AMD's Athlon 64 X2 processors

The dual-core desktop battle is joined

OVER THE PAST FEW weeks, we've seen a parade of dual-core CPUs, starting with the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 and the dual-core Opterons. Now it's time for AMD's dual-core desktop processor line, the Athlon 64 X2, to take its turn on stage. Sporting a fashionable 939 pins on their underbellies, these CPUs promise to drop into the average Athlon 64 desktop system and transform it, almost magically, into a dually. The X2 offers an infusion of creamy multitasking smoothness and nearly twice the peak processing power of an Athlon 64 FX-55.

We've had two versions of this CPU on the bench in Damage Labs for a while now: the screaming 4800+ that may be the fastest single microprocessor on the planet, and the gotta-have-it 4200+, AMD's most affordable dual-core processor that promises to be every enthusiast's new sweetheart. Can AMD's dual-core desktop processors deliver on their promise? Keep reading.

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