We've got a CPU Price Guide for you this week, and with the recent launch of AMD's AM2 platform there have been quite a few changes. For the first time since the days of socket A, AMD has a unified platform for their budget, mainstream, and high-end processors. Assuming everything goes as planned, you should be able to purchase any AM2 motherboard right now and you will have the option of running everything from the lowly Sempron 64 up through dual core Athlon X2 processors. What's more, AMD should be launching additional CPU designs for the platform later this year, and in 2007 we should see the first quad core processors for the platform. That makes socket AM2 a platform with potentially the most longevity we have seen to date, hopefully following on the success of the socket 754 platform. Socket 939 is of course still doing well, but AMD's roadmaps indicate that socket 754 will actually outlive socket 939 now.

The Intel side of things is not quite so clear, in part because we're still waiting for the launch of the Core 2 Duo processors and platform. From what we saw at Computex 2006, many motherboard makers should be able to run Core 2 Duo processors on current Intel chipsets -- we saw everything from 865/875 through 915, 945, and of course the official 965/975 running the upcoming processors. It appears that the only requirements are proper voltage regulation modules (VRMs) and a BIOS that works with Core 2 Duo. Unfortunately, as we have seen in the past, Intel sanctioned support (at least on Intel chipsets) of Core 2 Duo may be limited to the 965 and 975 chipset families. We will have to wait another month or so for the official launch to find out how things pan out in terms of motherboard/chipset support.

All this talk of chipsets and motherboards is starting to muddy the waters, as this is supposed to be a CPU Price Guide. However, it is virtually impossible to talk about processors without at least giving a quick overview of the various chipsets and platforms that run them. We will be providing a Motherboard Price Guide in the near future to cover the other half of this equation, but for now let's talk about processors.

As with all of our Price Guides, we will be providing prices from our Real-Time Pricing Engine. Our price engine team does their best to keep on top of the currently available products, and you can find prices on everything from CPUs, RAM, and graphics cards to hard drives, motherboards, and LCDs from vendors that we consider to be reputable. Of course, we're always looking for ways to improve, so if you have any suggestions feel free to send them our way. Due to the sheer number of processors available, we won't be covering every single option in this article. The price tables are already long enough as it is, so we will try to focus on the most frequently purchased parts. However, if you're looking for an older processor or something a bit more esoteric, chances are you can find it in the RTPE.

AMD Dual Core/High-End CPUs
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  • Rebel44 - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    Hi I´d like to ask if frequence multiplier on athlon 3500 is locked or not.
    Thanks for answer.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    All AMD CPUs are upward locked, so the 3500+ can use an 11X or lower multiplier. The exception is the FX line, which are not locked up or down. Reply
  • Rebel44 - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    Thats a pity, but its still better than intel because their CPUs are just like radiator.
    P.S. sorry for offtopic
    Reply

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