad-cores that have had two of its cores disabled. So in a nutshell, you’re actually using a quad-core processor but can only use two cores.

What makes the Phenom X2 line stand out though is that they are considered to be “Black Edition” processors. In case you’re not familiar with what “Black Edition” means, it is what every overclocker dreams of. These processors have unlocked multipliers thereby allowing the user to overclock the processor and making it faster than what it is rated to be. At the end of the day, one question remains. Can it actually compete with Intel’s Core2Duo line?

Answer: A big YES. Finally, AMD has gotten back into the thick of the fight with Intel, even if it is only in the dual-core category. During testing, Intel still gave AMD a good fight because it still won the tests but by the smallest margins which honestly, you won’t even notice when you’re using them. The Phenom X2 is also $60 cheaper than an Intel Core2Duo processor more or less which makes it even more inviting to try. It’s certainly great for the money especially with today’s economy.

Of course, we all know and expect the AMD processor to be cheaper than an Intel one. So where else did the Phenom X2 excel or do good? Surprisingly, the Phenom X2 stayed cool even when overclocked which was somewhat shocking given that AMD was always tagged as a “hot” item. When having an almost identical rig, the AMD rig was also more power-efficient than the Intel rig by a full 65 watts at load. This has always been one of Intel’s specialty and now AMD has finally caught up.

Maybe we’re not too far off from from seeing AMD do another dominating performance. Although with the current Intel lineup, it seems quite impossible, we can only wait and see. The new Phenom X2 processors though have proven to be better than expected. Not only are they great for performance seekers on a tight budget, they can also satisfy high-end dual-core users who demand a lot from their rigs. One thing is for sure, the AMD and Intel competition is going to be interesting to see and it’s something we shouldn’t miss.

Source: Memory America


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