AMD to Intel: “Time’s Up”

Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor Review

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All the rumors are true, you can now insert the new term Athlon 64 FX into your processor name bank. Luckily for AMD, it’s not the craziest name to be introduced in the past week or so. Extreme Edition, anyone?

Now that you know that the Athlon 64 FX processor does indeed exist, you’ll want to know what it is, and what it isn’t. In short, the Athlon 64 FX processor, at least in its current form is equivalent to an AMD Opteron processor. Both have 940-pin counts; both use the dual-channel memory controller; and both are very, very fast.

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The technology powering the Athlon 64 FX and the AMD Opteron hasn’t changed since the launch back in April, so I won’t bother going over again what all the new AMD64 architecture entails. Reread that article for a good summary. I also won’t be going over what previous steppings of the Opteron (er, I mean Athlon 64 FX) core are capable of, after all we did that a few weeks ago in our look at the nForce3 and the Opteron 144. Reread that if you haven’t done so. 🙂

So, what isn’t the Athlon 64 FX-51 processor? Well, it isn’t the Athlon 64 processor that we have all been expecting. While that CPU, the Athlon 64 3200+, is still being released today as well, you won’t see as much buzz about it because AMD wants all of the attention on the new flagship, their jewel that will take back the performance crown from Intel, the FX-51. The Athlon 64 FX (I’ll be calling it the AFX) and the Athlon 64 (I’ll call this one A64) differ, mainly, in the ways listed below:

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You can see the Athlon FX uses a 940-pin package, where as the Athlon 64 uses the 754-pin package that everyone was expecting to see since this time last year (maybe two!). The Athlon FX memory controller is 128-bit (dual-channel) while the Athlon 64 is a single channel 64-bit memory controller. The only remaining difference is the need for Registered memory on the Athlon FX processor, which makes finding memory slightly more complicated.

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