CPU-Z shot of the Athlon 64 X2 3600+ engineering sample
AMD: Ditching more cache for less, since 2006

DailyTech has managed to get a hold of an AMD engineering chip labeled "Athlon 64 X2 3600+ for AM2."  According to CPU-Z, the processor is a 2.0GHz CPU, the same as the Athlon 64 Windsor 3800+.  However, half of the L2 cache has been disabled effectively making this AMD's first dual-core processor with a total of 512KB of L2 cache.

AMD recently discontinued all of its 2x1MB L2 cache processors less than two weeks after the processors were announced.  This may be an indicator that low-bin Athlon 64 X2 processors will instead transition to 2x256KB cache configurations, instead of the 2x512KB parts that were previously the low-bin.  However, since the CPU is only an engineering sample, it’s not easy to determine if AMD will even publically announce the CPU, or if it will simply become an OEM-only component for high quantity system builders like the original Socket 939 Semprons.

CPU-Z shows the Athlon 64 X2 3600+ to still sport the Windsor CPU core, the same CPU core that was used for the 2x1MB and is still used for the 2x512KB AM2 processors.

HKEPC has also come across the 3600+, claiming it will ship in Q4'06 for a price of $139 to $159.  Given that AMD is expected to announce major CPU price cuts near the end of July, the $139 price tag fits in with the rest of AMD's pricing.   Intel's lowest-bin Conroe, the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor, is expected to ship with a price of around $183.  In contrast, the 3.0GHz Presler NetBurst processor is expected to hover around $133 at the same time HKEPC claims the X2 3600+ may ship.

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