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AMD Cuts X2 Processor Prices 206

BDPrime writes "AMD is cutting prices for its X2 processors, according to an update on its microprocessor pricing list. The cuts refer to AMD's Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 X2 chips. Some of the price cuts are almost in half."
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AMD Cuts X2 Processor Prices

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Most of the remaining chips on AMD's price list use the Socket AM2 or Socket F form factor, rather than the older Socket 939 interfaces.

    I just bought a 4200+ x2 for $159 from newegg. They sold out hours later. I don't think they even make 'em any more. Anything higher than a 4200 was plain sold out everywhere.

    So if you've got a socket 939, I'd say you better upgrade with a quickness cuz those CPUs are going, going, gone.
    • They haven't been produced in some time. I would love to get a dual-core 939, but they aren't in stock in any store in Canada AFAICT. OTOH the power consumption of any 939 X2 CPU is much higher than the newer AM2 chips.
      • by Darby ( 84953 )
        I would love to get a dual-core 939, but they aren't in stock in any store in Canada AFAICT.

        Not sure if it's any help, but 939 Opterons work great for that as well... better than most of the X2s since all Opterons have 1MB cache per core and only some X2s do. Back a year and a half ago, the Opterons were even cheaper than the X2s as well. If you can find it for a good price, it's a great chip.

    • I upgraded my work computer with an X2 3600+, ECS mobo with ATI radeon graphics, and 1gb DDR2 RAM for $170 a couple of weeks ago. Now I'd like to do the same at home, but I'd like to keep my current mobo and RAM.

      But as far as I can find, none of the Socket 939 X2's support hardware virtualization, which is a biggie for me as I do a lot of cross-platform development.

      Are there *any* socket 939 X2's that support hardware virt?
  • by ZDRuX ( 1010435 ) * on Monday April 09, 2007 @07:42PM (#18669773)
    I`m quite surprised by how long it took for this to come into affect after the Core Duo's were released. It seems like they gained immediate acceptance (Core2 Duo) and were getting great reviews from just about anybody, you'd think AMD would drop prices earlier on, I didn't think it would take this long.. I don't think this it was a question of IF... but WHEN.
    • by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @07:57PM (#18669867)
      There was a summer price cut around the time of the C2D launch. These are timed to deal with the launch of the ultra-low-end C2Ds, and the price-cuts expected as the new Core 2 Quadros push C2D prices down. AMD's got nothing new until Q3's Barcelona, so they're fighting better chips with cheaper chips.
    • AMD chips go 30% faster when 64-bit.
      Intel chips go 5% slower when 64-bit.

      I suppose this is an indication that Intel marketing pays attention to the very lame old 32-bit benchmarks that are getting used.

      64-bit is here now, even if you run Windows. Linux people have had pure 64-bit systems for many years.
      • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:18PM (#18670789) Homepage
        I'm one of those freaky Linux people who doesn't mind the occasional bit of proprietary, closed-source software on his systems. Flash is a big reason I haven't made the 64-bit jump yet. I don't want to mess with broken chroot environments (and probably other gotchas with various binary software).

        That, and going to 64-bit just isn't that useful right now. With AMD, you may get some speed increases (I really can't say, as I haven't seen the benchmarks or performed any tests myself for Linux--for FreeBSD, I know that the performance just isn't there) but that's architectural. Intel generally beats AMD64(in 32-bit mode), and if I don't have any reason to run in 64-bit mode (and plenty of reasons not to) then what's the point? My next machine will be from the Core2Duo line.

        AMD had their day, and they may have it again, but for right now, I'm not interested.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by na641 ( 964251 )
          actually you don't need a chroot at all to run 32bit programs in a 64bit linux environment. Atleast with gentoo all you need are the correct 32 bit libraries installed and you can compile and run32bit programs (like firefox coupled with flash) natively.

          As for running a 64bit environment, the biggest factor is memory usage. Its true that 64bit programs yield slightly faster performance boosts, they take a lot more ram (think cumulative of all programs running and you can imagine what i mean) than their
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MoxFulder ( 159829 )

            actually you don't need a chroot at all to run 32bit programs in a 64bit linux environment. Atleast with gentoo all you need are the correct 32 bit libraries installed and you can compile and run32bit programs (like firefox coupled with flash) natively.

            Ditto with Debian and Ubuntu and probably every other 64-bit distro :-) Just install the 32-bit libs and you're good to go. It's a little messy to set this up for flash, but frankly... we can blame that on Adobe/Macromedia and their proprietary not-64-bit-s

            • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @08:04AM (#18673961) Homepage Journal

              Ditto with Debian and Ubuntu and probably every other 64-bit distro :-) Just install the 32-bit libs and you're good to go. It's a little messy to set this up for flash, but frankly... we can blame that on Adobe/Macromedia and their proprietary not-64-bit-safe crap code.

              The Debian team is working on a new multiarch [debian.org] system that will address this, making it simple to install mixed architecture software on machines that support it. Basically, the packaging system will understand all of the various ISAs and their relationships, and which ones will run on which processors, and the package dependencies.

              This means that rather than having aptitude (or your apt front end of choice) show you six different versions of the linux-image package (-486, -586, -686, -k7, -k8, -amd64, etc.) or the mencoder package, there will only be one linux-image and one mencoder in the list. The various binary versions will still exist, and by default apt will pick the best of those available for your platform. If you want, however, you'll be able to override its choice and pick a different one. If the one you pick requires different versions of support packages, then dpkg will also know that and apt will handle all of the dependency management, making sure that the right versions of everything are installed.

              So for example, if you have an Athlon 64, by default apt will install 64-bit versions of everything. If, however, you decide to install the flashplugin-nonfree package, which is 32-bit only, apt will recognize that it cannot be used with your 64-bit browsers and offer to replace them with 32-bit versions. Since the 32-bit versions require 32-bit libraries, it will also offer to install the required libs. Part of the multiarch specification is a scheme for making it easy to install multiple versions of a given library side by side, and for automatically configuring apps to find the correct library versions.

              This might seem like an overly-general solution for addressing the temporary x86 32- to 64-bit transition, but the Debian developers doing it have recognized that as just one example of a much larger problem [lackof.org], including:

              • A half dozen of Debian's target platforms are already in the same position with processors that support 32- and 64-bit versions of the same ISA. This isn't just an x86 issue.
              • Some processors support running other ISAs via emulation, software or hardware. For example, you can run lots of ISAs via software emulation on i386 via qemu, and Itanium runs ia64 natively but provides hardware emulation for i386.
              • It's possible to use compatibility libraries to run software from other OSes. You can run some Solaris/sparc applications on Linux/sparc, for example, and you can run DOS and Windows software on Linux via FreeDOS, WINE, etc.
              • Some processors support mixed-endian binaries.
              • Many processors, particularly in the x86 world, support lots of different ISA subsets -- i386, i486, i586, i686, k7, k8, MMX, SSE, etc.
              • All of the above is complicated by the fact that some packages can run on multiple architectures, but perhaps not all architectures.

              So, the plan is to develop a solution that addresses all of these issues in a general way, rather than continuing to use various architecture-specific hacks to get around the fact that dpkg currently believes a machine has only one architecture. It's a pretty big project, but people are pushing to get it included in Lenny (which, judging by past releases should be out mid-2009), and users of unstable and testing should see it much sooner.

      • by oojah ( 113006 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @02:13AM (#18672271) Homepage
        Where's your proof?

        You've already had someone respond with a link to benchmarks showing exactly the opposite of what you claim:

        http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2 097&page=12 [pcstats.com]

        Where are the benchmarks that show what you claim?

        Cheers,

        Roger
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by wild_berry ( 448019 )
          You, sir, are a cad and a bounder. What do the ScienceMark and Primordia scores show on Page 11 of the article you linked ( http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid= 2097&page=11 [pcstats.com])? Did you not need to include this data so we can arrive at fair conclusions?

          ScienceMark 2.0 has the Athlons run four times faster in 64-bit mode than 32; the Core2 Duo speeds up by a factor of three. Primordia has the AMD64 speed up by a factor near 8/7; Core2 by the smaller factor of 9/8. I'd say that it's swings a
          • by shawnce ( 146129 )

            ScienceMark 2.0 has the Athlons run four times faster in 64-bit mode than 32; the Core2 Duo speeds up by a factor of three.

            Exactly... which again disproves what the following bogus statement...

            AMD chips go 30% faster when 64-bit.
            Intel chips go 5% slower when 64-bit.

            No data that I have seen anywhere supports a statement like that... Core 2 chips are faster when in 64-bit mode (assuming compiled to utilize additional registers, etc.). The only likely edge case would be a pointer heavy data stream that causes

    • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:48PM (#18671565)
      I don't think this it was a question of IF... but WHEN.

      Just to take a stupid guess... I think with the need for cash, AMD was hoping Microsoft releasing Vista (Biggest upgrade in 7 years) would create high demand for new PC's and they could sell product as demand exceeded supply. The demand for Vista didn't drive demand as expected.

      Vista failing to launch put AMD in tight competition in a smaller market due the lack of demand for Vista. AMD didn't sell to Apple. Intel did. Mac's are selling where Vista is getting so-so response so Intel is selling the new chips into markets AMD is not in. If Intel didn't sell to Apple, and had to cut prices, AMD would be in an even worse position due to the low demand for new Vista machines.

      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=AAPL&annual [yahoo.com]
      Note that Apple has gone in revenue from 2004-2006 $8,279,000,000 to $19,315,000,000
      Operating income has gone from $326,000,000 to $2,453,000,000. This is almost an order of magnitude growth in only 2 years. This isn't just from a few iPod sales. Vista's dead start and XP's malware flood is driving people away from Microsoft. The recent growth in Apple and Linux is not primarily new PC consumers. It's mostly ex-Microsoft consumers.

      I'm wondering if AMD is selling chips at a loss instead of having to throw them out. I can't see them making money at that price, only cutting their loss.

      Selling chips at half price is not profitable. I'm assuming most chips have only a 10-30% margin. Chopping the price in half is selling under the cost to manufacture.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )
        I think that depends a lot on how you're defining it, most of the cost go into designing a processor, validating it and getting the production process working. Once you've done that, the marginal costs of producing more processors aren't that high. And in the short term, given the plants you already have, I doubt they cost much at all. So in the short term it might be better to get them sold at half price at a *marginal* profit, than not get them sold at all. Whether that's enough to cover the long-term inv
        • Once you've done that, the marginal costs of producing more processors aren't that high.

          Hmmm. Are you sure. I thought there was quite a bit of expense to produce high speed processors due to the costs associated in production. Not only is R&D costs high, but so is the technology for Lithography, Clean Rooms, Metrology (can't make and sell a product with 100% failure rates), packaging (Silicon in carrier, effective heat spreader, etc. Not the cardboard box), and of course Yeild. The more steps it ta
  • I just picked up a nice Athlon X2 system for my son. Total cost with shipping was $700. 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, DVD drive, 7600GT video card. For an extra bonus although I ordered a 3800+ X2, the system came with a 4200+ installed.

    I have a Core2Duo system myself but currently the AMDs are a great value.
    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @07:49PM (#18669823)
      Check wherever you bought it from and see if they have one of those "if you find it cheaper in 30 days, we'll refund the difference (especially if it's found cheaper at our same store)" things. A lot of places have them even if they don't advertise it, so it's worth asking.
      • I just sent off a message to Newegg. I hope they do this for me, as my 6000+ nearly halved in price, and I just ordered a week ago!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bcrowell ( 177657 )

      I just bought one, too: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+. I can't say I'm too upset about missing a price drop. These things happen.

      What's really cool about these chips, IMO, is that you can get the power-efficient ones that only draw 65 W max for the CPU. My new system only draws 133 W (monitor included) with both CPUs running full blast, and when they're idle and the monitor is powered down, it goes down to only 51 W! These chips have AMD's cool'n'quiet, which is fully supported in recent linux kernels.

      This wa

      • by gmack ( 197796 )
        I have a 4200+ as well and most of the time it's in it's lowest possible frequency setting. (you can check in /proc/cpuinfo) Playing videos won't tax the system but some games will and so will compiling for extended periods of time. I'd say for 95% of my computer's life it's throttled down.

  • Why bother with X2 when you know this will force a price cut on C2D?

    I must presume, though, that this cut is just to clean up on the bottm end and make way for a new high-end line.
    • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @08:01PM (#18669899)
      The price cut is in a little less than 2 weeks(April 22nd). Shamelessly ripped from AnandTech:

      Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800    2.93GHz x 2     4MB x 2     $1199
      Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700    2.66GHz x 2     4MB x 2     $999
      Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800     2.93GHz         4MB         $999
      Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600        2.40GHz x 2     4MB x 2     $530
      Intel Core 2 Duo E6700         2.66GHz         4MB         $316
      Intel Core 2 Duo E6600         2.40GHz         4MB         $224
      Intel Core 2 Duo E6400         2.13GHz         2MB         $183
      Intel Core 2 Duo E6300         1.86GHz         2MB         $163
      Intel Core 2 Duo E4300         1.80GHz         2MB         $113
      • Ouch! I just paid $308 for an E6600 from Newegg. Oh well. $224 would put it at the same price as the 3GHz Athlon 64 X2...
      • by Malc ( 1751 )
        I wonder if that's going to affect mobile prices. I'm due to get a new Dell laptop this quarter - will be nice to see the T7600 cpu a little cheaper.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nozsd ( 1080965 )
        Not only that, but the entire 6000 series will be upgraded to 4MBs of cache.

        Also shamelessly ripped from AnanadTech: Currently the E6300 and E6400 both have 2MB L2s, but both chips will be replaced by 4MB versions - the E6320 and E6420 respectively.

        The best part is that they won't cost any different than the 2MB versions.
    • I think it depends on whether you're upgrading, and how fast you need to go (or how much you're willing to spend). If you're building from scratch, C2D is probably a better deal these days, especially at the high end. But at the low end, last I looked, it was much more competitive. And, lessee... okay, from Newegg six months ago, I got a socket 939 motherboard and AMD64 X2 4200 for $270. If I'd gone Intel, I'd have had to get DDR2 memory, which would have basically doubled the price for similar performa
      • If I'd gone Intel, I'd have had to get DDR2 memory, which would have basically doubled the price for similar performance. As it was, I could re-use the memory I had.

        There are motherboards that allow you to use DDR RAM with a Core 2 Duo CPU (example: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=775Du a l-VSTA&s=n [asrock.com] ), I believe Anandtech or Toms Hardware had some benchmarks that showed the performance difference from using DDR RAM in one of these boards was negligable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Minwee ( 522556 )
      That's no surprise. We have known for some time that Intel is planning to release a few new processors and slash CPU prices dramatically in about two weeks [theinquirer.net]. AMD won't have anything new to show off until later this summer so all they can do is cut their own prices farther and sooner just to keep up.
  • I hate to ask this, but which of the top AMD CPU:s are truly competitive now that AMD has cut the prices in half?

    At least before the price cuts, there was simply no way I would even consider an AMD CPU, after Intel got Core 2 Duo up and running.

    So unless Barcelona changes AMD:s position, what CPU:s do you recommend that actually give us some serious $/performance sightings against Intel?
    • I hate to ask this, but which of the top AMD CPU:s are truly competitive now that AMD has cut the prices in half?

      None of them. The overclock potential on the C4D is so high, but the C4D's overlock isn't factored into the price.

      I have a C4D rated at 2.4 GHz running at 2.9 GHz (an easy, downright effortless overlock if there ever was one) and there is almost no difference in temp - but that much overclock results in a very noticable speed gain. Many people are overclocking the 6600's into the mid-3GHz with d
    • At least before the price cuts, there was simply no way I would even consider an AMD CPU, after Intel got Core 2 Duo up and running.

      So what's your usage profile ? High-end gaming or running some extremely CPU-intensive tasks where time is money ? Yup, then the C2D is for you.

      But what about the mass market ? People whose CPU will mainly twiddle its thumbs (and other digits) while running web/email/office ? People who don't care if they get 100 fps or 145 ? For them, getting an Athlon makes more sense. It's

  • I know why (Score:4, Funny)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:17PM (#18670329) Homepage Journal
    It was because I just bought a new Athlon X2 cpu last week.
  • by Deviant ( 1501 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:26PM (#18670853)
    I remember during the Pentium IV days all the AMD fans were constantly talking about how AMD owned the price to performance crown and that Intel was overpriced, ran hot (energy inefficient), and was just all around not as good an architecture. They were right - and I bought an Athlon 64 instead of a P4.

    Now those same people are trying to argue that the less expensive, cooler and more efficient Core2Duo are still not as good as their beloved AMD. They will point to 64 bit performance or performance over 4GB of ram - or a myraid of little things that are not relevant to the vast majority for at least the next couple years to support their bias.

    The processor wars, just like the video wars, will go back and forth. Nobody stays on top forever. Intel, after many years trailing, had their leap ahead for a generation or two. The people who are the most rational go with the best architecture or company at the time. I bought an ATI 9600 instead of a Nvidia 5600, even though I had always owned Nvidia and loved the drivers, because it was the better value for the money at that time.

    The bigger person, the more rational person, is the one who can be objective about these things. Which CPU company you "love" is a very strange thing to have an irrational passion about...
    • by gmack ( 197796 )
      Last time I pieced together a system I found that I would end up paying more for a core2duo once I factored in the cost of the motherboard.

      And that was before I found out about the 32bit vs 64 bit performance difference. It all worked out in my favor since I run my system in almost entirely 64 bit mode.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Except that if you feed the giant because it is 10% faster, or 12% cooler now, the small one may starve out, and bye bye "processor wars enduring years". You get stuck into a monopoly that won't do any good.

      That is why I went AMD on my new system, even though I was paying, right now, a little more for less. (Which, I learned later, as I am on 64 bit is not even less)
    • How about simply rooting for the underdog because it would really suck if Intel (or any other company for that matter) because a monopoly?
    • by javilon ( 99157 )
      If you run Linux you don't buy ATI. Their drivers truly suck and any performance advantage the ATI card could have on paper will not be realized because of the drivers.
    • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )
      64-bit performance is surely more important than 32-bit. Most Linux distributions have had an x86_64 version for years. Apart from that crappy Flash plugin to bombard you with animated advertisements when you browse the web, what 32-bit software would you want to run?
      • by Deviant ( 1501 )
        I am not sure about that. Comparing their 64 bit performances aside (where it is still equal if not ahead), if you compiled those linux binaries for 32 bit instead of 64 bit on your Core2Duo how much of a difference would you see versus 64 bit running on a AMD? Unless you were addressing large amounts of memory or doing something rather out of the ordinary I doubt that you really need 64 bit for anything but stroking your ego to know that you are more leet because you compiled it with that flag. If you are
        • The problem with running 64-bit Linux is you wind up with what almost equates to two Linux installations. This is because you wind up having both a 64-bit and 32-bit environment, otherwise you can't run 32-bit software. Worse, lots of software that you may want to play with has never been ported to 64-bit. This means you either wind up compiling these odds and ends as 32-bit or you wind up porting it to 64-bit. Again, this means a 32-bit and 64-bit development environment, plus all those dang libraries.
          • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

            The problem with running 64-bit Linux is you wind up with what almost equates to two Linux installations. This is because you wind up having both a 64-bit and 32-bit environment, otherwise you can't run 32-bit software.

            That used to be the case a couple of years ago, when OpenOffice.org was still 32-bit only. Indeed, you needed 32-bit and 64-bit copies of every library and it was a bit of a mess. But nowadays pretty much everything is 64-bit native. See the LWN story The end of the multiarch era? [lwn.net].

            Even bac

        • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )
          Yeah it probably is just stroking your ego to run a 64-bit system, then again, that's pretty much the only reason for upgrading to a faster CPU anyway.

          On the Athlon 64, 64-bit code is about 10% faster than 32-bit, so I switched to an x86_64 native Linux distribution, and I don't want to switch back to i386.
  • by GoatVomit ( 885506 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:26PM (#18671421)
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/dualc ore-roundup.html [xbitlabs.com] sums things up rather nicely.
  • Athlon 64 3600+ (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RzUpAnmsCwrds ( 262647 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @12:13AM (#18671753)
    The real best-kept secret in the CPU world today is the X2 3600+. It's selling on Newegg for $65 right now, and while a dual-core 1.9GHz Athlon 64 isn't going to make Intel tremble, $65 is pretty darn close to Celeron price territory. Apparently the 3600+ overclocks well, too. Really well.

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