Advanced Micro Devices’ new platform for enthusiasts called 4x4 is not listed among the products due to be out in 2006, according to the company’s roadmap document dated September, 27. Nevertheless, the company says that the new 4x4 platform for gamers will be available in November this year.
AMD’s Desktop Processor Update document that is currently available at the company’s web-site lists AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 and FX-62 as the company’s highest-performance desktop microprocessors in Q4 2006. The roadmap does not include AMD Athlon 64 FX-70, FX-72 and FX-74 microprocessors that are projected to be the base for the 4x4 platform that employs two microprocessors in one system. Nevertheless, the company’s representatives said that 4x4 will be available next month.
“4x4 will be shipping in November,” said Bubba Walford in a short interview with X-bit labs. Mr. Walford did not elaborate whether AMD’s new models FX-70, FX-72 and FX-74 will be available next month.
The document located at AMD’s web-site for some reason positions the Athlon 64 FX-62 processor (2.80GHz, 2MB L2 cache [1MB per core]) as the company’s top-of-the-range offering for performance-demanding enthusiasts, as the Athlon 64 6000+ chip (3.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache [1MB per core]) that is to be available in November, 2006, will feature higher frequency and consequently be faster.
The new AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 (2.60GHz, 2MB L2 cache [1MB per core]), FX-72 (2.80GHz, 2MB L2 cache [1MB per core]) and FX-74 (3.00GHz, 2MB L2 cache [1MB per core]) microprocessors designed to work in pairs will be compatible with socket F infrastructure, a 1207-pin land grid array (LGA) form-factor. It is unclear whether the new AMD Athlon 64 FX processors need registered DDR2 memory modules, which cost more than typical DDR2 components and which are somewhat slower, but it is highly-likely that this will be a requirement.
As a result of transition to workstation-class technologies, users of next-generation Athlon 64 FX processors will be able to install two of such chips. However, besides of the fact that they will need to acquire two microprocessors instead of one, they will need new – specially designed – cooling systems, mainboards, memory modules and, perhaps, power supply units, as new FX-series models will consume up to 125W of power.
Even though AMD’s 4x4 platform may be significantly more expensive and power hungry than Intel Core 2 Extreme-based offerings with two or four cores, AMD may be able to offer significantly increased performance in many cases because of relatively high clock-speeds of its new FX-series central processing units. As a result, AMD 4x4 may address users who demand absolutely highest performance at any cost, leaving the market of more balanced systems to the rival.