Dual-core Phenom matches, beats Athlon X2 in tests

Samples of 65nm, dual-core Phenom processors are still lurking around in Asia, even with AMD's roadmaps failing to mention them and 45nm Phenoms mere months away. Further evidence has just arrived from Expreview, which benchmarked a Phenom 6500 Black Edition processor alongside a couple of Athlon X2s in a handful of apps.

According to Expreview's CPU-Z screenshots, the Phenom 6500 runs at 2.3GHz with 512KB of L2 cache per core, 2MB of shared L3 cache, and a 1.256V core voltage. Those specs aren't exactly jaw-dropping, but the Phenom actually managed to hold its own compared to an Athlon X2 running at 2.6GHz. While slower in tasks like Cinebench and some synthetic tests, the mystery chip had the upper hand in three different games, one video encoder, and an Excel benchmark. The Phenom wasn't very far behind the Athlon in other tests, either.

That leaves us with one question: will this CPU actually come out, or is it condemned to roam among test labs in sample form forever? AMD's silence and the latest 45nm Phenom news point to the latter option, but who knows—the Phenom 6500 could make an interesting sub-$100 value option, even if AMD already sells 2.8GHz Athlon X2s at just $77 a piece.

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