Notebooks Guide

MSI S271 review

AMD Turion 64 X2 Performance Preview

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The Turion 64 X2 Processor Family

The Turion 64 X2 Processor Family

The sum up most of what we've shared, the following is a processor comparison table pitting the new Turion 64 X2 processor against the original Turion 64 and Intel's Core Duo processor for various processor attributes:-

The AMD Turion 64 X2 Processor Compared
Processor AMD Turion 64 X2 AMD Turion 64 Intel Core Duo
No. of Cores 2 1 2
Clock Speeds 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz 1.6GHz - 2.4GHz 1.66GHz - 2.16GHz
Front Side Bus - - 667MHz
HyperTransport Bus 800MHz (1600MT/s) 800MHz (1600MT/s) -
L1 Cache (data + instruction) (64KB + 64KB) x 2 64KB + 64KB (32KB + 32KB) x 2
L2 Cache (512KB x 2) or
(256KB x 2)
1MB 2MB (shared)
Integrated Memory Controller Dual Channel
(up to DDR2-667)
Single Channel
(up to DDR400)
None - Dual Channel through chipset
( up to DDR2-667)
VID (V) 1.2 1.00 - 1.45 0.76 -1.3
TDP (W) 35 35 31
Execute Disable Bit Yes Yes Yes
AMD64 / Intel EM64T Yes Yes No
Virtualization Technology Yes No Yes
Power Management Technology
  • AMD PowerNow! Technology
  • Multi-Core Power Management
  • AMD PowerNow! Technology
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
  • Enhanced Deeper Sleep
  • Power Optimized FSB
Packaging Socket S1
(Socket-638, mBGA)
Socket-754 mPGA479M
Process Technology 90nm SOI 90nm SOI 65nm
Processor Codename N.A. Lancaster Yonah

In short, the new Turion 64 X2 mobile processor is the first X86 64-bit mobile dual-core processor for mainstream and performance notebooks with hardware virtualization built-in. Endowed with good processing bandwidth throughput by virtue of its architecture, it advances the original Turion 64 processor with dual processing cores, an updated dual-channel DDR2 memory controller and a new optimized socket. Seems like the Turion 64 X2 would give Intel's Dual Core a run for its money if history repeats itself.

The following table summarizes the various Turion 64 X2 CPU models available at launch and we should be expecting to see a good number of notebooks based on this platform during Computex 2006 with the actual retail following soon after the expo just like last year's Turion 64 spearheading:-

AMD Turion 64 X2 Processor Models @ Launch
Processor Model Thermal Design Power Frequency L2 Cache
TL-60 35W 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB
TL-56 33W 1.8GHz 2 x 512KB
TL-52 31W 1.6GHz 2 x 512KB
TL-50 31W 1.6GHz 2 x 256KB

We had the opportunity to have an early hands-on preview of the capabilities of the Turion 64 X2 processor by means of MSI's upcoming S271 notebook, which came equipped with the processor model TL-52. Not really the top of the line which we were expecting, but nevertheless a good model for our benchmark comparison as we'll be showing you real soon.

 

The Mobile Sempron Update

The formation of the new Socket S1 interface will lay the grounds for the new mobile AMD platform. Hence, to prevent ostracizing the value line Sempron series out of the equation, AMD has updated the specifications of the Sempron processors as well to conform to the new platform. Using the same new Socket S1, the Sempron will also feature a dual-channel DDR2 memory controller to remain compatible with the interface. However hardware-assisted virtualization technology gets the axe, as well as the second processing core too. Thus, the Mobile Sempron is very much what the Turion 64 X2 is, but with only a single core. Interestingly, to keep the power consumption in check, AMD is still restricting the HTT speed to 800MHz versus 1GHz on the desktop parts.

Differentiating the AMD Turion 64 X2 and AMD Mobile Sempron
Processor Name AMD Turion 64 X2 AMD Mobile Sempron
No. of Cores 2 1
HyperTransport Bus 800MHz (1600MT/s) 800MHz (1600MT/s)
L1 Cache (data + instruction) (64KB + 64KB) x 2 64KB + 64KB
L2 Cache (512KB x 2) or
(256KB x 2)
512KB or 256KB
Integrated Memory Controller Dual Channel (up to DDR2-667) Dual Channel (up to DDR2-667)
Execute Disable Bit Yes Yes
AMD64 Technology Yes Yes
Virtualization Technology Yes No
Power Management Technology
  • AMD PowerNow! Technology
  • Multi-Core Power Management
  • AMD PowerNow! Technology
Packaging Socket S1 (Socket-638, mBGA) Socket S1 (Socket-638, mBGA)