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CPU Core Details

CPU Codename Clarkdale Windsor
MoBo Socket LGA 1156/Socket H Socket AM2
Notebook CPU no no
Release Date 07 Jan 2010 20 Aug 2007
CPU Link GD Link GD Link

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores 2 2
CPU Threads 4 2
Clock Speed 2.93 GHz 3.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency - -
System Bus - 1000 MHz
Max TDP 73 W 125 W
Lithography 32 nm 90 nm
Bit Width 64 Bit 64 Bit
Max Temperature 73°C -
Virtualization Technology no no

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size 128 KB 256 KB
L2 Cache Size 512 KB 2048 KB
L3 Cache Size 4 MB -
Memory Types
Max Memory Size 16 GB -
Memory Channels 2 2
ECC Memory Support no no

CPU Graphics

Integrated Graphics no no
Base GPU Frequency - -
Max GPU Frequency - -
DirectX - -
Displays Supported - -

CPU Mini Review

Mini Review Core i3-530 2.93GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 32nm, Nehalem architecture. It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.93GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated. The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel HD i3 530, with 12 Execution Units, clocked at 733MHz, which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor. Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 73W. It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications. Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6400+ is a middle-class Processor based on the 90nm K8 micro-architecture. It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.2GHz and 2MB of L2 Cache. Among its many features, Virtualization is activated. The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 125W. It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.

Gaming Performance Comparison

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-530 2.9GHz is significantly better than the AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6400+ when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

Both the Core i3-530 2.9GHz and the Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6400+ were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

{ The Core i3-530 2.9GHz and the Athlon 64 X2 both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, theCore i3-530 2.9GHz and the Athlon 64 X2 may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

The Core i3-530 2.9GHz has 2 more threads than the Athlon 64 X2. The Athlon 64 X2 has one thread per physical core, whereas the $strippedName1 uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i3-530 2.9GHz and Athlon 64 X2 are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Athlon 64 X2 has a 0.27 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The <span class='gpu2Mention'>Athlon 64 X2</span> has a 1536 KB bigger L2 cache than the <span class='gpu1Mention'>Core i3-530 2.9GHz</span>, and although the Athlon 64 X2 does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.