Basic Features: Athlon64 Processors

The growing Athlon64 family is currently available in price range from about $200 to $1000. All Athlon64/64 FX are single-CPU processors, while the server-oriented Opteron can be single, dual, or 8-way.

 Athlon64 Family - Specifications
   Athlon64 3000+  Athlon64 3200+  Athlon64 3400+  Athlon64 FX51  Opteron
Speed Rating 3000+ 3200+ 3400+ Unrated Unrated
Actual CPU Speed 2.0Ghz 2.0GHz 2.2GHz FX51 - 2.2GHz x48 - 2.2GHz
x46 - 2.0GHz
x44 - 1.8GHz
x42 - 1.6GHz
x40 - 1.4GHz
Price 1/12/2004 Retail $236
OEM $211
Retail $299
OEM $270
Retail $404
OEM $429
Retail $749
OEM $733
$175 (140) to
$3620 (848)
L1 Cache 128k
64k Code Cache + 64k Data Cache
128k
64k Code Cache + 64k Data Cache
128k
64k Code Cache + 64k Data Cache
128k
64k Code Cache + 64k Data Cache
128k
64k Code Cache + 64k Data Cache
L2 Cache 512kb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb
Socket Type 754 754 754 940 940
Memory Type Single-Channel Unbuffered DDR Single-Channel Unbuffered DDR Single-Channel Unbuffered DDR Dual-Channel Registered
or Registered ECC DDR
Dual-Channel Registered
or Registered ECC DDR
Memory Speed Supported Up to DDR400 Up to DDR400 Up to DDR400 Up to DDR400 Up to DDR400 on later models, Up to DDR333 on earlier models
Maximum CPUs 1 1 1 1 1xx - 1
2xx - 2
8xx - 8
On-Chip Memory Controller Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hyper Transport Speed Up to 1.6GHz
(800MHz Clock)
Up to 1.6GHz
(800MHz Clock)
Up to 1.6GHz
(800MHz Clock)
Up to 1.6GHz
(800MHz Clock)
Up to 1.6GHz
(800MHz Clock)

In comparison, the Pentium 4 3.2GHz EE is priced at approximately $985 Retail, the standard 3.2GHz P4 is $397 Retail, and the 3.0GHz is $280. It certainly appears that the recent AMD product introductions and price changes are intended to once again make AMD better-priced across the line compared to Intel products. There will undoubtedly be further price moves from both Intel and AMD as we have come to expect.

AnandTech has covered the Opteron/Athlon64 extensively in the past year. If you would like to learn more about the Opteron and Athlon64, you can read our earlier articles:

AMD's Athlon 64 3400+: Death of the FX-51
Athlon64 3000+: 64-bit at Half the Price
AMD Athlon64 & Athlon 64 FX - It's Judgement Day
AMD Athlon64 Preview: nForce3 at 2.0GHz

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

Index Performance Test: Configuration
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  • atlr - Thursday, January 22, 2004 - link

    Anyone seen any performance comparisons of 32-bit versus 64-bit versions of software and o/s on the A64? Reply
  • milehigh - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - link

    I'd like to 2nd #13's reply to include some older CPU's in these reviews. I've got a Barton 2500+ and seeing how it stacks up can help in not only help in upgrade decisions but I think it can help illustrate just how much faster these new CPU's are...

    Reply
  • KingofFah - Thursday, January 15, 2004 - link

    I would be careful with most 350's, but, like #15 said, most FSP's (no matter which brand is relabeled on it) are marked much lower than what they are capable of doing. THG did a psu round up a while back showing that the FSP-300 was really capable of being completely stable at 390W consumption and the 350 (of which I am a owner) was capable being completely stable at 454W. I have not seen a review of the FSP-400 yet, but I am sure it follows the same trend as its predecessors. Most PSU's run very little over (or even under if it is a cheap one) their specified values, but Sparkle goes well over them. Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    As for dropping Quake 3, how about checking out this, first:

    http://speedycpu.dyndns.org/opt/

    I've read (from X-bit Labs) that the optimized DLLs boost Athlon XP/64 performance by 13 to 18 percent. Wow!

    See:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlo...

    One last word of caution, though, is that if the DLLs in question are binary compiled as opposed to interpreted code, then id software's Jon Carmack says they are more open for cheats. In addition, there is the fact that a binary compiled DLL is already said to boost performance by up to 20%. Not sure about all this, but here's a last link if you want:

    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/336
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    #15, as the review states, they could not get system stability with a 350W quality power supply and the 3400+. Maybe you have a better PS than their 350W, but I wouldn't count on that.

    There are those that claim the Prescott will be a flame-thrower. Maybe. What we know for sure, though, is that the 3400+ has raised the bar in power requirements. Looks like 450W PS will become the norm in the next year....
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    You can't go wrong with a 350 watt FSP-350PN power supply, from either Sparkle or Forton Power Source, with it's 12cm fan. Works fine for my system I built with a 3200+ and gf4 4600, soon to be 9800 ATI card. Reply
  • rms - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    Congrats on the great article. Please STOP USING QUAKE3-BASED GAMES AS A CPU BENCHMARK. It doesn't recognize athlons as SSE-enabled, and is worthless for cross-platform comparisons.

    rms
    Reply
  • clv101 - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    What I'd really like to see in reviews like this are some slower systems - I'm fed up with seeing graphs showing 6 cpu with only a few % performance difference.

    I'd like the see the A64 3400+ and P4 3.2 benchmarked against a XP 2500+, a 2.4GHz P4 and my old 1.33GHz TBird. That would be useful to see.

    Seeing that the A64 3400+ is a little bit faster than a A64 3200+ is no good to anyone!
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    PrinceGaz -

    You are correct, but I had to return the initial 655TX and just received the shipping version of the P4S800D-E the day we left for CES. So I did not have the board available for the full roundup.

    I did run the P4EE through the 655TX to check benchmarks and it is faster by a small amount in almost every benchmark. However, it does not change any of the positioning or conclusions.

    #10 - I could not find the list either, since it looks like AMD has stopped the PS list for the Athlon64 and replaced it with "Athlon64 Power Supply recommendations" which are just general guidelines. The best source of info on compatible PS then, will likely be Power Supply reviews by AnandTech and others.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    Its nice to have a clear comparison of how the A64 and A64FX compare with the top P4's including the P4EE.

    One question though, shouldn't an article which "tests the top CPU's from Intel and AMD on the top-performing motherboards that we have tested for each platform" use an SiS 655TX rather than Intel 875P mobo for the Intel chips when your own review last month found the 655TX to be faster than the 875P in every single test?
    Reply

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