Enthusiasts love to know which “core” their processor is based on. “Core” is the silicon chip version used inside the CPU. Even in some ads you may find a reference to which core the CPU uses. To the regular user the core reference looks like Greek, so we decided to post a quick guide to all Athlon 64 cores released to date.

Core Socket L2 Cache Manufacturing Process SSE3 Instructions  Note
ClawHammer Socket 754 or 939 1 MB 130 nm No  
NewCastle Socket 754 or 939 512 KB 130 nm No  
Winchester  Socket 939 512 KB 90 nm  No  
Venice Socket 939 512 KB 90 nm Yes Enhanced Memory Controller
San Diego Socket 939 1 MB 90 nm Yes Enhanced Memory Controller

SSE3 instructions were first launched with Pentium 4 processor and are MMX-like instructions, created to accelerate multimedia applications.

About the memory controller, what happens is that Athlon 64 processors have a limitation. When four DDR400/PC3200 memory modules are installed on the system, they are accessed at 333 MHz and not at 400 MHz. This was corrected on Venice and San Diego cores: on CPUs based on these cores the processor accesses the four memory modules at 400 MHz.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.