It was an unexpected addition to the meeting; apparently the call had just been made prior to my arrival. I was standing in front of two systems running AMD "Hammer" processors, clocked at 800MHz, in both 32-bit and 64-bit OSes. Granted the demos that AMD was running involved nothing more than a simple web server and a ball bouncing around the screen, but coming off of the strong launch and execution of the Athlon XP we all had high hopes for this next-generation chip.

Many will remember the aforementioned demo, as it happened almost two years ago just outside the convention center at the Intel Developer Forum; AMD always had a way of crashing the party it seemed. It was at that show that we proclaimed AMD as stealing the show from Intel, criticizing the CPU giant for giving us a fairly lackluster showing at IDF that year.

The AMD from IDF had promised us a chip by the end of the year and given that we had all forgotten about the horribly executed K5 and mediocre K6 deployments, why were we to believe that they would do otherwise? Everyone expected AMD to deliver on their word because prior to Hammer, it was Intel that was coming up short on promises. A series of competitive paper launches in the early days of the Athlon and a poor performing, overpriced Pentium 4 plagued Intel and tarnished their reputation in the community.

Fast forward to almost two years and the Hammer is just finally being released on the desktop as the Athlon 64 and the Athlon 64 FX. AMD has lost a lot of face in the community and in the industry as a whole, but can the 64 elevate them back to a position of leadership?

We've covered the Athlon 64 and its server-brother, the Opteron, in great detail already so be sure to check out our previous coverage for even more information before continuing on here.

AMD Opteron Coverage - Part 1: Intro to Opteron/K8 Architecture
AMD Opteron Coverage - Part 2: Enterprise Performance
AMD Opteron Coverage - Part 3: The First Servers Arrive
AMD Opteron Coverage - Part 4: Desktop Performance
AMD Athlon 64 Preview: nForce3 at 2.0GHz

An Early Christmas present from AMD: More Registers
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  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Anand runs the Content Creation benchmark without the bugfix patch?!?! WTF? Like that's fair... Without the patch, it doesn't use SSE properly with the Athlons...

    And the FX 51 benches are completely bogus, because he used an nForce3-based motherboard.

    They've got issues, and the Via boards outperform
    them significantly. Hello? Anand?

    http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2003q3/athlon64...

    "Notice here the contrast between the Athlon 64 FX with the K8T800 and with the nForce3 Pro. With the K8T800, the Athlon 64 FX is arguably the fastest system overall in the viewperf suite. The nForce3 Pro, however, seems to limit performance quite a bit."
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    #9 Which planet are you on? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Great news for the Linux users:-) I'm seeing a lot of Windows users switching to Linux and using transcode or cinelerra:-) Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Good thing you are not biased at atll, #4 Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Eat it #6 amd fan boy Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    yes, you're right #4, they're biased. just like all the other tech sites praising the new amd chip. they're obviously all wrong.... go away Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Still can't decide. Leaning Intel... I've had better experience with Intel.. but next year When XP64 shipes......
    Guess I will stick with my trusty 386..
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    BIASED BIASED BIASED BIASED BIASED

    The P4EE whoops new AMDs chip and you say is "The Pentium 4 EE manages to regain some lost ground for Intel, but not enough". YOU ARE CRAZY!!!!!! The Prescott will DEMOLISH AMD once and for all. Btw, get some more benchmarks. Q3 and UT2003 are OLD GAMES using DX8. Run Battlefield and other memory/cpu entensive games.

    AMD fanboys can't cry about their chip is slower but cheaper either.

    Worst biased site ever. Just because they kissed your butt and showed you the cpu's a year in advance you shove your nose up AMDs socket.

    BIASED BIASED BIASED BIASED BIASED
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    What people tend to forget is that 3200+ is the INITIAL speed from the first batch of CPU's. As with the XP the speed will increase rather rapidly as well as die-quality and tweaks/performance fixes. Athlon XP debuted at what, 1500+ (?) and now ends at 3200+. The A64 going to 90nm will yield some neat increases in available speeds (4800+ anyone?) ;) Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    wtf no 640x480 game benchmarks?
    Reply

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