AMD's latest Socket AM2 Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 processors have been getting all the attention since their release, but HKEPC has taken a look at the lower end of the Socket AM2 launch line in an interesting Socket AM2 Sempron review (in Chinese, translate here). The site compares two Sempron 3000+ processors, one for the new socket and one for Socket 754, on two similar Gigabyte boards with integrated GeForce 6100 graphics. The Socket AM2 chip runs 200 MHz slower than the Socket 754 model, but it has twice as much cache and supports dual-channel DDR2-667 memory rather than the Socket 754 Sempron's single channel of DDR400.
Unfortunately, these advantages don't make up for the 200 MHz drop in HKEPC's application tests. The Socket AM2 Sempron only beats its Socket 754 equivalent in DivX video encoding as well as some ScienceMark and PCMark tests, leaving the Socket 754 chip victorious in Windows Media Encoder, Lame MP3 encoding, WinRAR data compression, and a number of other tasks. Game tests show a different picture, however, with the Socket AM2 Sempron yielding higher frame rates in all of HKEPC's game benchmarks.
In the end, the results are reminiscent of those seen after AMD's switch from Socket 754 to Socket 939 for its Athlon 64 3000+ and 3200+ processors. Clock speeds dropped 200 MHz to counterbalance the addition of dual-channel DDR400 support, but this resulted in the Socket 939 chips not being consistently as fast as their Socket 754 counterparts. It looks like the move to dual-channel DDR2-667 gives the Socket AM2 Semprons a fighting chance against their single-channel predecessors, though, since HKEPC's tests do show improved performance in games.
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