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Officials from AMD made it clear today that the company has strong plans to support its present customers with faster Socket 940 and Socket 754 microprocessors throughout 2004.

“AMD Athlon 64 FX will continue to be supported in the 940-pin package throughout 2004 to provide a reasonable upgrade lifecycle for AMD Athlon 64 FX customers. We also plan to continue the Socket 754 as well,” stated John Crank, brand manager, AMD Athlon 64 FX processor on Thursday.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 microprocessor, the only desktop chip for Socket 940 was earlier expected to be virtually the only microprocessor in this packaging for the consumer market. Socket 940 – originally intended for server Opteron CPUs – allows incorporating dual-channel memory controller, a crucial paramount advantage of AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 designed for high-end gamers and power users over the typical AMD Athlon 64 chips.

With the transition to 90nm fabrication process, Sunnyvale, California-based Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., was earlier anticipated to fully transit its high-end desktop processors into Socket 939 packaging, not compatible with Socket 940 infrastructure. However, in an attempt to increase the value of Socket 940 AMD Athlon 64 FX-51-based systems, AMD has adjusted its plans to support the 940-pin lineup as well.

Users of performance-mainstream AMD Athlon 64 processors for Socket 754 mainboards should also expect upgrade opportunities next year, as AMD informed.

Micro-architecture of AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 inherited from the Opteron processor Series 100 requires the chip to work with registered memory modules. Therefore, the Athlon 64 FX CPUs for Socket 940 coming next year will require registered memory as well. At the same time, all AMD Athlon 64 processors with dual-channel memory support in 939-pin package are not expected to entail registered memory sticks.

Users acquiring systems powered by high-end or performance-mainstream 64-bit CPUs from AMD should be pleased with upgrade opportunities, as generally those are hardware enthusiasts, who are constantly interested in boosting performance of their PCs.

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