AMD Dual Core/High-End CPUs

We'll start with the high-end AMD parts, which for purposes of this Price Guide means all of their Athlon X2 chips for sockets 939 and AM2, as well as the socket 939 Opteron chips.

We've grouped both sockets into a single table so that you can better compare prices. A couple weeks ago when they first launched, the socket AM2 Athlon X2 chips were extremely difficult to find, and they were also priced higher than their socket 939 counterparts. Supply has increased on most of the parts now, and the prices of the AM2 parts have dropped to the point where they're almost at parity with their elder siblings. The exception to that overview is availability of the 1MB cache chips. As reported on DailyTech, AMD is planning on halting production of the 2x1MB Athlon X2 parts and will focus instead on producing more 2x512KB parts. In addition to being cheaper to produce due to their smaller size, focusing production on the 2x512KB chips will allow AMD to increase the supply and improve efficiency (since they won't have to worry about supporting multiple CPU dies). Prices should also drop, and AMD has announced significant price cuts for late July.

If you don't want to wait another month, the best bang for the buck obviously belongs to the X2 3800+, currently going for $297 for socket 939 [RTPE: ADA3800BVBOX] or $324 for socket AM2 [RTPE: ADA3800CUBOX]. For the overclockers of the world, this chip is also very attractive and the new AM2 model is generally capable of reaching 2.6 to 2.8 GHz.

We mentioned pending price cuts, but those are only scheduled for the 2x512KB models. If your heart is set on one of the 2x1MB models -- and you don't want to fork out the $807 for the FX-60 [RTPE: ADAFX60CDBOX] or the $1222 for the retail FX-62 [RTPE: ADAFX62CSBOX] -- you might be best off purchasing now rather than waiting. The most attractive option is still the lowest price option, the AM2 X2 4000+ [RTPE: ADA4000CSBOX] for $385 OEM/$421 retail. For socket 939, the cheapest option costs quite a bit more, the X2 4400+ [RTPE: ADA4400CDBOX] currently sells for $460 -- but of course it also comes with a higher stock clock speed.

We already mentioned the Athlon FX processors, but here you can see the complete list of options for both socket 939 and AM2. Prices on these parts are substantially higher than other options, and we certainly wouldn't consider getting any of the single core versions these days. If you want the absolute fastest official CPU speed and you're willing to pay any price, however, the FX-62 is currently king of the hill. Just don't expect it to remain king for much longer, overclocked or not.

Rounding out the high-end AMD offerings, we have the popular Opteron 939 chips. Due to the more rigorous testing that takes place on Opteron parts, these chips generally overclock better than their Athlon 64 counterparts. They also cost a bit more, so it ends up being something of a wash, but the Opteron 165 [RTPE: OSA165CDBOX] for $327 and the Opteron 170 [RTPE: OSA170CDBOX] for $395 continue to sell well. The 170 is essentially the 939 equivalent of the AM2 4000+, and it's available from numerous resellers. Unfortunately, it also costs more than the AM2 4000+. Prices are always going to change in the future, so in the end you have to decide whether you want to upgrade or not. If you're currently happy with your CPU's performance, there's no sense in upgrading merely for the sake of upgrading -- unless that's what you really want to do.

Index Intel Dual Core/High-End CPUs


View All Comments

  • Rebel44 - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    Hi I´d like to ask if frequence multiplier on athlon 3500 is locked or not.
    Thanks for answer.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    All AMD CPUs are upward locked, so the 3500+ can use an 11X or lower multiplier. The exception is the FX line, which are not locked up or down. Reply
  • Rebel44 - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    Thats a pity, but its still better than intel because their CPUs are just like radiator.
    P.S. sorry for offtopic

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