AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 is the best consumer processor AMD has ever produced. With effectively a pair of FX-55s sat in the same socket, sharing an efficient memory controller, it's close enough to FX-57 in single-threaded apps that the multi-threaded advantage makes that slender gap moot. Targetted at the well-heeled enthusiast, the new dual-core processor should be a shoo-in for those with FX-57s already, and those with the required readies to drop on the latest and greatest.
Gaming wise, the FX-60 is a minor step down from an FX-57, both at their default clocks. But the step is a small one, and the benefits of the extra core in system that's being used by other applications while you play are what the FX-60, and all performance dual-core processors, are about. The FX-60 is a gamer's chip, make no mistake.
The FX-60 is simply the most desirable processor to slide into a 939-pin processor socket to date. Dual-core is that good, even though our test suite could use a little work to really show you how a multi-processor system can chew through modern workloads.
However, for the first time in a long time, we're left pondering whether Intel have a worthy contender to a new Athlon 64 FX processor. The 955 'Presler' processor has a fine turn of speed when it's worked in multi-threaded applications, and it's no gaming slouch either. That Intel insiders say its a 4.26GHz processor in disguise is telling, too.
At similar prices - $1000 or so in volume - there's nothing much in it when it comes to price, especially if FX-60 turns out to be close to £800 today, rather than the conversion at current exchange rates. What edges it for the FX-60 is the excellence of the supporting platform and the environmental performance, on top of the slender overall performance win. It runs cooler than FX-57, consumes the same under our load conditions, and bests 955XE in both those metrics by quite some margin.
It won't be cheap, but then for most FX consumers that matters little. They want the best CPU for their systems and under default conditions, the FX-60 is that microprocessor. The particular review sample used for this article does a nice and easy 2.8GHz at stock voltage, and just shy of 3GHz when voltage is upped a little, all on the default PIB cooler. Unlocked multipliers means adjustment of the requisites is a piece of cake.