AMD's Quad FX: Technically Quad Coreby Anand Lal Shimpi on November 30, 2006 1:16 PM EST
- Posted in
To complete the brand new Quad FX platform AMD is introducing three new processors today: the Athlon 64 FX-74, FX-72 and FX-70, running at 3.0GHz, 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz respectively. Each physical processor features two cores and a 1MB L2 cache per core, much like previous dual core FX processors, but what sets these CPUs apart from previous FX chips is that they are sold in bundles of two. So when you buy an Athlon 64 FX-74, you are actually buying two dual-core CPUs in a single box. It's not the most elegant way of getting four cores, but it gets the job done and AMD manages to do so at a competitive price. Note that these CPUs are effectively Opterons but with the memory controller configured to support un-buffered DDR2.
Core 2 Duo (left) vs. Athlon 64 FX-74 (right), AMD's first LGA desktop CPU
AMD's pricing structure, including the new Quad FX processors, is as follows, with Intel's upper echelon CPUs thrown in for comparison:
|CPU||Clock Speed||L2 Cache||Price|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-74*||3.0GHz||1MB per core||$999|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-72*||2.8GHz||1MB per core||$799|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-70*||2.6GHz||1MB per core||$599|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-62||2.8GHz||1MB per core||$713|
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+||2.6GHz||1MB per core||$403|
|Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700||2.66GHz||4MB per 2 cores||$999|
|Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600**||2.40GHz||4MB per 2 cores||$851|
|Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800||2.93GHz||4MB||$999|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E6700||2.66GHz||4MB||$530|
* Note: These processors come in pairs of two, pricing is for both CPUs
** Note: The Core 2 Quad Q6600 is an unreleased CPU and will be introduced in January 2007.
So for $999 you can either get two dual core 3.0GHz AMD processors, or a single quad core 2.66GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Later we'll figure out which is indeed faster but it seems that AMD's pricing is at least competitive.
When we first heard that Quad FX wasn't going to be Socket-AM2, we couldn't help but feel that AMD was introducing yet another Socket-940 into the mix. Is there really a future for Quad FX or is it nothing more than a stop-gap solution until native quad-core CPUs arrive?
AMD has already committed to supporting two quad-core CPUs in current Quad FX platforms, so there's at least an upgrade path well into 2007, but what happens afterwards?
AMD's most recent roadmaps show continued support for Quad FX throughout 2007; in fact, the highest clock speed AMD CPUs will always be Socket-1207 parts (3.0GHz today and then 3.2GHz by Q2 '07). It looks like AMD is transitioning the Athlon 64 FX line to be exclusively for the Quad FX platform, leaving all other chips for AM2.