AMD’s special FX

AMD has added to its high-end consumer processor line with the launch of its new FX57 CPU. This takes over the reigns as AMD’s top-dog FX processor, replacing the older FX55.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 28, 2005

AMD has added to its high-end consumer processor line with the launch of its new FX57 CPU. This takes over the reigns as AMD’s top-dog FX processor, replacing the older FX55 chip. The 57 is 200MHz faster than its predecessor, as it purrs along at 2.8GHz. It is also built using the 90nm (nanometer) fabrication process. This helps reduce the size of the die while also reducing the heat generated by the processor. As a result, the maximum thermal output specified by AMD is 104W - the same as the FX55. The company has also added support for Intel’s SSE3 multimedia instruction set, which aims to boost application and gaming performance. AMD has also tweaked the FX’s onboard memory controller for improved performance. As AMD’s FX series primarily targets gamers, the FX57 core (codenamed San Diego) is still a single-core model rather than a dual-core CPU. AMD argues that as most, if not all, games on the market are currently only single threaded anyway, the second core won’t be missed. The company plans to shift the FX series to dual-core, though this won’t take place until 2006. AMD expects that by that time, multi-threaded applications and games will be more widely available. With the FX57, AMD is for the first time promoting its chip as overclocking friendly. However, the company has used the politically correct term ‘unlocked’ in its documentation, referring to the fact that the chip’s multiplier is unlocked, which makes it easier to overclock. This is not really a new feature however, as FX chips have been sold as ‘multiplier unlocked’ for years. The company is careful to point out that overclocking still voids the CPU’s warranty, so users should proceed with caution. The FX57 is expected to sell for over $1,000 when it becomes available in the region from the end of this month.

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