AMD athlon 64 x2 5200+

A chip without a purpose

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Our Verdict

AMD's greatest strength is at the low end. At this level the Core 2 chips are just too strong


  • Reasonable performance


  • Forget about overclocking

Unlike the 4600 and 3800 below them, the 5200 and upwards haven't chucked a meg and a half of cache over the edge in a desperate attempt to lose cost-weight.

This still carries a full 2MB of L2. Unfortunately, neither that nor an extra 200MHz on the clock over the 4600+ makes much difference.

Sure it's a few frames faster in the games and takes a minute less in the multi-tasking test, but not £30-40 worth of boost. It does have a lead over the similarly-priced Intel E6420 out of the box, so there's a certain argument for it if the thought of overclocking still sends icy fingers down your spine.

Really though, AMD's most effective shelter from the Core 2 fallout looks to be the low end, at which a complete non-gaming or media centre system can be built for around £200.