More Athlon 64 FX-55
More Athlon 64 FX-55
All of the architecture’s other features are maintained with the Athlon 64 FX-55. It boasts a full megabyte of L2 cache, which complements the 64KB data and 64KB instruction L1 caches. An integrated 128-bit DDR memory controller supports up to DDR400 memory, in turn giving the processing core access to 6.4 GBps of memory bandwidth. Although Intel has gone ahead with DDR2 memory technology, AMD is adamant that its integrated memory controller is very sensitive to timing, which renders DDR2 unsuitable for maximum performance.
Of course, support for AMD’s 64-bit x86 extensions is an integral part of the architectural initiative. Unfortunately, while there’s a publicly accessible preview for Windows XP x64 Edition (it has a new name, too), the final version has again been pushed back until 2005. Fortunately, the processor’s Enhanced Virus Protection feature was recently enabled by Windows XP Service Pack 2, which is a welcome addition for the early adopters who’ve been waiting to access more of the architecture’s advertised benefits.
And while we’re on the topic of extra features, a representative from AMD recently tipped us off with news that the Athlon 64 FX family supports Cool’n’Quiet technology. It was previously believed that because the high-end FX offers an unlocked clock multiplier, it wouldn’t function properly with Cool’n’Quiet enabled. However, we confirmed that the feature indeed functions properly, and while it normally runs at 2.6 GHz, the Athlon 64 FX-55 seamlessly scales back to 1.3 GHz during periods of light load.
The FX55 chip
For those who are less worried about saving power and more concerned with overclocking, the Athlon 64 FX-55 has little trouble jumping up to 2.8 GHz using a 14x multiplier setting and default a 200 MHz bus. Mated to an nForce3 Ultra board, the Athlon 64 FX-55 also features a 5x HyperTransport multiplier, yielding a 1 GHz link and up to 8 GBps of bandwidth to the platform’s I/O devices.
The processor’s $827 price tag is a little difficult to swallow, but when you compare it to Intel’s Extreme Edition and its $999 suggested retail price, AMD’s offering is somewhat more affordable.