AMD athlon 64 x2 5200+

A chip without a purpose

There's a certain argument for it if the thought of overclocking still sends icy fingers down your spine

Our Verdict

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

For

  • Reasonable performance

Against

  • 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.