Dutch tweaking site Tweakers.net has a photo of AMD's upcoming 65nm Athlon 64 processor and decided to show it to processor expert Hans de Vries. After analyzing the 65nm core design, De Vries concluded that the new core from AMD barely offers any improvements over the existing 90nm design.
There is only one secret weapon - the cache. De Vries claims there should be enough room in the design to ship processors with 2MB or more L2 cache per core. Basically AMD's new processors are a smaller version of the current ones with some higher clockspeeds and more cache memory - but they don't have any substantial new features to boost performance.
The way it looks now, AMD won't have a direct answer to Intel's Core architecture which will arrive within a couple of months with the Conroe desktop processor. DDR2 support won't do wonders for AMD and the first generation of 65nm processors will only arrive by the end of this year or early 2007, and these will only feature improved clockspeeds and more cache memory.
The real answer to Conroe should be the K8L, but much details about that processor aren't available yet. About the only thing we know is that the K8L should be more powerful in floating point applications. The first AMD K8L processors may arrive in the second half of 2007 but by then Intel may already have its second generation Core processors lined up.