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...with availability in early 2007

AMD today announced its long-awaited 4x4 enthusiasts platform—officially named Quad FX. The Quad FX platform features AMD’s Dual Socket Direct Connect (DSDC) architecture to deliver dual dual-core processors for the most demanding users. AMD claims to cater the Quad FX platform towards megatasking enthusiasts.

Powering the Quad FX platform is the new AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors. The new Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors share AMD’s socket F with Opteron processors. Each Athlon 64 FX-70 series processor is equipped with 2x1MB of L2 cache. Unlike the workstation and server class Opteron 2200 series processors, Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors do not require registered DDR2 memory. It is unknown if Opteron 2200 series processors will function when plugged into Quad FX motherboards.

Quad FX based systems will initially be available with dual-core processors. Launching today with Quad FX are the Athlon 64 FX-74, FX-72 and FX-70. Additionally, Quad FX systems will be compatible with AMD’s upcoming quad-core processors for a total of eight processor cores.

AMD claims Quad FX is needed because “The emergence of a dual-socket consumer platform is critical for enthusiasts who demand systems that offer the sheer power and system headroom to let the enthusiast configure this system to his or her heart’s content, and launch a fleet of entertainment and productivity applications at once,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, Desktop Division, AMD. “AMD is redefining performance by enabling our customers to take advantage of the amazing megatasking capability of two AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors in the AMD Quad FX Platform.”

Joining AMD with the launch of Quad FX is NVIDIA. NVIDIA today is also launching its nForce 680a MCP for Quad FX systems. With the nForce 680a MCP Quad FX systems feature a total of 56 PCIe lanes and 12 links. This comes out to four PCIe x16 slots with two full-speed and two half-speed slots. Eight additional PCIe x1 lanes are available for other peripherals, slots and etc… Up to 20 PCI slots are supported, though there may be slot placement issues on motherboards.

Plenty of I/O options will be available on nForce 680a based Quad FX motherboards. NVIDIA’s nForce 680a supports a total of 12 SATA 3.0Gbps ports and four PATA devices across two channels. RAID levels 0, 1, 0 + 1, 5 and JBOD are supported with the integrated SATA controller.

Plenty of networking options are available with the nForce 680a MCP. Four Gigabit Ethernet controllers are available with the nForce 680a MCP, though its up to the board manufacturer to implement it. Nevertheless, the four Gigabit Ethernet controllers support NVIDIA’s FirstPacket, DualNet, Teaming and TCP/IP offload technologies.

Other notable features of the nForce 680a MCP include up to 20 High-speed USB ports and high definition audio.

Pricing of Athlon 64 FX-70 series start at $599 for a pair of FX-70’s and top out at $999 for a pair of FX-74’s. Availability of Quad FX systems and parts are expected in early 2007. Currently, Asus is the only known motherboard manufacturer to have a Quad FX motherboard ready. DailyTech previously revaled images of ASUS’ upcoming Quad FX motherboard.


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By miahallen on 11/30/2006 3:34:37 AM , Rating: 3
On first hearing of the 4X4 platform, it seemed to be aimed at gamers (and as games become more multi-threaded, it may be), but for now it looks like an amazing workstation for photo/video/3D work. Especially with the ability to scale to 8 cores down the road, and all the possibilities for super powerful graphics subsystems. I almost wrote this system off, but now I'll be looking forward to some comparisons.




By JarredWalton on 11/30/2006 4:06:48 AM , Rating: 5
The four GPUs stuff is silly right now. Quad SLI has never really reached it's potential, with performance still lower than 7900 GTX SLI in quite a few games. Not to mention, even if QSLI becomes something worth having in the G80 era, that's an NVIDIA technology and you can darn well guarantee they'll support Core 2 platforms as well. Of course, you can't fit four of the top-end GPUs in any motherboard right now anyway, since they are all two slot GPU designs and there isn't enough backpanel space... not to mention you'd have to completely forgo add-in sound and TV tuners.

So right now, you have two sockets and four AMD cores (well, not now, but in January) versus one socket and four faster cores. What's scary is that QX6700 chips overclock to 3.2 GHz and beyond with ease, so Intel can release a faster quad core chip any time they feel the need. It's really going to take K8L or some other revision to close the gap. This is basically just a slight variation of dual socket Opterons. Now all we need is dual socket Xeon without the crazy FB-DIMMs!


By Viditor on 11/30/2006 4:31:42 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Quad SLI has never really reached it's potential, with performance still lower than 7900 GTX SLI in quite a few games

You mean QSLI with a single MCP...but the QuadFX platform runs dual MCPs. I know of no other example of this...
quote:
you can darn well guarantee they'll support Core 2 platforms as well

Except that for C2D they won't have the HT connections for the dual MCPs...
quote:
Of course, you can't fit four of the top-end GPUs in any motherboard right now anyway, since they are all two slot GPU designs and there isn't enough backpanel space...

Well, something like 4x880GTX (all single slot) would work just fine...
quote:
What's scary is that QX6700 chips overclock to 3.2 GHz and beyond with ease, so Intel can release a faster quad core chip any time they feel the need

Interesting...what temperature would that be at on Intel's HSFs?
If it's over 50C, then I doubt that Intel will be able to release it...


By Accord99 on 11/30/2006 5:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You mean QSLI with a single MCP...but the QuadFX platform runs dual MCPs. I know of no other example of this...

The 680i system basically has two similar chips.

quote:
Except that for C2D they won't have the HT connections for the dual MCPs...

On a C2D system, you only need the HT link between the SPP and the MCP.

quote:
Well, something like 4x880GTX (all single slot) would work just fine...

Until you trip the circuit breaker.

quote:
Interesting...what temperature would that be at on Intel's HSFs?

Probably less than the staggering power usage of the FX-74. The Quad FX's 500W+ of power usage gives Intel a lot of flexiblity to increase their TDP if necessary.


By Viditor on 11/30/2006 5:36:22 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The 680i system basically has two similar chips

No, the 680i uses an SPP/MCP setup...
quote:
On a C2D system, you only need the HT link between the SPP and the MCP

Exactly my point...
quote:
The Quad FX's 500W+ of power usage gives Intel a lot of flexiblity to increase their TDP if necessary

Interesting change of subject...
The Kentsfield hits 72C under load at 2.66GHz on a stock HSF. It's a matter of localized heat...if you use a stock HSF at 3.2GHz on a Kentsfield under load, you'll melt the board!


By Furen on 11/30/2006 6:25:05 AM , Rating: 2
Intel's stock heatsink is a POS compared to AMD's heatpiped heatsink or any half-decent heatsink out there. Even so, the QX6700 does not hit 125W+ power draw and 4x4 is doing that twice for the same number of cores.


By Viditor on 11/30/2006 6:56:14 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed Furen...and I really don't disagree that the QuadFather will suck down HUGE amounts of power relatively speaking (certainly while it's still at 90nm).
My point was based on Jarred's comment:
"overclock to 3.2 GHz and beyond with ease, so Intel can release a faster quad core chip any time they feel the need"
I really don't think that Intel CAN release a 3.2 GHz Kentsfield very easily, because of the large amount of heat in such a localized area...
Also, the Kentsfield stock HSF is an improved one over the C2D HSF if I'm not mistaken...


By Shintai on 11/30/2006 8:32:32 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe you should visit Xtremesystems. Or perhaps just try the kentsfield. I got a dual clovertown box, and its EASY with relatively SMALL heatsinks to reach 3.33Ghz, or 8 cores running 3.33Ghz so to say.

Its amazing you are still trying to make some FUD to have AMD look better. FX74 is HOTTER than any Intel product now. The powerconsumption of the FX74 system is another fact..all power basicly ends as heat.

Also when comparing temperatures. Why not use apples to apples instead of apples to oranges? AMD uses an uncalibrated sensor on the case of their chip. Intel uses calibrated digital sensors in the hottest parts of the chips.

One should think you already learned that from the amazing C2D OCs while still running cold. if anythign is melting, its the FX74 sockets and the 4x4 systems with their huge spaceheating ability.


By Shintai on 11/30/2006 9:08:57 AM , Rating: 3
Not to even mention, that FX62 beats FX72 in alot of cases due to NUMA being more a problem than a solution on the desktop.


By Furen on 11/30/2006 3:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's a problem because the OSes being tested are not NUMA-aware. Granted, Windows XP 32-bit is the most common OS out there, but the fact that it migrates threads all over the place whenever it feels like it doesn't help NUMA systems.


By Viditor on 11/30/2006 11:24:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Maybe you should visit Xtremesystems

Couldn't find anything there...could you provide a link for us please?
Looking for an overclocked Kentsfield in the 3+ GHz range using stock HSF...
quote:
FX74 is HOTTER than any Intel product now

The 3 GHz 90nm FX74 is hotter than the 2.66 GHz 65nm Kentsfield? You don't say...
quote:
AMD uses an uncalibrated sensor on the case of their chip. Intel uses calibrated digital sensors in the hottest parts of the chips

You need to keep up on your reading...AMD has been using their DTS (Digital Thermal Sensors) calibrated on the hottest part of the chips for several years now...


By JumpingJack on 12/3/2006 1:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

You need to keep up on your reading...AMD has been using their DTS (Digital Thermal Sensors) calibrated on the hottest part of the chips for several years now...


I am not so sure of this, AMD's thermal specifications do not produce any calibration data nor do they identify where they take the measurement. CoreTemp author has also studied the technical details:

quote:
In Rev F chips from AMD, the reported temperature also seems to be quite accurate, but from different reports and white papers I've seen, the CPU leaves the factory without having the DTS properly calibrated. AMD claims it could have an accuracy range of ±14ºC. The only thing I've noticed is some older AMD CPUs either have a very large delta between two cores or sometimes give some really low temperature readings.

http://www.overclockers.com/articles1378/

Having not studied it in detail, not sure of the answer but I would be hardpressed to consider +/-14 deg C as well calibrated. If you have other sources that can narrow down and back up your thesis, I would be very interested.


By trivik12 on 11/30/2006 10:21:45 AM , Rating: 2
Dont forget that a mainstream OEM like gateway is selling Warrantied overclocked kentsfield at 3.2ghz. This has never happened before.


By Viditor on 11/30/2006 10:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dont forget that a mainstream OEM like gateway is selling Warrantied overclocked kentsfield at 3.2ghz

Huh??
If you could provide a link to that please...
Are you sure you don't mean Conroe rather than Kentsfield?


By Phynaz on 11/30/2006 9:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you use a stock HSF at 3.2GHz on a Kentsfield under load, you'll melt the board!


Oh please. Taking pot shots is beneath you.


By bob661 on 11/30/2006 11:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh please. Taking pot shots is beneath you.
But it's not beneath me. :) He's right. The stock Intel heatsinks suck and you aren't going to be running 3.anything GHz for any amount of time with Kentsfield. If you are running it like that, then you've got TONS more money than brains.


By Phynaz on 11/30/2006 12:18:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The stock Intel heatsinks suck and you aren't going to be running 3.anything GHz for any amount of time with Kentsfield.


Which heatsink are you using on your Kentsfield?


By masher2 (blog) on 11/30/2006 9:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
> "however it will be the fastest game machine made as well "

No, its still not going to touch Core 2 Extreme....except on power consumption, where its going to easily win. Its looking like a flop to me, in all honesty.


By Transcendental Ego on 11/30/2006 5:46:09 PM , Rating: 3
Masher2 has spoken, discussion closed.


lol
By yacoub on 11/30/2006 8:40:13 AM , Rating: 1
20 USB ports? How about 10 USB ports (which is enough for pretty much everybody) and develop some sort of higher-speed storage device to replace traditional hard drives which are the slowest part of a system these days (optical drives generally aren't utilized during most system tasks like gaming, video/audio editing or encoding, etc).




RE: lol
By JarredWalton on 11/30/2006 11:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think we need all 20 USB ports, but given the number of USB peripherals now available I would very much like to ditch PS/2 ports and add another four USB ports on the back panel. That means it would be pretty easy to get 10 USB ports on the back panel, and most people like some front mounted USB ports on their case as well, so supporting 14 ports at a minimum would be nice.

Really though, the four LAN ports and 20 USB ports are simply there because they are using two of essentially the same chipset.


RE: lol
By mino on 11/30/2006 12:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
well, not so:
2 ports mouse+KB
2 ports printers (big laser + MFP/fax)
1 port ADSL
1 port Bluetooth
1 port smartphone cradle
1 port extension cable for USB sticks
1 port internal card reader
1 port internal hot-swap USB HDD cage
2 ports 3.5" external HDD's
4 ports front panel

sumary:
16ports CURRENTLY in use by way of two 7-port hubs on 8 integrated ports(SiS748).

Now tell me 10 ports are suffiecient.

I didn't even mention scanner, infrared or external EMU sound card... I have on shopping chart

10 USB ports should be a _bare_minumum_ nowadays with 12+ as minimum on premium systems.


RE: lol
By Seer on 11/30/2006 6:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're inflating your usage.

ADSL should be on ethernet.

Why do you need those 4 ports in for the front panel if you

SATA2 Offers hotswapabillity of harddrives, and at speeds that wont bottleneck modern harddrives. You should use it if you're using internal harddrives

You really shoudn't be running HDDs over usb if you can't help it, esp. 3.5". Try for more space in the case, add a SATA PCIe card if possible. Even if it has to be USB, you could probably consolidate it into one drive. Maybe not.

That should reduce your claimed usage by about half to 8.


RE: lol
By Viditor on 11/30/2006 11:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You really shoudn't be running HDDs over usb if you can't help it, esp. 3.5"

Actually it depends on what you do...I myself also use 14 USB ports.
1. Having a hot-swappable drive is a very good idea unless you need Media drives that are portable to systems without that capability. I need 4 of these as I must distribute them to various control rooms...
2. I agree with you about the ADSL connection, but he forgot scanners and cameras...not to mention the HDTV tuner.


RE: lol
By B166ER on 12/1/2006 4:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
No dis, but dude, please. You actually are using ALL those peripherals at the SAME time? I have USB fever as much as the next man, but my celly doesn't stay hot synced along with my PDA at the same time. My external USB drive is not always connected, only when I'm doing something that needs the space, and you have a USB keyboard that doesn't have USB ports? Not to mention a fax, and two printers, and a seperate scanner? Don't they have PSC combos these days? Sell some shit man! Really, your burden is one you place upon yourself then you take aim at manufs for not helping you to help yourself by not simplifying your world. Like being mad at all the game developers for not releasing the same games on all the major console and computer systems. Buy one and enjoy what you got.


By therealnickdanger on 11/30/2006 9:57:44 AM , Rating: 3
Well, it looks like Intel still rules the roost:

"First of all, the performance of a dual-processor platform built with two dual-core Athlon FX processors turned out lower than that of the competitor’s solutions built on quad-core Kentsfield CPUs. We have seen this in all test applications throughout the entire session.

Secondly, Quad FX platform is often slower than the regular Socket AM2 system with a single CPU because of the higher memory subsystem latency. NUMA technology that proved highly efficient in servers turned out to do more harm than good in the desktop space.

Thirdly, from the performance-per-watt prospective Quad FX platform loses not only to Intel Kentsfield based solutions but to all other platforms as well. The sky-high heat-dissipation and power consumption of this platform also set specific requirements to power supply units, system cases and system cooling."


By mino on 11/30/2006 12:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Xbit apparently screwed something - in a properly configured system FX72 should be on par with FX62.

Seems they did not anable memory interleaving to compensate for XP not supporting NUMA. Funnily they even undervalue NUMA while not using it...
Reminds me those idiots trying to reach "highest FSB" on early 939 systems :).
[By "FSB" they meant the base frequency of system clock generator...]


By cochy on 11/30/2006 6:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
Is anyone honestly surprised by these results?


NUMA will help
By Nighteye2 on 11/30/2006 7:51:27 AM , Rating: 2
With NUMA this system will be able to feed 8 cores with data...whereas current intel systems might become limited by memory bandwidth when all cores are busy.




RE: NUMA will help
By trivik12 on 11/30/2006 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 3
IF 4 cores with 1 FSB (Kentsfield) is beating AMD's FX74, 2 FSB CLovertown would beat any 8 core AMD 4x4 unless AMD improves IPC.

Also power draw difference between kentsfield and 4x4 is amazing.


Decent performance but at what price...
By Furen on 11/30/2006 6:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think AMD did itself a huge disservice by having Nvidia work on the motherboard and using extremely overclocked CPUs as press samples (1.47v at stock? No thanks). Yes, the setup is competitive with the QX6700 (barely), but the power draw is absolutely insane. A pair of 2.6GHz Opteron HEs on a more reasonable chipset (an ATI-based one) would have probably been much more favorable. Sure, power draw would probably still be a bit higher than Intel's but not 250W higher. The motherboard screams excess, as do the CPUs. Hell, those things probably draw something like 80W each at IDLE, and I'm sure they fit the 125W power envelope as well as the Pentium D 3.2 EE did back when it come out. Instead of so many damn PCIe 16x ports perhaps having more DIMM sockets would help, too.




By phusg on 11/30/2006 12:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Instead of so many damn PCIe 16x ports perhaps having more DIMM sockets would help, too.


Haha, yeah I agree, but then this one seems to be all about marchitecture, more than 4 DIMM sockets and they couldn't have called it Quad FX...


typo?
By lplatypus on 11/30/2006 6:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pricing of Athlon 64 FX-70 series start at $599 for a pair of FX-72’s

I understood that the FX-72 is the middle of the three chips being launched, so I'm guessing that you mean $599 for a pair of FX-70's? Heh while I'm being pedantic I should go the whole way and point out that "pricing" is singular so the verb should be "starts" not "start" :-)




Typo
By mlittl3 on 11/30/2006 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 1
"Pricing of Athlon 64 FX-70 series start at $599 for a pair of FX-72’s and top out at $999 for a pair of FX-74’s."

Should read "...a pair of FX-70's and top out at..."




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