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Smokin’ Hot Dual Core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs

May 9, 2005

Well, maybe not smokin’ hot, because apparently AMD has made some pretty respectable improvements in power consumption, but these things appear to be plenty fast…

If you’re pining to put together an HTPC that will handle a lot of load (such as recording and playing back several HD streams, or a lot of SD streams), this new socket 939 CPU may be just what the doctor ordered.

TechReport has a massive review of the X2s, comparing them across the board to 17 competitors, and they were impressed.

The X2 4200 frequently outperforms the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, which costs nearly twice as much. Thanks to its dual-core config, the X2 4200 also embarrasses some expensive single-core processors, like the Athlon 64 FX-55 and the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz.

Even more impressive when you realize the 4200 is the bottom of the line, with bigger brothers 4400, 4600, and 4800 also being introduced.

As usual, these are going to be a tad pricey on introduction, ranging from around $530 for the 4200, to a whopping $1K for the 4800.

If you’re building now, an alternative may be to consider going with a socket 939 motherboard, and a single-core Athlon 64, and look to upgrade as the prices drop. Apparently the X2 should plug-and-play on most recent 939 motherboards with (at most) a firmware update.

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