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AMD's Athlon 64 Has Arrived: the Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 (and Intel's P4 Extreme)

Rough Going - Hardware In The Test Panel

In the test comparisons, we used both the Athlon 64 3200+, which targets the mass market, and the Athlon 64 FX-51 conceived for high-end 3D games. To represent the scaling correctly, we tried the Athlon 64 FX-51 at different clock rates. By way of explanation : Currently there is no memory for DDR400 (registered version) or DDR333 on the market. This will make the Athlon 64 FX very rare, initially. On the date of testing, only the international media had been supplied with samples. This includes the hand-picked DDR400 memory (registered), which is not yet available in stores.

DDR400 modules (registered) for Athlon 64 FX

Brand-new memory from Corsair

A few words on the boards of individual platforms : The Intel P4 used the spanking new Asus P4C800-E Deluxe with 875P chipset. This was used for testing all P4 processors. Several problems occurred dealing with aggressive memory timings during the preconditioning phase. The first experiments involving two Corsair modules (512 MB, DDR433, CL2.0, XMS3500) and extreme timings failed - operation was only possible with CL2.5 latency. It wasn’t until it was operated with four modules and 256 MB (Corsair XMS 3200, DDR400, CL2) each that it worked smoothly with aggressive timings (turbo modes in the BIOS). However, a loss in memory performance resulted : compared to the 2-module solution, the bandwidth collapsed from 5.1 GB/s to 4.95 GB/s.