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The first dual-core Athlon 64 benchmarks have appeared on the web, courtesy of an Italian-language hardware site and an unnamed Taiwanese OEM.

The site, Hardware Upgrade, tested a 2.4GHz dual-core sample chip using the same CineBench 2003 test Intel used at its Developer Forum earlier this month to show off the speed benefits of its own dual-core processors.

The Italian site came up with a rendering time of 41.4s for the Athlon 64 dual-core sample, second only to a two-way, HyperThreading-enabled 3.6GHz Xeon system, which clocked in at 38.4s. The Xeon rig offers four logical cores to the Athlon 64's two physical cores.

Operating in single-core mode the 2.4GHz AMD chip took 77.5s to render the CineBench test image - almost, but not quite, half the speed of the chip running in dual-core mode, as you'd expect. Adding in the second core yielded an 87 per cent performance boost.

Real mileage will vary, of course, but any system running a modern OS that supports multiple processors - such as Windows XP Pro, though not, of course, Windows XP Home Edition - and time-slices however many threads happen to be running at a given time across each processor core will benefit.

Hardware Upgrade ran - or collated - CineBench 2003 test scores for a range of other Intel and AMD processors, all of which can be viewed here. ®

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