AMD's Athlon 64 FX-53

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AMD's Athlon 64 FX-53
The FX Gets Its First Speed Bump...

By, Marco Chiappetta
March 18, 2004

Synthetic benchmarks only tell part of the performance story, so we took the Athlon 64 FX-53 to task in some "real world" scenarios as well. For our first set of real world tests, we did some benchmarking with the Business and Content Creation Winstone applications created by the folks at Ziff Davis...

Business and Content Creation Winstone 2004
Desktop Publishing, Spreadsheet Analysis, Multimedia Content Creation and Audio/Video Editing

The PC Magazine Business Winstone 2004 test utilizes the following applications in its benchmark.

  • Microsoft Access 2002
  • Microsoft Excel 2002
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2002
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
  • Microsoft Project 2002
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Norton Antivirus Professional Edition 2003
  • WinZip 8.1

Historically, the Athlon with its much shorter pipeline has excelled when running x86 code that is not specifically optimized for the Pentium 4, which is one of the reasons why it has done so well earlier versions of this test.  With the new Business Winstone 2004, the Athlons don't dominate the P4s like they once did, but the FX-53 still beat out all of the other test systems here.  The fastest P4, the 3.4GHz EE, missed the FX-53's mark by 2 points or about 7.5%.


The PC Magazine Content Creation Winstone 2004 test utilizes the following applications in its benchmark.

  • Adobe® Photoshop 7.0.1
  • Adobe® Premiere 6.50
  • Macromedia® Director MX 9.0
  • Macromedia® Dreamweaver MX 6.1
  • Microsoft® Windows Media? Encoder 9 Version 9.00.00.2980
  • NewTek's LightWave 3D 7.5b
  • Steinberg WaveLab 4.0f

The results of the Content Creation Winstone 2004 tests look much like those of the Business Winstone 2004 benchmark.  The Athlon 64 FX-53 led the pack with a score of 34.7, which was about 3.9% higher than the 3.4GHz P4 EE and 8% higher than the 3.4GHz P4C.  The FX-53 beat both of Intel's 3.2GHz parts by about 13%.

XMPEG 5.03
Digital Video Encoding

Next, we did some video encoding with all seven of the test systems. To get these scores listed below, we took a standard MPEG 2 format video clip and converted it to DivX format using v5.1.1 of the CODEC with XMPEG v5.03. The results are reported in Minutes : Seconds, lower numbers equal better performance.

The 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, with its huge 2MB L3 cache, outpaced the similarly clocked "Northwood" P4 by a couple of seconds, but it couldn't quite catch the Athlon 64 FX-53 in this test or even the FX-51.  At 1 minute 12 seconds, the FX-53 outperformed all of the other systems we tested by a decent margin.  It was a full 7 seconds, or 8.8% faster, than the P4 EE.  The rest of the P4 based systems, and even the Athlon 64 3400+ lagged behind the FX-53 by more than 10%.

Windows Media Encoder, Cinebench and SPECViewperf


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