Technology’s proliferated use and evolvement in the last few decades, along with the development of human minds, has helped the tech world achieve innumerable heights.
One of these heights has been the development of processor for desktops.
The AMD Athlon and Phenom are two of those processors that have been in rapid use.
- Athlon processors target budget-conscious users and offer lower performance compared to Phenom processors.
- Phenom processors deliver higher performance, targeting gaming and multitasking needs.
- Phenom processors feature more cores, larger caches, and advanced technologies than Athlon processors.
AMD Athlon vs AMD Phenom
The difference between the AMD Athlon and Phenom is that the AMD Athlon processors do not possess an L3 cache, whereas the Phenom processors have an L3 cache, which enhances the performance of the processors due to the restricted trips to the main memory.
The AMD Athlon is AMD’s current flagship for desktops. It ranges from the earlier single-core processors to the newest multi-core processors, which provide greater performance and higher speed.
These processors are known for their tri-core design and support for all types of motherboards.
While the AMD Phenom is the newer version of processors developed by the company. These processors come with a multi-core cache that allows these processors to work at a faster rate.
Also, a separate clock works at a constant rate to keep the memory working at full speed even when the processor has throttled down.
|Parameters of Comparison
|It is the established flagship model of the company.
|These are the newer models of processors manufactured by the company.
|It is relatively cheaper than the AMD Phenom.
|It is costlier than the AMD Athlon processors, as they are multi-core processors.
|Support for Motherboards
|The AMD Athlon supports all types of motherboards.
|The AMD Phenom does not support all types of motherboards.
|It consumes lesser power.
|Due to the presence of a separate clock and DDPM, the AMD Phenom consumes more power.
|AMD Athlon supports only up to DDR2-800 modules.
|AMD Phenom supports DDR2-1066 modules.
What is AMD Athlon?
The AMD Athlon is a microprocessor for desktops manufactured and designed by Advanced Micro Devices. The CPU cache on the Athlon is divided into two standard levels.
The Athlon is considered as the first x86 processor, which uses a 128 KB 1 cache of split level, which was split into 264 KB for data and instructions.
The name Athlon is a Greek word that means ‘prize of a contest’. The first model of the AMD Athlon processor was produced and launched on June 23, 1999.
It was manufactured as the first seventh-generation with an x86 processor and to be the first desktop processor to run at a speed of one gigahertz. In 2019, AMD released the contemporary Zen-based Athlon which had a Radeon Graphics processor.
It is considered as the highest-performance entry-level processor of the company.
After the development of 2x64KB, the company integrated with L2 cache models, thus abolishing the need for external chips.
The company gained significance in the market when it launched the Athlon Thunderbird, which consisted of a 256KB chip, thus providing considerable speed compared to the first model.
The latest version of the AMD Athlon processor is the Zen-based Athlon processor. It was launched in 2018 and is one of the most used processors in desktops due to its high speed.
It consists of an L2 cache of 1MB, and the L1 cache is 192KB. It comes with a maximum of 64GB Dual-Channel DDR4-2666 memory.
The CPU clock rate works at a reputed speed of 3.2 to 3.5 GHz, which allows the processor to compete against the Intel Pentium.
What is AMD Phenom?
The AMD Phenom is a desktop processor of 64-bit, which is developed based on the K10 micro-architecture. The presence of the L3 cache gives an edge over L2 and L1 cache memories.
The L3 cache memory provides significant speed due to the lessened trips on the main memory.
Because such processors contain a monolithic multi-core architecture (which means that all cores are on the same silicon die), AMD believes them to be of real quad-core design of the first type and unlike the Core 2 Quad series of the Intel company, which had a design of multi-chip module (MCM).
The CPUs are Socket AM2+ and are built with compatibility. The presence of HyperTransport 3.0 in the Phenom processors provides great bandwidth, which improves the overall performance.
The Phenom processor line‘s model numbers were altered as it uses the PR system in the predecessor of the family of AMD Athlon 64 processors.
The Phenom model numbering scheme has an exclusive four-digit model number. The first digit caters as the family indicator for later-released Athlon X2 processors.
The suffix “e” indicates that the product is energy efficient (for example, “Phenom 9350e”). The prefix LE is used by several Sempron processors (for example, “Sempron LE-1200”).
Since these processors provide great speed and are more powerful, this substantially increases power consumption.
This makes Phenom less suitable for mobile applications requiring much power. Increased power usage also means more heat dissipation, which might damage the processor.
Larger heat sinks, stronger fans, and liquid cooling are common solutions for heating issues.
Main Differences Between AWD Athlon and AWD Phenom
- The AMD Athlon has L1 and L2 cache, while AMD Phenom has L1, L2, and L3 cache.
- AMD Athlon has HyperTransport 2.0, while AMD Phenom has HyperTransport 3.0.
- The AMD Athlon has tri-core designs, while AMD Phenom has quad-core designs.
- AMD Athlon does not have any separate clock to increase the performance, while Phenom has a separate clock which enhances the speed and performance of the processors.
- AMD Athlon does not have any external voltage sources, while the Phenom utilizes Dual Dynamic Power Management, providing the processor with more power.
Last Updated : 11 June, 2023
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.