Athlon 64 FX prices jump as AMD readies 4x4 CPUs


Chicago (IL) - As AMD and consumers get ready for the release of the FX-70, FX-72, and FX-74 processors, prices for the existing FX-62 and FX-60 products rose in absolute dollar values more than any other processors that we looked at for this week's processor performance charts. At this time, it makes a lot of sense to hold off on buying an FX processor until the release of the new models later this month.

Earlier today, we published some information on near- and mid-term AMD's processor plans, which especially affect the very high-end desktop CPU range. But there are not only new processors but also chips that will be phased out - including the FX-60 and FX-62, which will leave us by the end of the year: Socket 1207 processors supporting the upcoming 4x4 platform will be replacing the AM2-based FX models and enabling AMD enthusiasts to run four processor cores in their computers. For example, the upcoming FX-70 has a speed of 2.6 GHz, while the FX-72 clocks in at 2.8 GHz and the FX-74 at 3.0 GHz. The FX-60 and 62 run at clock speeds of 2.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz, respectively.

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As AMD begins to enter this transition, the FX-60 jumped a remarkable 26%, up $162 from last week to $791 this week. Meanwhile, the FX-62 ranked in as the processor with the second highest increase in terms of absolute dollar values, rising $34 from last week's average price of $727 to $761, a 5% incline.

Otherwise, prices remained fairly calm across the board. The only other processors with double-digit percent price increases were Intel's Pentium D 950, which rose 11% from last week's $257 price to $285 and the Pentium D 930 from $169 to $191. Only one processor on the Intel side had a notable average price decrease, which was the Pentium D 820. The 820 dropped $15 from last week, decreasing from $103 to $88 and undercutting the Pentium D 805 for the first time.

For AMD, the biggest price decrease was for the X2 5000+. It dropped 7% or $26, from $366 to $340. Other than that, price fluctuations were quite minimal, leaving the two FX processors to be the main newsmakers this week.

Because of the enormous price jump of the FX-60, making it even more expensive than the FX-62, the FX-60 is certainly the one to avoid this week for those looking to purchase a new processor. Along those lines, it could be argued that purchasing an FX-62 this coming week would not be a smart choice. Because of the superior 4x4 FX models coming out this month, anyone browsing AMD processors at this point should just wait a couple more weeks to get the latest one possible. Of course, Tom's Hardware Benchmarks will get benchmark test results on these new models as soon as possible, at which point we will add them to this weekly feature.

It is unclear at this time how much 4x4 packages will cost, but we expect two FX CPUs to undercut the price of Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX6700, which is offered at a tray price of $1000 and will likely enter the $1200 space in retail, due to its limited availability. We suspect that AMD is currently building up its supply of Socket 1207 FX processor to come out in force with its 4x4 platform. While the tray price of a 2-processor 4x4 package could be very close the QX6700, actual retail prices could be significantly lower - we hear that a price range of $800 to $900 mat be realistic - if AMD is able to flood the enthusiast market with these new processors.