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AMD's new dual-core Athlon processors

Today AMD launched a pair of new Athlon processors as part of its "Cartwheel" home PC value platform. This is the first refresh of the Athlon series for some time.

Today AMD launched a pair of new Athlon processors as part of its "Cartwheel" home PC value platform. This is the first refresh of the Athlon series for some time.

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Two parts were announced, one aimed at consumers and the other aimed at OEMs. The consumer part is the X2 7740 "Black" edition clock multiplier unlocked processor priced at $79. The OEM part is the X2 7550, a clock multiplier locked CPU.

Note: AMD believes that home consumers would prefer an overclock-friendly CPU with an unlocked clock multiplier, while OEMs prefer to play things conservatively and keep the clock multiplier locked.

Also worth noting is that no price was quoted for the OEM X2 7550.

The X2 7750 runs at 2.7GHz, while the X2 7550 runs at 2.5GHz. Both CPUs have 256KB of L1 cache and 512KB of L2 (giving a total of 1MB), and 2MB of shared L3 cache. Both parts are 65nm pieces and have a maximum TDP of 95W.

Overall performance of the X2 7750 seems to be better than Intel's dual-core E5200, and given that the new AMD offering is cheaper than the E5200, this new AMD piece is ideal for the budget-conscious looking for the best bang for their bucks. Combine this processor with a 780G motherboard, a Radeon HD 4800 GPU and a few gigs of RAM and you have the basis for a very nice gaming platform.