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Monday, May 14, 2007
AMD Athlon X2 3600+

1. Introduction

AMD processors have been popular with many users since they are traditionally cheaper than Intel's. Recently, AMD dropped their prices and the Athlon 64 X2 has become very appealing for users, since you can get a very fast processor at a very low price. With the cheaper AMD Athlon X2 processor now costing around €67, we thought it was an ideal opportunity to get a sample and put it through our various synthetic and real life applications to see what sort of performance you can expect from such a low priced processor. But first, let's meet the AMD Athlon X2 3600+ processor.

- AMD Athlon X2 3600+

AMD announced the "latest" 3600+ X2 series in January 2007. The newly designed "Brisbane", is built using 65nm technology and offers lower power consumption (efficient 65W). It supports MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, Enhanced 3DNow!, NX bit, AMD64 (AMD's x86-64 implementation), Cool'n'Quiet, AMD Virtualization technologies. The built-in L2 cache is 2x512Kb and the real frequency reaches 1900MHz (9.5x200). Below is the full product specifications:

Processor AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core
Model 3600+
Ordering P/N (Tray) ADO3600IAA5DD
Ordering P/N (PIB) ADO3600DDBOX
Operating Mode 32/64
Stepping G1
Frequency 1900Mhz
HT Speed 2000
Voltage 1.25V/1.35V
Max Temp 49-72'C°C
Thermal Power 65W
L1 Cache 128KB x2
L2 Cache 512KB x2
CMOS Technology 65nm SOI
Socket Socket Socket AM2

This processor has very low TPC (thermal power consumption) down to 65W. The 65nm design allows such low TP designs and AMD explains:

"...The new energy efficient AMD desktop processors address both the commercial and consumer markets, from value to performance, with a top-to-bottom offering of AMD energy efficient desktop processors. For the digital home, AMD believes consumers should have a choice of products that address their needs to create and enjoy high-quality video, music, photos or other digital content anywhere, anytime regardless of digital media file format or device form factor. AMD technology enables PC and CE device manufacturers to differentiate their products. AMD64 energy efficient technology for quiet, slim-line digital media solutions supports a variety of hardware form factors and software formats.

Energy efficient AMD desktop processors can help OEMs design small form factor (SFF) PCs that take up less space and are more aesthetic, giving them the opportunity to provide differentiated and competitive solutions for their customers. Building on the leadership momentum in the blade server and general purpose server markets with the AMD Opteron™ processors, energy efficient AMD desktop processors are tailored to reduce power consumption for greater performance-per-watt over AMD’s standard power desktop processors. For consumers and businesses, energy efficient AMD desktop processors can help reduce the noise and heat emitted from systems to extend the longevity of their PCs while offering users a quieter, more pleasant experience in their offices or living rooms

For our tests, we used the AMD Athlon X2 3600+ with 65W energy efficient.

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