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Review: AMD Athlon 64 4400+ X2
March 13, 2006
Author: EscapeYourMind Manufacturer: AMD
Department: Hardware Model: 4400+
Article Type: Review Time Spent: 3 weeks
 
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Introduction




It seems Moore's Law refuses to go quietly into the night. When the engineers at Intel and AMD saw that clock speeds were hitting a wall and that any additional increases would require ever more exotic cooling solutions to deal with the power requirements and subsequent heat, their beady little eyes (from staring at all those microscopic transistors of course) turned to multiple cores. As odd as it sounds, dual cores use less power and, as a result, produce less heat. The added benefit to multitasking doesn't hurt either, and will be something we will take a closer look at in this review.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Series




The AMD Athlon 64 4400+ X2 is part of AMD's new line of dual core processors which promise to offer you the capability to truly multitask. AMD's dual core line puts two physical cores on a single chip with a direct connect which allows them to efficiently communicate with each other. AMD decided to ditch the standard FSB architecture in favor of the new direct connect architecture which helps alleviate some of the problems and bottlenecks inherent in the processor. AMD has designed their new dual core processors to use the same pin layout as other 939 processors which means only a bios upgrade is required to take advantage of the new processors. The downside to this is that AMD is still using the same memory interface which is now being shared by two cores.

The X2 series of processors from AMD also uses the same benefits of AMD64 technology which includes Hyper Transport Technology, Enhanced Virus Protection, AMD's Cool'n'Quiet Solution, and the ability to use 64-bit applications. Normal logic would dictate that the addition of a second core would almost double the power required by the processor. This is not the case at all, and AMD's X2 will even run cooler than a single core processor on a higher manufacturing process. In addition, the availability of two separate cores offers enhanced performance with multi-threaded applications such as 3DSmax, as well as the ability to multi-task by running multiple applications at the same time without much of a performance hit.

As you can see in the image above, the X2 series has two separate cores--each with its own L2 cache. Each core is connected through the system request interface which will direct request for resources to the appropriate core. For your reference below, we have included a table with some basic information about the processors in the X2 series.

Processor
3800+
4200+
4400+
4600+
4800+
FX-55
Clock Speed
2.0 Ghz
2.2 Ghz
2.2 Ghz
2.4 Ghz
2.4 Ghz
2.6 Ghz
Process Type
90 nm
90 nm
90 nm
90 nm
90 nm
90 nm
L2 Cache
2 x 512 kb
2 x 512 kb
2 x 1 mb
2 x 512 kb
2 x 1 mb
1 mb

*note, the FX-55 is included for reference only.


Specifications


AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
Socket type: Socket 939
Core: Toledo
Frequency: 2.2GHz
HT: 1GHz
L1 Cache: 2 x 128KB (128KB per core)
L2 Cache: 2 x 1MB (1MB per core)
Process: 90 nanometer
Instruction Sets: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, 3DNOW! Professional
Voltage: 1.35 - 1.4V
Wattage: 110W

One thing I would like to note is that while looking on AMD's site, I noticed they also list a 4400+ with wattage listed at 89W. Apparently, the OPN code for the 110W version is ADA4400DAA6CD, while the OPN code for the 89W is ADV4400DAA6CD. The version that we have for testing is the 110W version.


 
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