AMD fans need wait no longer for dual-core desktop processors--they're ready now. And in our exclusive tests of an AMD reference system, we found that it beat Intel's dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition across the board.
As with dual-core Pentium EE systems, you'll get the most performance benefit when you're working with multiple applications at once, or when you use multithreaded software, which can recognize more than one processor.
Dual-core chips build in two processing cores, in effect giving you two CPUs in one piece of silicon. You also get two L2 memory caches, one for each core--the 2.4-GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip we tested, for example, had 1MB of L2 per core (CPUs also have 64KB of L1 cache per core). The Athlon 64 X2 processors (formerly code-named Toledo) all have 64-bit support and will ship in June, joining AMD's already-available dual-core Opteron server and workstation processors. Additional X2 models range from the 2.4-GHz 4600+ with 512KB of L2 cache per core to the 2.2-GHz 4200+ with 512KB of L2 cache per core.
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