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.
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.
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.