AMD launches dual-core Athlon 64 X2

AMD launched the Athlon 64 X2, a dual-core version of its Athlon 64 processor, at Computex in Taipei on Tuesday.

Advanced Micro Devices launched its dual-core Athlon 64 processor at the Computex trade show in Taipei on Tuesday.

Like one launched last week by Intel Corp., the chip contains two processors on a single piece of silicon and represents one of the biggest changes in PC processor architecture for several years. Dual-core chips offer users higher performance because tasks can be balanced between the two cores.

For instance, tasks such as editing video and burning discs can be done at the same time without slowing each other down. Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is already set up to take advantage of the technology, as are many applications, AMD said.

"[Everyone] will benefit dramatically and qualitatively with multi-core," said Dirk Meyer, president and chief operating officer of AMD's microprocessor solutions sector, at the company's launch event.

The Athlon 64 X2 is hardware-compatible with motherboards for AMD's single-core Athlon 64 chip, although current boards will require a BIOS (basic input output system) upgrade. The advantage of this is that boards for the chip are already on the market, and it also makes upgrading an existing system relatively simple.

The chip will initially be available in four versions, which don't come cheap. The prices range from US$537 for the 4200+ version to US$1,001 for the 4800+ version -- and those prices are for bulk purchases of 1,000 chips or more. "We've decided to go first at the high end of the market," said Henri Richard, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, at a news conference in Taipei.

Asked if AMD's chips might be too expensive for system integrators, especially compared to the slightly lower prices of dual-core Intel chips, Richard said Intel's chips require a new chipset and additional cooling. As a result, the overall price difference between the companies won't be as great as the difference in chip pricing, he said.

Several prototype systems based on the new chip were on show at the launch event. They included a consumer desktop PC from Hewlett-Packard, a media center PC from Wistron, the Feng Xing K9000 from Lenovo Group, Acer's Aspire T140, Iwill's ZMax DP and Shuttle's XPC ST20G5.

So now that they're here, are dual-core chips for everyone?

The answer depends on your needs, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group in California, who attended the AMD event. Users who recently bought a machine don't need rush into replacing it with a dual-core model, but users just replacing their machine now might consider the dual-code chip, especially given the typical three-year lifespan for a desktop PC.

The reason: the new chips will deliver even greater performance gains when used with a 64-bit operating system. Microsoft just launched such a version of Windows but it is not easy to obtain for the average user, and there are still many issues associated with drivers for peripherals.

"If you want a machine that's ready for Longhorn, that's when it comes into play," Enderle said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?