AMD set to bury Sempron

Word on the street is that AMD is set to kill off its Sempron family of cheap and cheerful chips and May’s release will be the last.

The family is getting a bit long in the tooth, having been with us since 2004. If you told us then it was going to last this long we would have been surprised.

Sempron’s frontsidebus is more than 25 percent higher than the lower XP-models which it is supposed to replace, so we would not have thought it would have made it.

For the record AMD came up with the word Sempron from the Latin “semper”, as in “always”. As in “always” faithful

Sempron survived three different microarchitecture generations. The first ones were just re-branded from Athlon Xps and we did not really see the point. They were released when AMD had the Athlon 64 3800+ and FX-53 models in the market.

They were later replaced with K8-based processors which had the novelty of crippled features, like smaller size of L2 cache, or the lack of 64-bit support.

The generation we have now was introduced in July 2009, used K10 / “Stars” core and until May, this generation was made up of 3 single-core and one dual-core SKUs. Then, in May, AMD showed off a Sempron 130 processor which was flogged in Latin America. NewEgg has been selling this one in the US for $29.99.

If our deepthroats are correct then this could be the last Sempron in the market and you can see why. It has one CPU core and has a much lower 2.6 GHz clock speed, as well as a smaller 512 KB L2 cache. It uses the same AMD64 and virtualisation features as the K10 chips.

There appear to be two versions around the Sempron 130, SDX130HBK12GQ with C2 core revision, and SDX130HBK12GM with C3 core revision.

The C3 is more interesting because it uses a Regor core. In other words, one active and one disabled CPU core. This disabled core can be unlocked. CPU World did it and its BIO thought it was an AMD Athlon II X2 4300e Processor, and the CPU-Z program identified it as an Athlon II X2 430.

The locked version, said CPU World, was rubbish and could not be recommended for new builds.

In fact the only thing that it had going for it was the interest value that it may be the last Sempron chip ever released.

When it comes down to it, the Sempron 140 is faster, it comes with a new fan and heatsink, and it has a three-year warranty