Dual-core technology is finally a reality and the tendency is that all mainstream CPUs to become dual-core in a near future. But will average users really benefit from it? In this review we’ve got two CPUs running at the same clock rate, Athlon 64 3800+ and Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (both running at 2.4 GHz), and could see if there is a real performance gain for regular users. We also checked Athlon 64 FX-60 performance, which is a dual-core Athlon 64 FX running at 2.6 GHz.

One of the greatest advantages of dual-core CPUs is that they don’t need a new motherboard. Both Athlon 64 X2 and dual-core Athlon 64 FX use the socket 939 standard, so you can replace your current socket 939 CPU directly into a dual-core AMD CPU.

Athlon 64 X2 4600+Figure 1: Athlon 64 X2 4600+ and Athlon 64 3800+

Athlon 64 FX-60Figure 2: Athlon 64 FX-60.

Both Athlon 64 X2 4600+ and Athlon 64 FX-60 are recognized as two CPUs by Windows, as you can see on Figures 3 and 4.

Athlon 64 X2 4600+Figure 3: How Athlon 64 X2 4600+ is recognized on Windows.

Athlon 64 FX-60Figure 4: How Athlon 64 FX-60 is recognized on Windows.

With a dual-core CPU you will have, in fact, two CPUs inside your PC. That’s why we are running this test: to check how much is the performance gain for a regular user. For more in-depth information about AMD dual-core technology, read our article Dual Core AMD Processors.


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.