While the launch of the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is nothing ground breaking, it does help AMD bridge the performance gap with Intel and will give Socket AM2 owners something new to drool over. The Athlon 64 FX-62 is no longer the flagship socket AM2 processor as our benchmarks clearly showed that the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is the faster part to have. If we had to guess, this will be one of the last socket AM2 speed bumps before AMD releases their native quad-core processors later this year.
When it comes to performance on the 6000+, it was shocking to see how well it did when compared to AMD’s own QuadFX platforms. The performance gap between AMD and Intel on the dual-core battle grounds got a little smaller this week and that is great news for AMD. They need to keep bringing their performance levels up to catch up to where Intel is.
One way to catch up to Intel is to overclock, and our overclocking efforts showed that the 90nm Windsor core has a little bit of life left. We were able to get 3.37GHz with full stability out of the 6000+ and found that heat was holding us back as we tried to go beyond 3.4GHz on air cooling. This is a great overclock when one considers that it took nearly a year for AMD to move from a 2.8GHz to 3.0GHz clock frequency.
The $464 price tag on the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ puts it just under the ~$510 Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 and rightly so. The 6000+ came in after the E6700 in a number of tests and should be priced behind the E6700. Considering that the 6000+ is AMD’s fastest desktop processor it’s amazing how aggressively set the price is. Remember that when the FX-62 was launched it was just under a thousand dollars and now a faster part is released under $500 – now that is impressive!
At the beginning of this article we spoke about how AMD believes that 2007 will be their comeback year and obviously this isn’t the checkmate blow, but a recent delay gives us all a glimpse of what is to come. Yesterday, we reported that AMD.ATI delayed the ATI R600 / X2900 XTX video card launch. The card is going to be delayed at least a month and will not be shown by partners at Cebit next month. The marketing team at AMD.ATI declined to comment on if the card needed a re-spin, but did say it was to be launched during other strategic launches. Could AMD.ATI be trying to release a whole new platform at once? If this could be pulled off we might be talking about native quad-core processors (Greyhound), the X2900 XTX video card (R600) and new chipsets in the May/June time frame! Only time will tell, but it sure seems like that might be the case and with Computex the first week of June it would make sense.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor is now the fastest dual-core socket AM2 processor that AMD has to offer and comes with the most agressive price we have ever seen on a flagship part.