While Socket AM2 really has not brought many new technologies to the table other than the DDR2 controller, Pacifica virtualization, and likewise improvements, the Sempron 3400+ and Athlon 64 4200+ had performed competitively when paired against the existing competition under Linux. The only two tests where the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ wasn't the clear cut winner was with the Singular Value Decomposition test from the Blue Sail Software Opstone benchmark, which focuses on near-singular linear algebra problems, and FreeBench PiFFT. The PiFFT test is a Fast Fourier Transform for calculating the value of Pi. From the gaming to the compiling and encoding, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ had blown away the competition -- primarily the budget Intel Pentium D 820. As far as the budget-oriented Sempron 3400+, in many of the benchmarks it had only fallen marginally short of the Socket 939 Athlon 64 3000+. As far as the cost goes for the budget Sempron beauty, the AM2 Sempron 3400+ has a suggested price from AMD of about $97 USD for the standard desktop model, while the energy-efficient variant should retail for approximately $145. These new AMD Socket AM2 parts should be widely available in early June. These processors had performed flawlessly under Linux with no apparent problems when using the 2.6.16 kernel, however, there may be upsets to soon report when delivering our results with the new Chipsets from NVIDIA, ATI, and the rest. Our AM2 investigation will continue shortly as next up we look at specifically at the performance characteristics of the AMD DDR2 integrated memory controller.
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