AMD's Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor
Let the upgrades begin
WHEN WE FIRST reviewed the Athlon 64 X2 processor
a few months back, we said that it was an outstanding CPU, but we wished out loud for AMD to start selling a 2GHz version of the X2 at a lower price. After all, we argued, Intel's Pentium D 820
is a killer deal at just under $250, while the least expensive Athlon 64 X2 costs over twice that. Sure, the X2's performance might well justify the price premium, but we'll take more for our money when we can get it.
Today, our wish is fulfilled in the form of the Athlon 64 X2 3800+, a dual-core processor running at 2GHz with 512K of L2 cache per core. AMD has priced this baby at $354—significantly less than any of its other dual-core products. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in computer engineering to figure out that the X2 3800+ ought to offer a very potent combo of price and performance.
As is our custom, we compared the X2 3800+ against over a dozen single- and dual-core competitors to see just how it fits into the big picture. Then we overclocked the living daylights out of the thing, and everything went soft and fuzzy. Our heads are still spinning. Keep reading to see why.