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

Heat Protection: Now From AMD, Too

The way the thermal diode is controlled is interesting: an external chip - for instance Maxim's type 6657 (AD1032 or LM90/LM86) - takes over overload protection for the Athlon-64 CPU. According to Maxim, the chip can hit temperatures ranging from 60°C to 100°C with a maximum sampling rate of 16 Hz (16 queries per second). Our tests (see video) proved that the CPU's protective mechanism works. Interestingly enough, the logic of Maxim chip can be circumvented via the signal line "THERMTRIP_CPU". The circuit diagram illustrates the general setup.

Price Comparison Of The Four Systems In The Test

Athlon 64FX-51Athlon 64 3200+Athlon XP 3200+Intel P4 3.2 EE
Processor$799$499$359$849
Cooler$50$50$50$50
Motherboard$229$199$119$214
Memory DDR400, 1 GBca. $450ca. $450$399$356
Graphic Card - GeForce FX 5900 Ultra$599$599$599$599
Sound Card - Terratec Aureon 7.1$99$99$99$99
SATA Controller - Promise FastTrak S150T$94$94$94integrated
Hard Drives - 2x Maxtor 80 GB SATA$208$208$208$208
DVD-ROM 16x MSI MS-8216$39$39$39$39
Floppy$13$13$13$13
460 Watt Enermax Power Supply$99$99$99$99
Total Price$2679$2349$2078$2526

The systems above were put together for maximum performance with the fastest components currently available on the market. In the test systems we used 1 GB of memory (DDR400) made up of various modules depending on the test configuration. That explains the different prices, too. Note: the Athlon 64 FX-51 system requires special DDR400 memory (registered) for operation. The hard drive system only achieves optimal performance in a RAID 0 network with two fast 7200 drives and an 8 MB cache.