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AMD Athlon 64 FX-60

AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 dual-core gaming CPU

The best AMD consumer-oriented processor yet?

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Review The Athlon 64 FX, the pinnacle of AMD's consumer processor offerings, now has two cores, to more effectively run a modern OS. There's no surprise - the mystery of whether or not the next FX would be single- or dual-core was dashed a while ago, and really it was obvious if you think about it. Once you understood that it was dual-core, then going on to figure out the target clock frequency was a piece of cake, given Athlon 64 X2 4800+.

With that information, extrapolating performance from the 4800+ is a fairly simple task, one which would at least get you in the ballpark. However, there are still a few important questions to answer...

Firstly, is it better than the single-core Athlon 64 FX-57? Notice the better adjective. Faster is the wrong way to go about the analysis, since single- versus dual-core with non-matching clock frequencies will always throw up different answers, depending on what code you run.

Secondly, does it beat Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor?

The FX-60 shares the same transistor count, caches and cache organisation, processor technology and core revision as the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, confirming it as having the same 'Toledo' core. What marks it apart is the 2.6GHz clock speed, versus the 2.4GHz of the 4800+, and the slightly lower operating voltage range of 1.30-1.35V, down from 1.35V-1.40V. It goes faster on less voltage, essentially.

The processor has the same thermal envelope (110W), meaning the same coolers can be used. Under Cool'n'Quiet, AMD's desktop-oriented power-saving technology, the processor drops to 1.2GHz per core with multiplier adjustment, running from just 1.1V.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-60

Being a current E6 revision of the X2 core, badged as FX, it supports all three SSE instructions sets, x86 and AMD64. The processor fits into the same 939-pin socket as all high-end Athlon 64 processors have since the switch from Socket 754. The extra pins facilitate a dual-channel DDR memory controller, which means support for four sticks of memory at the maximum 400MHz speed, the best use of available memory space (introduced first with the 'Venice' revE single core) and support for DIMMs of different sizes per memory channel.

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