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

Four Different CPUs With One Design, Continued

AMD Athlon 64 3200+

AMD Athlon XP 3200+

AMD Athlon 64 FX-51

Bad Choice: Launch Partner Nvidia

Launch partner Nvidia is standing by AMD for the launch of Desktop Athlon 64 CPUs. This cooperation is quite evident by the names - Athlon 64 FX and GeForce FX. Only three chipset developers were considered as part of preselection: ATI, Nvidia and VIA. The decision went to Nvidia so that the test systems that were shipped worldwide were based on the not yet mature NForce 3 chipset. For this reason, THG used various boards as a test basis, which were equipped with both the NForce-3 chipset from Nvidia and the K8T800 component from VIA.

Here are some details about our test course: We tested 18 processors from AMD and Intel in a 4-week endurance test. This included the Athlon 64 3200+ (2000 MHz) for the mass market, the Athlon 64 FX-51 (2200 MHz) for the ambitious 3D power gamer, all known Athlon XP CPUs (from 2500+ to 3200+) with 166 MHz and 200 MHz FSB in each case, and all Intel Pentium 4 CPUs from 2.4 GHz to 3.2 GHz with 133 MHz and 200 MHz FSB. The climax came from Intel who sent the P4 Extreme to the laboratory only a few minutes before this publication.

Some comments (on the side) for detail-loving enthusiasts: AMD sent a complete system with an Athlon 64 FX-51 for testing. It was based on an Asus S8KN with an NForce 3 chipset. In spite of many requests and personal contacts, the manufacturer didn't want to make a sample of the "normal" Athlon 64 available. After that, a mainboard manufacturer gave us the desired processor without further ado. The test basis is also completely new: Since the AMD platform was based on 1 GB of main memory, the other platforms also had to manage with this amount of memory.