Analysis: AMD dual core technology

So it is marginally faster in a predominantly single-threaded environment, but of course that’s not the point. Running the single-core 4000+ through our 3ds max 7 test render took two minutes, 36 seconds; plug the 4800+ into exactly the same test setup, and the same test completes in one minute, 20 seconds. Quite simply a phenomenal result.

However, that’s not to say you will not feel the benefit with current applications that are only marginally aware of threading. Run two at the same time and Windows XP’s accomplished load balancing will ensure that CPU-intensive applications get evenly split, giving you a more responsive system at all times.

The only downside, of course, is the price. At the time of going to press, we only had AMD’s prices to go on, based on dollar values per thousand processors. The price given for a 4800+ was $1,006 – around £525 based on a straight conversion to Sterling – reducing to $537 (£281) for the 4200+. Compare this to the pricing of single-core parts – the 4000+ is $482 – and you can see that initially two cores will cost slightly more than two single-core parts.

But with both backward compatibility and no compromise in single-threaded performance, there is little more we can say about the top-end X2 other than if you can afford one, buy one.

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