It is an important thing that the higher frequency of the Athlon 64 FX does not affect its heat dissipation. The 90nm San Diego core of the Athlon 64 FX-57 processor has the same typical heat dissipation as the previous CPU model in this series. Thus, the new CPU does not bring any additional requirements to the mainboard and is widely compatible with available platforms.
Our measurements of the real power consumption of the new processor (under a load created with the special-purpose S&M utility) agree with the things said above:
In fact, the power consumption of the new processor is even lower than that of the Athlon 64 FX-55 on the 130nm core. The Athlon 64 FX-57 consumes less than even the senior Athlon 64 models on older, revision CG 130nm cores.
Having got a new processor on the San Diego core into our hands we of course checked its overclockability. We had reached to about 2.9GHz overclocking processors on the Venice core, which is an analog of the San Diego but with the amount of L2 cache memory reduced to 512KB. Athlon 64 FX processors are usually manufactured out of cores with highest overclockability so their frequencies may be higher at overclocking than those of Athlon 64 models. Besides that, being targeted at enthusiastic users, the Athlon 64 FX has a non-locked multiplier which you can easily change to overclock the processor.
For our practical overclocking tests we assembled a system with a DFI NF4 Ultra-D mainboard on the NVIDIA nForce4 chipset. The processor was air-cooled with an AVC Z7U7414001. The core voltage was lifted by 10% above the default for the time of our tests.
And we should confess we got quite predictable results:
The maximum frequency the processor remained stable at was near 3GHz. That is, the Athlon 64 FX-57 has a 7% frequency reserve. This is not much, but you shouldn’t expect more from the senior model in the series. Yet even this result gives hope that AMD will be able to release an Athlon 64 FX-59 even on the current core after certain adaptation of the tech process.
We also want to note that AMD is beginning to offer updated Athlon 64 FX-55 on the same San Diego core along with the release of the Athlon 64 FX-57. Thus, both Athlon 64 FX processors will have the same functional characteristics. You can easily tell a new 90nm Athlon 64 FX-55 with SSE3 support by the marking which reads like “ADAFX55DAA5BN”. Frankly speaking, these processors are going to be more appealing for overclockers since they will have the same core as the Athlon 64 FX-57 with a non-locked multiplier, but will cost $200 less.