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Advanced Micro Devices on Monday launched its single-core AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 central processing unit that that is aimed mostly at gamers. The new chip does deliver top performance in gaming applications and is likely to become a product of choice for digital entertainment fans, however, its price is unlikely to allow a lot of consumers to acquire it.

“AMD recognizes that today’s games are single-threaded. Users who crave the absolute best performance on 3D games and extreme applications can experience realistic physics and lighting, as well as gripping artificial intelligence and sound, with the single-core AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 processor,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, Desktop Business, Microprocessor Solutions Sector (MSS), AMD.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 functions at 2.80GHz, contains 1MB of level-two cache and built-in dual-channel PC3200 DDR memory controller. The Athlon 64 FX-57 is made using 90nm fabrication processor and is based on the core code-named San Diego, which means that the chip is the first in the FX family of products that sports SSE3 technology. The central processing unit is designed for Socket 939 infrastructure and has official thermal design power of 104W.

“Since the AMD Athlon FX processor was first introduced, AMD has consistently delivered the absolute best performing PC processor for games. Now in our fourth iteration, the AMD Athlon 64 FX family of processors continues to remain unmatched in the industry, designed to provide even the most demanding gamer with reduced memory latency and increased performance,” Mr. Brewer added.

The Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker indicated that starting from now dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 chips will be mostly aimed for workstations and high-performance desktops, while high-speed single-core AMD Athlon 64 FX products will be targeted at gamers. The company believes desktop dual-core chips will especially benefit the so-called professional consumer and digital media enthusiasts, as well as those who run many software applications at the same time. Games, though, do not essentially take advantage of dual-core chips and given their lower clock-speed compared to single-core processors, they deliver lower performance.

“The Athlon 64 FX-57 is going to be a good choice for a games-oriented computer. An additional bonus is the non-locked multiplier that allows overclocking this processor easily, especially with extreme cooling methods. Note also that using AMD’s most progressive core for today (San Diego) the Athlon 64 FX-57 has some extra advantages over the previous models in this series. It has a higher overclocking potential, relatively low heat dissipation and power consumption, SSE3 instructions support, and an improved memory controller. On the other hand, if you are not a dedicated gamer, you may want to consider a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 that shows itself brilliantly in multi-threading environments,” X-bit labs’ analyst Ilya Gavrichenkov wrote in “AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 Processor Review” article.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 processors are expected to be shortly available from 37 large system makers worldwide. Currently the chip is available from AMD for $1031, which is the highest price for an AMD Athlon 64-series product.

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