AMD is increasing the speed of their highest performing CPU today. The Athlon FX-57 is a 200MHz bump from the current FX-55, brining the clock speed of the highest performing single core CPU on the market to 2.8GHz. This modest 7.7% increase is not the be all, end all of speed bumps, but AMD is still in a much better position than Intel for extracting performance by tacking on an extra 200MHz. Intel's successive 200MHz increases on Prescott since it's existence have increased performance by smaller and smaller amounts 2.8 GHz to 3.8 GHz is a 35.7% increase in clock speed, which should be an overestimate of performance barring cache size increases. If we look at AMD's performance improvements from 1.8 GHz to 2.8 GHz, the upper bound on our performance increase is greater than 55%, plus any improvement for doubling cache size.

Performance doesn't scale exactly linearly with clock speed in most cases, but the bottom line is that K8 started out faster than Prescott at a lower clock speeds. The result of the speed increases on current generation CPUs has been an increasing performance gap between Intel and AMD in favor of AMD. Even in the benchmarks where AMD's architecture traditionally loses to Intel, the gap is either decreased or the outcome has changed all together. There just isn't any way Intel's current architecture can compete in single threaded performance on the high end.

But as we have mentioned time and time again, steadily increasing clock speed over time is a losing proposition. The future of computing performance must increasingly rely on architectural enhancements. The first incarnation of this outlook has been the introduction dual core processors. This first generation shows some promising numbers in many areas, but a single thread's maximum performance won't increase with the addition of cores. The result of this fact is that those who demand extremely high performance will still demand high end single core processors.

While the focus of the industry is clearly elsewhere, both AMD and Intel still need to cater to the current state of the market. The FX-57 is very expensive and comes in at a whopping $1031 (in quantities of 1000 from AMD). While this is the fastest processor on the market, let's take a look at the benchmarks to see how much we get for the money.

The Test and Business/General Use Performance
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  • blckgrffn - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    The warranty stops as soon as they changed heatsinks. That's it, that was where it should have stopped evidently ;)
  • Drazula - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    I hate articles like that. You go through the paces of testing and then recommend a solution that wasn't even tested. Why not include a dual core AMD for comparison? As it is, the article is useless.
  • Viditor - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    blckgrffn - "That said, where does it stop?"

    I would say that you stop where the warranty does...
    I.e. no overclocking results except to say it was or wasn't stable at x.x Ghz...Because (as Jarred points out quite correctly) OC can be a very hit and miss proposition.
  • composer - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    JarredWalton, I get 2.74 stable, air cooling which beats dual opeteron benchmarks, and also runs all the benchmarks stable.

    We use our PC's for audio, and it seems that even the X2's perform about the same as a single AMD64 overclocked to 2.75 in audio tests (VST plug ins).

    Look at this chart:

    Top graph, it shows the X2 at 58% using 256 samples......we get 58% using AMD 64 overclocked but using the older Nuendo 2.2 version, the newer version Nuendo 3 we get 68% however it's known that the security of the new steinberg program uses 10-15% CPU cycles.

    Just some thoughts.

  • composer - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

  • L3p3rM355i4h - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    Some one tell me why you would buy a $1000 single core proc, when you could buy a $1000 dual core proc thats going to be soooo much better?
  • ElFenix - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    i've been asking them to get an editor for a long time. at one time, one of them actually replied and asked what kind of editor. i replied that they needed an english editor, and never heard back. they especially need one with some of the newer authors they have.
  • blckgrffn - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    Gotcha, Viditor - but if that is what everyone wants, we should also include the tests done. Yes, I can see how that would have bee a better review, putting say, a 3700+ San Diego and a FX-57 vs each other with all the most expensive goodies and see who came out on top. Heck, SLI some 7800GTX's too, we might as well see how high we can go :)

    That said, where does it stop? We want to see it under phase, too, with the 7800's oc'ed under chilled water, and some DDR600 @ 2-2-2-10! ;P
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    Calin, I meant in terms of overclocking! That's what OC stands for, doh! If you still don't get it, never mind, just know that what I said makes perfect sense ;-)
  • Zebo - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    Hey Tallon:

    I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
    The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
    Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod
    are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the
    rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it
    wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
    lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I
    awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

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