AMD's 4x4 Platform & Athlon 64 FX-70 - Brute Force Quad Cores

Moving Socket 1207 Into The Enthusiast Space

AMD's Socket 1207 (also known as Socket F) is a so-called Land Grid Array (LGA) part. Intel has been using this type of socket on its desktop (LGA 775) and server platforms (LGA 771) for some time now, because of its reduced electrical resistance and better reliability at higher operating frequencies.

Unlike with conventional processor sockets, these processors do not have pins. Instead, pin-like connectors can be found within the processor sockets. These are used to "land" the processor on them, instead of inserting pins into the socket.

Nvidia nForce 680a Platform

Technically, the Quad FX platform could be powered by any timely chipset on the market, but AMD and Nvidia had to come up with something substantially improved. Well, here it is: the nForce 680a. It equals the nForce 570 SLI in terms of its northbridge, but nForce 680a uses two of these to provide as many as four x16 PCI Express slots, two powered with 16 lanes, two more running eight lanes, and tons of interfaces. In any case, this provides more than enough bandwidth for a Quad SLI powerhouse and even additional add-on cards. Each of these northbridges is attached to the primary CPU socket via a dedicated X16 HyperTransport link.

Since both nForce 680i components basically are integrated nForce 570 SLI chipsets, users will get twice the connectivity. There can be as many as 20 USB 2.0 ports, 6 + 6 Serial ATA/300 ports with Native Command Queuing (NCQ), four Nvidia Gigabit Ethernet ports and sufficient basic PCI and PCI Express connectivity. Of course, while it's nice to have free resources for future use, this almost looks to be a bit over the top.