Software Makers Praise AMD’s 4x4 Initiative

AMD’s Multi-Socket Enthusiast Platform Receives Compliments

by Anton Shilov
06/26/2006 | 12:49 AM

Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s No.2 maker of x86 microprocessors, said Monday its multi-socket enthusiast platform called 4x4 has received praises from software makers, primarily game or entertainment-oriented application developers. The announcement comes on the day when Intel plans to release its new Xeon processors based on the new micro-architecture.


Performance at Any Cost

“We’re looking at a decidedly multi-core processor, multi-threaded application future for the PC industry. AMD has planned this enthusiast platform so that software developers can design outstanding multi-threaded applications for consumers who demand the very best immersive computing experience.” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, desktop business, AMD.

According to a statement by AMD, such software developers as Bioware, Cakewalk, Crytek, Havok, Irrational Games, Midway, Nero and Sony have been working on software applications and games to take advantage of multi-core processors and benefit from AMD’s direct connect architecture.

While there are much more software designers, who have been creating applications that take advantage of multi-threading on systems featuring several processors or processing engines, AMD implies that titles from the aforementioned companies would be able to take advantage of the 4x4 – AMD’s multi-socket platform for enthusiasts, which should offer increased performance, but at a pretty high price-point.

AMD plans to offer enthusiast capability of utilizing two dual-core or even quad-core AMD Athlon 64 FX processors on a single mainboard, which is likely to boost performance in certain situations. The cost of such system will be very high, as AMD Athlon 64 FX-series processors cost around $1000 each, however, the 4x4 represents “performance at any cost” approach, which should dethrone the Intel Core 2 Duo and Extreme processors, which are likely to outstrip AMD’s offerings, according to some analysts.

AMD still did not provide any guidance regarding the 4x4 availability.

Crysis to Take Advantage of 4x4

“With Crysis, our flagship title, we are pushing the boundaries of game-physics, intelligent combat AI and cinematic visuals. Crysis will be an experience culminated in next-generation hardware when utilized with a multi-core system like AMD’s highly anticipated 4x4 enthusiast platform,” said Cevat Yerli, president and chief executive of Crytek, the developer of the popular Far Cry game.

AMD stressed that multi-threaded games are among the first applications to see immediate advantages from using multi-socket, multi-threaded architectures like the upcoming 4x4 enthusiast platform. However, the chipmaker also positions its AMD 4x4 platform as a solution for high-performance workstations, for instance, for those used to edit videos.

“AMD’s combination of HyperTransport™ technology and an integrated memory controller gives us the bandwidth we need to see impressive performance scaling on multi-core systems. Because of Direct Connect Architecture, an AMD 4-core, multi-socket solution should help Sony Vegas 6 users edit high definition video with unparalleled responsiveness and use effects that would have been unthinkable on earlier hardware,” said Curtis Palmer, senior vice president, chief technologist, Sony Media Software.