AMD 5000+ Black Edition AM2 X2 Processor Review

Admin - 2008-01-13 19:49:18 in CPU's
Category: CPU's
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 17, 2008
Price: $99.99




It's a good time to be an enthusiast. I remember the days of setting dip switches on the Goldfinger devices and butchering my hands opening up the cases on the SECC1 cartridge on the Slot As, then using candle wax, crayons, and conductive ink to link the bridges on the Socket A. With clock multipliers being locked on most CPUs now, save for the ultra high end AMD-FX, Intel Extreme Edition, and almost unattainable engineering samples, AMD has extended an olive branch to the enthusiasts offering unlocked multipliers on its Black Edition CPUs.

The Black Edition currently consists of the AMD 5000+ X2 BE, AMD 6400+ X2 BE, and Phenom 9600 BE. Stay with me here, the 6400+ X2 Black Edition was released first in late August 2007 as the "top dog" 90mm Windsor core with 2x1MB L2 cache at 125W TDP running 3.2GHz. The multipliers are available from 16x downwards (i.e multipliers locked). The 5000+ X2 was released in late September 2007 based on the 65mm Brisbane core with 2x512MB L2 cache at 65W TDP running 2.6GHz. The multipliers are fully unlocked (4x-25x). Following suit, the Phenom 9600 Black Edition also has unlocked multipliers.



Closer Look:

The retail packaging of the AMD 5000+ X2 Black Edition is, you guessed it, a black box.









The AMD 5000+ X2 Black Edition was shipped from AMD and was packaged in an AMD clamshell.




In 2008 you will notice many changes here at OCC, and some may take a little getting used to. By now you are aware that the review staff of OCC publishes five hardware reviews a week, some of which are at times fairly short, and some that can actually consist of twenty pages or more. In order for us to keep this pace, we will no longer have an installation section that many of you have become familiar with. Instead of having an installation page, we will actually be publishing how-to guides on installing many products, such as CPUs (Intel and AMD), video cards (ATI and nVidia), external USB devices (Mice, Keyboards, etc.), and hard drives (SATA and IDE). The reason for the change is simple; to take pictures, edit them and post them is time consuming. So to save time and publish reviews of new and innovative products more quickly, the decision has been made to publish these guides and link to the guide specific to each review. This will also provide someone who does not have the knowledge on installing a component a step-by-step medium to learn. Let's face it, how many times have you seen a CPU on a motherboard?

As for our configuration section, there will be no changes; we will still show the installation of the software and its features. Software changes, but once you have seen a PCI-E slot and have installed hardware into that PCI-E slot, it's like riding a bike and just becomes second nature.

The review staff of OCC thanks you.


If you would like to see what a socket 940 processor looks like on a motherboard, you may do so here.




AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core



OPN Tray




Operating Mode 32 Bit


Operating Mode 64 Bit




Core Speed (Mhz)




Max Temps (C)



65 W

L1 Cache Size (KB)


L1 Cache Count


L2 Cache Size (KB)


L2 Cache Count


L3 Cache Size (KB)



65nm SOI







The AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Black Edition processor 5000+ features AMD64 technology for blistering performance that immerses you in the game.


Testing of the 5000+ BE will be performed by running our suite of system tests as well as gaming benchmarks and real world play to gauge the performance of the CPU. The omission of Intel comparison benchmarks is obvious since right now Intel is the speed king. We will rather test to see if there are any benefits to running the lower clocked 2.6 GHz 5000+ with 512KB per core L2 Cache vs. the 3.0 GHz 6000+ with 1MB per core L2 Cache.

Testing Setup:



Overclocking the 5000+ Black Edition couldn't be easier. Head into the BIOS and start the upward climb of the multiplier. Of course, for total system enhancement, you will want to adjust the memory and HTT as well, but for this review we will just be dealing with the CPU and increasing the multiplier to test the performance of the CPU. Highest benchmark stable clock was 16x200MHz at 1.4V for a CPU speed of 3200MHz. The other benefit is that with the 16x multiplier, the RAM divider is 8 and allows the memory to be run at 400. The 5000+ was able to boot into Windows at 16.5x200MHz at 1.5V but was not benchmark stable. I believe the motherboard was the bottleneck as there were no voltage adjustments other than CPU and Memory. With a little push on the HTT voltage, it should have been stable.




  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SpecviewPerf 10
  4. PCMark05 Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02 Final
  7. Cinebench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.54
  1. F.E.A.R
  2. Bioshock
  3. Call of Duty 4
  4. Quake 4
  5. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  6. 3DMark 06
  7. Crysis




We'll start with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:


The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.


Lower is Better


We can see that the extra L2 cache helps the 6000+ finish the render over three minutes faster than the 5000+ BE clocked at 3.0GHz and almost a full minute quicker even with the 5000+ clocked at 3.2GHz.



WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. We will use 10MB, 100MB and 500MB files and test the time needed to compress these files. Time will be measured in seconds.



The 5000+ BE just powers through the compression testing when overclocked.


Specview 10 is a benchmark designed to test OpenGL performance. The tests used for comparison are listed below. The default tests were chosen to be able to compare across platforms. In these tests, higher scores equate to better performance.




Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Higher is Better



PCMark05 is used to measure complete system performance. We will be running a series of tests to gauge performance of each individual board to see which board, if any, rises above the others.







Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Higher is Better



Sisoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, there will be a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of  the processor.








Processor Arithmetic



Multi-core Efficiency



Memory Bandwidth



Memory Latency



Cache and Memory



File System



Physical Disks



Power Management Efficiency



The extra 512KB of L2 cache on the 6000 X2 pays off in the Sandra benchmarks. Even clocked at the same speed, the 5000 BE trails behind. Not until the 5000 X2 Black Edition is clocked to 3200MHz does it really stretch its legs past the 6000 X2 with double the L2 Cache. The 65nm Brisbane core absolutely crushes the 90nm Windsor core in the Power Management Efficiency test.


Sciencemark tests real world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we ran the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.







Higher is Better


Cinebench is useful for testing your system, CPU and OpenGL capabilities using the software program CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.Cinebench 10 has recently been added to our benchmark suite.


Higher is Better


HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.


Higher is Better

Higher is Better


F.E.A.R. is a newer game that includes its own benchmarking utility. We will be using this test to benchmark the game. This game introduces a new AI model that emulates real squad behavior. It has the ability to counteract the moves you make rather than having a predictable routine.

The settings we will use are below:







Benchmark: BioShock

BioShock is one of the newest games on the market. It is a demanding game that will make your hardware scream for mercy. This first-person shooter allows for an infinite number of weapons and modifications, to provide a unique experience each time it is played.










Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the successor to Call of Duty 2 for the PC. It brings the fight up to current events and is a first-person shooter that maintains a tremendous online following. This test will consist of a timed run on "The Bog" map, measured by Average FPS (frames per second).


The settings used are listed below:






Quake 4 is next up for testing. We will be using the Hardware OC Quake 4 Benchmark Utility version 1.5 to complete the testing with this game. You will need to update to the most current version for the latest time demo and bug fixes. Average FPS (frames per second) will be the measure used.


The settings we will use are listed below:




Need For Speed: Most Wanted. For this test, we will time each race and record the average FPS (Frames Per Second) achieved.


The settings we will use are listed below.







3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest is begun. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.










Crysis is a new addition to the gaming benchmark suite used at This game is one of the most anticipated and system intensive games to be released to the market right now. The Crysis single player demo includes a GPU benchmark to test the performance of the video card installed in the system.







 As per the numbers above, the GPU is the bottleneck in this demanding benchmark.



In the AMD world, the 5000+ Black Edition should be on your short list if you are looking for a quick overclocking fix, or upgrading from your aging 939 system and not ready to take the Phenom plunge, but secretly hoping it will magically pull performance out of its hat. With the 65W TDP of the CPU, the Black Edition would be right at home in an HTPC where it wouldn't break a sweat, and you would have the ability to crank it up a bit to get your game on. At stock speeds, the 512KB of L2 Cache on the 65nm Brisbane core seems to hamper the performance of the CPU when compared to its older brothers, the 6000+ & 6400+ on the 90nm Windsor core, but it has them both beat in power efficiency.

Overclocking the Black Edition was a blast. With some patience and time, you can have a ball finding the magical sweet spot of CPU/MEM/HTT speed and really zone in on it with the adjustable multipliers. While it's not the +1 GHz overclock that some Intel C2Ds are hitting, and still quite far from the 4GHz mark, a 600MHz overclock is nothing to sneeze at on current silicon from AMD. The performance scales quite well when ramping up the MHz and the price/performance ratio with the CPU being right around the $100 range in the US with some hunting is a pretty good deal. Hopefully, AMD will continue to offer the Black Edition processors well into the future.