AMD has begun shipping its first dual-core Athlon 64 FX gaming processor, the FX-60, hot on the heels of Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 955.
The chip-maker has also introduced a pair of top-end Turion 64 processors, the ML-42 and ML-44.
The FX-60 is clocked at 2.6GHz, less than the 2.8GHz FX-57. Both are fabbed at 90nm and connect using AMD's Socket 939 pin-out. Both support up to 400MHz DDR SDRAM in dual-channel configuration. The FX-60 comprises 233m transistors to the FX-57's 113m. Each of the FX-60's two cores has 1MB of L2 cache.
Having to date maintained that dual-core CPUs brought no special benefit to gamers, AMD said it now believes there are sufficient multi-threaded titles coming to warrant the upgrade. It also pointed to better dual-core support in key driver software, such as that supporting the latest graphics cards.
Intel, by contrast, pitched its first dual-core products at gamers. While few games take advantage of the second processing core, it admitted, the extra processor allows gamers to continue running software they might otherwise disable to ensure maximum game performance, such as anti-virus code.
Intel's latest dual-core gaming CPU, the 65nm, 3.46GHz 955, has just been added to the company's price list at $999. AMD's chip costs $1,031.
AMD also added the Turion ML-42 and ML-44 to its own price list, at $354 and $525, respectively. The 35W notebook chips sport 512KB and 1MB of L2 cache, respectively, but are both clocked at 2.4GHz. ®