Today AMD is announcing two new processors for their highly promising Socket 939 platform: Athlon 64 4000+ and Athlon 64 FX-55 models. These processors will probably remain the fastest products AMD ever makes with its 130nm tech process. At the same time, without loud speeches, the company is also starting mass shipments of Socket 939 processors of the Athlon 64 family made with 90nm technology. The models on the new 90nm cores are going to hit straight at the heart of the market, their ratings ranging from 3000+ to 3500+.
This all means just one thing: AMD is poised for an all-out invasion into the desktop CPU marketplace. There are all the necessary prerequisites for that, by the way. First, the company has got ready a stable platform (Socket 939) which is going to live more than just a year. Second, all leading chipset makers have mass-produced chipsets for that platform, and more advanced Socket 939 mainboards with support of the PCI Express bus and based on chipsets from VIA, NVIDIA and ATI are going to emerge in the market one of these days. Third, the Socket 939 CPU series currently includes high-performance processors, announced by AMD today, as well as relatively inexpensive models on the new 90nm core. Thus, AMD’s current market standing looks very firm.
I’d like to emphasize the fact that AMD went through the year 2004 without a single hitch. Introducing a number of new CPU models, the company has pulled the rating of the topmost Athlon 64 processor from 3200+ up to 4000+. Intel, the archrival, on the contrary had to toil through various kinds of problems that started since the unsuccessful release of the 90nm processor core called Prescott. Due to the high power consumption and heat dissipation of the core, the frequency of the Pentium 4 processor has only grown from 3.2 to 3.6GHz in 2004. Well, Intel is intending to launch a Pentium 3.8GHz before the end of the year, but this processor is very likely to become the last Prescott-core product. At least, Intel has abandoned its plans to release processors with frequencies of 4GHz and higher in the next year, saying they will focus on other ways to boost the performance instead.
All these things conspire to make the Athlon 64 platform a most appealing choice today. Its appeal is not only in AMD’s success in bringing ever faster processors to market, but also in the rich capabilities of these processors. I hope no one needs to be reminded that the Athlon 64 processor has long been supporting 64-bit extensions and featuring Cool’n’Quiet and Enhanced Virus Protection technologies. Intel’s desktop CPUs have only recently acquired some analogs to these innovations. So, AMD should be in no worry as to its current market position.
But I’ve got rather off topic. The review you’re now reading will be dedicated to the new high-performance CPUs from AMD: Athlon 64 4000+ and Athlon 64 FX-55. AMD’s new processors manufactured with 90nm tech process and belonging to the middle sector of the market will be covered in our upcoming reviews.