Benchmark Analysis & Conclusion
AMD's Athlon 64 FX-60 was clearly THE fastest all around processor in our barrage of tests, save perhaps for a few of the synthetic benchmarks and our high-res Quake 4 test, where for all intents and purposes all of our high end systems performed similarly due to fill-rate limitations of the graphics subsystem. Furthermore, it seems as though some of the traditional Media Encoding tests which have historically fallen to Intel, are now clearly showing an AMD advantage as the Athlon 64 dual-core architecture continues to scale in clock speed. What's perhaps almost as important to some of you as well, were the excellent thermal and power characteristics that the new Athlon 64 FX-60 put forth. At full load, the Athlon 64 FX-60 based system consumed nearly 40 watts less power versus our test system built around the 65nm Pentium Extreme Edition 955, and it did so running significantly cooler, at least according to the readings we were getting from Intel's motherboard environmental monitoring software.
AMD's latest "FX" enthusiast class dual-core CPU, the Athlon 64 FX-60, is sure to be a hit for those looking for the utmost performance with little compromise and not much regard for the budget. With a Processors In A Box (P.I.B) MSRP of a mighty steep $1031, you'll have to get serious clearance from the wife or significant other, if you want to slide this upgrade past and keep the peace. While there are clearly better total cost values in the market (take the Athlon 64 4400+ for example at half the price), those who must have the best all around computing experience in virtually all desktop applications, while not sacrificing gaming performance, will love this new high-end CPU from AMD. Not to mention, this new speed bin continues to show great promise for overclocking, where 2.8GHz should be a walk in the park for most and 3GHz a reasonable goal with a capable cooling solution.
So, while Intel seems to be coming to the end of the line with their Netburst architecture even in .065 micron, AMD seems to be clipping right along at .09 in their dual-core architecture, with more headroom available, even before they make the jump to 65nm and a new socket. The question is when will that transition happen and with that transition, what other AMD architectural enhancements will come along? We know DDR2 and a new socket is in the Athlon 64's future, but AMD could make other architectural enhancements as well. Intel has made it relatively clear that in the second half of this year, their new CPU core architectures will give AMD a serious run for their money. But for now we'll just have to wait and see. AMD obviously still has a significant performance lead in the high-end desktop CPU space with the introduction of yet another fastest dual-core processor in the market.
|•_Fastest Dual-Core, period
•_Great gaming performance
•_Great Overclocking potential
•_Runs cooler and uses less power than competing dual-core CPUs