AMD readies new high-end Athlon 64 X2

After chopping prices and squeezing its entire Athlon 64 X2 line under the $200 mark, AMD may be preparing to introduce a new top-of-the-line dual-core chip to combat Intel in the $200-300 dual-core space—or so the folks at DigiTimes say they have heard from sources at motherboard manufacturers.

According to DigiTimes, AMD is cooking up an Athlon 64 X2 6400+ processor that will run at 3.2GHz and pack 1MB of L2 cache per core. Pricing is expected to be in the $220-248 range, which would place the chip in the gap between Intel's $183 Core 2 Duo E6750 and $266 Core 2 Duo E6850. For reference, the E6750 runs at 2.66GHz with 4MB of shared L2 cache and a 1333MHz front-side bus, and the E6850 is clocked at 3GHz with the same cache size and FSB speed as the E6750.

DigiTimes says its sources claim the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ will perform 10-15% slower than the E6850, although the site doesn't say how the chip compares to the E6750. AMD has reportedly sent samples of the processor to motherboard makers already, and the new Athlon should ship "shortly."

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