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Conclusion

Well, AMD introduced a new Socket754 processor from Athlon 64 family. The newcomer rated as 3400+ supports 2.2GHz core clock, which is the same as that of the Athlon 64 FX-51 announced in September 2003 and positioned as a solution for hardware enthusiasts. It will allow a considerably low-cost Athlon 64 3400+ demonstrate very attractive price-to-performance ratio, as it will offer comparable performance at a pretty low price of $417 at launch. The single-channel memory controller integrated into Athlon 64 3400+ doesn’t slow down its performance too much compared with that of the Athlon 64 FX-51 boasting a dual-channel memory controller. Another advantage of the new processor is its ability to work with unbuffered memory modules featuring lower latencies than the registered ones used in Athlon 64 FX-51 based platforms. As a result, the performance difference between Athlon 64 FX-51 and the new Athlon 64 3400+ is hardly noticeable at all.

 

The lag of Athlon 64 3400+ behind Athlon 64 FX-51, %

Advantage of Athlon 64 3400+ over Pentium 4 3.2, %

Advantage of Athlon 64 3400+ over Pentium 4 XE 3.2

Business Winstone 2004

-1.2

14.7

9.6

Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004

0.6

15.0

9.2

PCMark04

1.5

-11.2

-13.1

PCMark04, CPU

0.5

-10.9

-15.8

PCMark04, Memory

29.4

-21.9

-28.6

3DMark03, Default, CPU score

6.4

5.7

-5.5

3DMark03, Default

0.3

0.9

-0.7

3DMark2001 SE, Default

0.7

10.5

1.5

Aquamark3, Default

1.2

-0.1

-1.8

Aquamark3, Default, CPU

2.6

-5.6

-9.9

Quake3 (four), High Quality, 1024x768x32

1.8

6.0

-9.0

X2 - The Threat, 1024x768x32

0.5

10.4

3.8

Unreal Tournament 2003 (dm-antalus), 1024x768x32

-1.2

36.4

25.2

Gun Metal (Benchmark2), 640x480x32

0.3

4.6

2.2

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (paris3), 640x480x32

1.8

24.3

10.6

Comanche 4, 1024x768x32

0.5

10.6

-0.7

ScienceMark 2.0, Molecular Dynamics Benchmark

-0.2

-1.3

2.2

ScienceMark 2.0, Primordia

1.6

8.1

6.8

ScienceMark 2.0, Cipher

2.3

12.9

10.8

MP3 Encoding, LAME 3.94b

0.4

-6.6

-7.4

Data Compression, WinRAR 3.2, Best

0.0

19.3

4.3

Data Compression, 7zip 3.11, 32MB, Compressing

-1.2

30.1

16.5

Data Compression, 7zip 3.11, 32MB, Decompressing

0.0

43.5

43.5

MPEG-2 Encoding, Canopus ProCoder 1.5, Mastering

0.6

9.9

9.0

MPEG-4 Encoding, FlasK 0.78.39/DiVX 5.11

2.1

-5.3

-8.6

Windows Media Encoder 9, MP2 to WME

1.0

-8.5

-12.1

Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0

-0.2

-6.4

-8.0

3ds max 6.0, Final Rendering, Underwater

-0.4

-17.8

-21.7

3ds max 6.0, Final Rendering, Stadium animation

2.1

6.8

4.8

CINEMA 4D, Raytracing

-0.6

-18.8

-19.0

CINEMA 4D, Shading

1.1

9.1

6.0

CINEMA 4D, Lighting SW

1.3

11.3

6.5

CINEMA 4D, Lighting HW

6.6

14.2

-0.9

FineReader 7.0

0.3

9.9

3.3

Mathematica 5.0

0.6

36.9

27.3

AutoCAD 2004, Total Index

1.2

8.3

2.2

AutoCAD 2004, 3D Wireframe Index

1.6

-10.0

-16.2

AutoCAD 2004, 3D Gouraud Index

7.2

2.2

0.1

AutoCAD 2004, Non-graphic Index

-3.0

15.8

10.7

AutoCAD 2004, 2D Graphics Index

4.5

18.0

8.8

Average

1.9

6.8

1.2

So, it is now possible to build the fastest desktop PC on a Socket754 platform. Thanks to the higher working frequency of the new Athlon 64 3400+, this CPU can successfully compete not only with the top Pentium 4 processor models, but also with the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

However, the situation in the market will change dramatically in the beginning of February 2004. This is when Intel is expected to announce its new Prescott core and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz, which should definitely raise the performance maximum for Intel solutions.

As for Athlon 64 FX-51, it can hardly remain an attractive buy right now. The CPU itself, as well as the mainboards designed for it and the memory it supports cost considerably more, however, there are hardly any evident advantages of this more expensive platform over the fresh Athlon 64 3400+. Therefore, we can expect a new Athlon 64 FX-53 CPU with higher 2.4GHz core clock to be released soon, as it will have to “show its place” to Athlon 64 3400+ and to become a worthy competitor to the upcoming Extreme Edition 3.4GHz from Intel.

 
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