AMD aims for a quiet revolution

AMD has set out a new range of its desktop processors with the emphasis on low power consumption. The company has announced new energy efficient AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron processors, based on the new socket AM2 design.

Two new types of lower power design are being introduced – a standard ‘energy efficient’ range and an ‘energy efficient small form factor’ series.

Although lower power consumption is normally considered a high priority only for blade servers and notebooks, AMD says that increased environmental concerns and a move towards sleeker and slimmer desktop machines have prompted the development of the new low power versions of its flagship desktop ranges.

In particular, as PCs move out of the home office and into the living spaces, the machines have to have the same aesthetics as any other consumer electronics item. This means small, silent devices with less room for cooling components such as heatsinks and no place for noisy fans, so the processors will have to draw less power in the first place, thus generating less heat.

AMD claims that ‘preliminary tests’ of the energy efficient small form factor AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core desktop processor provide up to 154 percent greater performance-per-watt than standard power AMD desktop processors when used with Windows XP Home in Windows ‘portable’ power scheme and with Cool’n’Quiet drivers installed.

The AMD energy efficient range for the Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors 4800+ costs $671, while the 4600+ is priced at $601, the 4400+ $514, the 4200+ $417, the 4000+ $353 and the 3800+ $323.

For the ‘Energy Efficient Small Form Factor Desktop Processor’ AMD has set the price of the Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor 3800+ at $364. The AMD Athlon 64 single core processor is priced at $231 for the 3500+. The Sempron processors cost $145 for the 3400+, $119 for the 3200+ and finally the 3000+ will set you back $101.

The prices are around five per cent more than the existing range of processors but the company says that buyers will get the extra back and more over the lifetime of the machine.

AMD says that the new processor ranges will be available this month.

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