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Advanced Micro Devices started a new page in personal computing today by announcing four new 64-bit microprocessors for desktop computers. So far 64-bit CPUs were only available for very high-end workstations and servers at price points exceeding thousands of US Dollars, now AMD64-based systems are so affordable, they can be used by typical computer enthusiasts!

AMD unveiled the Athlon 64 FX-51 for high-end gaming systems, the Athlon 64 3200+ chip for high-performance desktop computers as well as Athlon FX 3200+ and 3000+ DTR CPUs with PowerNow! technology for powerful notebook PCs. All AMD Athlon 64 CPUs have integrated L2 cache of 1MB, L1 cache of 128KB and utilize HyperTransport links to connect external I/O, such as AGP ports.

Core frequencies of AMD Athlon 64 processors are not higher compared to existing lines of Athlon XP chips, even though performance of the novelties is higher than on earlier Athlon XP models. The high-end Athlon FX-51 CPU is clocked at 2.20GHz, while the Athlon 64 Models 3200+ and 3000+ function at 2.0 and 1.80GHz respectively.

The main advantage of AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX CPUs AMD pins a lot of hopes on is its 64-bit core able to process more data at the same time than typical 32-bit chips. But in contrast to Intel’s, IBM’s and Sun’s offerings in 64-bit area, the Athlon 64 processors are fully compatible with 32-bit applications and offer superior performance in today’s software environments. Additionally, the new Athlon 64 products also support SSE and SSE2 technologies originally implemented by Intel in the Pentium III and Pentium 4 chips.

The core clock-speed is not the only difference between the Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 microprocessors from Sunnyvale, California-based AMD. As expected, the Athlon 64 FX comes with dual-channel memory controller in Socket 940 packaging and providing up to 6.40GB/s peak memory throughput; the Athlon 64 3200+ and 3000+ CPUs utilize Socket 754 packaging and have only single-channel memory controller able to transfer up to 3.20GB of data per second.

All the new AMD64 microprocessors are made using 0.13 micron fabrication process with Silicon On Insulator (SOI) technology in AMD’s advanced Fab30 in Dresden, Germany.

Computer manufacturer HP plans to ship systems in the fourth quarter of 2003. Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens and Packard Bell announced system availability for the AMD Athlon 64 processor, and were joined by more than 150 manufacturers and infrastructure partners worldwide, AMD said today.

The AMD Athlon 64 processor is available now in Model 3200+ for desktop computing, priced at $417 in 1000-unit quantities, and Models 3200+ and 3000+ for notebook computing, priced at $417 and $278 in 1000-unit quantities, respectively. The AMD Athlon 64 FX processor is available in the FX-51 series, and is priced at $733 in 1000-unit quantities.

Be sure to read our article “AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 vs. Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz: Clash of Strong Wills” to find out more information about performance of the new 64-bit chips from AMD in comparison to Intel’s Pentium 4 Extreme Edition CPU.

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