AMD unveils Socket AM2 lineup

— 9:33 AM on May 23, 2006

As expected, AMD has unveiled its new processors for Socket AM2 today. The new chips bring DDR2 memory support, hardware virtualization, and some new speed grades to the table. AMD is pushing out an Athlon 64 FX-62 for the new socket with a 2.8 GHz clock speed and 1 MB of cache per core, as well as an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ with a 2.6 GHz clock speed and 512 KB of cache per core, and an Athlon 64 X2 4000+ running at 2.0 GHz with 1 MB of cache per core. Interestingly, while the FX-62 sports a fairly high 125 W thermal design power (TDP), power ratings have actually gone down overall with the socket change: high-end Athlon 64 X2s for Socket 939 were all rated for up to 110 W, but the entire X2 line for Socket AM2 is only rated to 89 W. Of course, AMD also announced some Energy Efficient variants for the new socket with 65 W power dissipation last week.

Regarding prices, the replacement Socket AM2 chips are priced the exact same as their Socket 939 predecessors in AMD's list. It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect retailers to introduce some price differences of their own, but AMD is definitely trying to smooth the transition here. As for the new models, the FX-62, X2 5000+, and X2 4000+ are priced at $1,031, $696, and $328, respectively. The FX-62 launch also dropped the price of the Socket 939 FX-60 to $827.

Finally, while AMD carried over its entire Athlon 64 X2 line to Socket AM2, the single-core Athlon 64s and Semprons have suffered some downsizing. Only the Athlon 64 3800+ and 3500+, as well as the Semprons 3000+, 3200+, and 3400+, made it to the new socket. AMD did introduce a couple of new Semprons to bridge the low-end gap, however: the Sempron 3500+ and 3600. As predicted, all new Athlon 64 and Sempron chips for Socket AM2 only bear TDPs up to 62 W, a move down from the previous 89 W rating for some single-core Athlon 64s.

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