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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles July 12, 2009

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    Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor Review
    By Vince Freeman :  September 13, 2007

    Benchmark Analysis

    Since we had already benchmarked the 3.0 GHz Athlon 64 X2 6000+, the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 X2 5600+ held very little in terms of surprises and performed to our expectations. The real benefit of this model is its excellent price-performance ratio, but in terms of benchmark speed, it's simply a 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 X2. This translates into performance on par with the Core 2 Duo E6600 in most system benchmarks, and even coming close to the Core 2 Duo E6700 in some others. The game testing dropped the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ back a bit, and it was now chasing the Core 2 Duo E6600 in the majority of gaming benchmarks.

    Total System Power Consumption Testing

    The power consumption of desktop systems is a definite concern, especially for those who build small form factor and low-noise systems, or for buyers wanting to keep energy costs down. The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ may not be a 65nm ultra low-power unit, but AMD has classified it as an 89W part, compared to the 125W of the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and 6400+. This is also the newest Athlon 64 X2 processor we've received from AMD, so we expect some slight improvements compared to the older models.

    In order to measure power consumption, we took each of the reference systems, ran the outlet through a Power Analyzer, and then compiled total system consumption figures (in Watts) for Idle and Load scenarios. In order to keep the systems and results consistent, we used the same configuration for the AMD and Intel processors as listed on the Test Systems page.

    The first test measures the total system power usage when the AMD and Intel processors are set to power-saving mode. For AMD, this means enabling Cool'n'Quiet, while for Intel we need to activate Enhanced SpeedStep. The test was performed after Windows XP had loaded, and all of the various software and hardware components had initialized and a stable power reading became clear. The results were a bit surprising, and with Cool'n'Quiet enabled, the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ posted the lowest system consumption numbers, barely finishing ahead of some lower clocked Athlon 64 X2 models. As clock speeds are similar, this result likely points to slight core improvements in the newer model.

    The second test was also performed at idle, but this time under the same scenario that many users employ, with the processors operating at default clock speeds with no power savings enabled. This is performed by manually selecting the clock multiplier in the BIOS and disabling any BIOS and Windows XP power-saving features. Under this scenario, the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ falls back in the pack, but still manages to outpace a few of its Athlon 64 X2 counterparts, which is a bit surprising given the higher 2.8 GHz clock.

    The third test changes the operating conditions from Idle to Load, and the SANDRA XI Multimedia CPU benchmark pushes processor usage to 100%, while ensuring that no extraneous hard drive or peripheral activity artificially ramps up the power consumption rates. The results using SANDRA are also incredibly consistent, with the wattage numbers remaining stable through the entire test. Now that the processors are humming at peak usage, the numbers start to follow along with core speed and design for the most part, although the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ does manage to move up one place, finishing with a lower power usage than the Athlon 64 X2 5200+.

    Please keep in mind that these numbers relate to total system power consumption, of which the CPU is only one part. In evaluations like this, relative placing is more important than the base numbers, which can change based on the platform mix. We tested this with a mainstream component list (on both sides), and naturally, overall consumption will be lower with entry-level dedicated graphics, mATX motherboards and basic DDR2.

    Page 1 The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 SANDRA XI, CINEBENCH 9.5 and WinRAR Performance
    Page 5 MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DivX 6.4 Performance
    Page 6 3DMark06 Pro, DOOM 3 and FarCry Performance
    Page 7 Quake 4, F.E.A.R. and CoR Performance
    Page 8 Company of Heroes, Prey and Splinter Cell: CT Performance
  • Page 9 Benchmark Analysis and System Power Consumption
    Page 10 Value and Conclusion

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