Print 56 comment(s) - last by Snipester.. on Jan 7 at 1:34 PM

AMD's premium chips hit ... with a price premium, too!

The Tech Report reports AMD Quad FX processors and accompanying motherboard are available in retail. All is not well for AMD’s Quad FX platform, though. While the Athlon 64 FX-70 series and ASUS L1N64-SLI WS are available, there’s a steep price premium on processors and the required motherboard.

There are only two retailers that carry the necessary Quad FX products: Newegg and ZipZoomFly. AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors of all speed grades are available from Newegg while ZipZoomFly only has the Athlon 64 FX-70 in stock.

Obtaining the required ASUS L1N64-SLI WS is a challenge as neither retailer has it in stock.  Pricing of the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS is $429.99 and $379.99 from Newegg and ZipZoomFly respectively, $30-80 higher than the expected $349.99 MSRP.

Nevertheless, AMD Quad FX parts are indeed available in retail. Expect to pay a $129-181 premium to have AMD’s power flagship.

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By marcusDOS on 1/3/2007 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
that was quick, now let's hear people experience; is it in high demand, hard to get and a bit pricy? *waits patiencely*
-hope it does better than striker extreme

By The Sword 88 on 1/3/2007 8:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
I havent seen any benchmarks for this. Does anybody have a link to some.

By CheesePoofs on 1/3/2007 8:04:34 PM , Rating: 2

It's there somewhere, just search.

By Regs on 1/3/2007 8:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
By Regs on 1/3/2007 8:04:22 PM , Rating: 3
This was discussed to no end all ready. You're better off just getting a kentsfield. As soon as Quad FX was announced it was all ready dead in the water.

By Ringold on 1/3/2007 10:16:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's not entirely a slam-dunk case against it.

It should be compatible with K8L and native quad-core parts, meaning six months or so down the road one could have 8 high-end cores with (hopefully for AMD) competitive performance.

Cost is not a factor for any of these platforms I wouldn't imagine.. if one is willing to spend so much for quad-core Kentsfield or Quad FX, then a potential Quad FX customer wouldn't be concerned about the upgrade cost, just that it'd be more convenient then the typical Intel deal (which would involve a whole new motherboard for such an upgrade). Probably also because only pro's with a need for that many threads being actively executed would buy such a beast.

It's close enough that it's a mere matter of preference, more or less.

By Dactyl on 1/4/2007 3:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
It should be compatible with K8L and native quad-core parts, meaning six months or so down the road one could have 8 high-end cores with (hopefully for AMD) competitive performance.
So six to twelve months from now you can throw out your dual core CPUs and buy new CPUs.

You won't be able to re-use QuadFX CPUs because they are 1208-pin unregistered DDR, which means they won't work on a normal socket AM2 mobo, or on a normal socket F server mobo--that means you'll just have to throw them away. No one will want them.

On the other hand, if you get a Kentsfield now, you can at least sell the it when you want to trade up later. And you will probably find that 1 45nm quad core CPU from Intel is better than 2 65nm native quad core CPUs from AMD. If you're playing games, 4 fast cores will be better than 8 almost as fast cores.

You will probably even be better off with one quad-core K8L CPU than 2, because of the increased memory latency in the 4x4 platform (AMD's biggest advantage over Intel is lost with 4x4!), and the fact that most games can barely take advantage of 4 cores, let alone 8.

If you're a professional who wants 8 cores, you should buy a 2-way Clovertown setup today (like a Mac Pro). Why wait 6 months for an unknown product that probably won't be much better than a Mac Pro today? You're a pro. Spend the coin, buy a good computer today, and get busy. Be productive.

If you're a gamer, stick with a 1-socket platform that will have quad core parts (775 or AM2) and spend your money on a pair of 8800s or R600s and a big monitor. 4x4 is a gimmick.

The only worse value for the dollar would be buying ultra high end "emasculator" DDR2 RAM modules with silly heat sinks. Those are like tiny dogs for the Paris Hiltons of the overclocker world.

And if I'm totally wrong, and 4x4 with quad-core parts is awesome, you can always buy a 4x4 mobo in the future. Buying one today doesn't give you a head start on everyone else. It's a big waste of money.

By mino on 1/4/2007 6:16:45 AM , Rating: 2
"And you will probably find that 1 45nm quad core CPU from Intel is better than 2 65nm native quad core CPUs from AMD."

Well, won't be so sure about that. Remember, even Kentsfield _is_ bandwith-starved. Even K8-based 65nm quad would be able to match its performance. Not to mention K8L with >10% performance bump...

The battle for mainstream is 3GHz Conroe vs. 3GHz K8 and by the end of 2007 will most probably be 3.3GHz Penryn vs. 3.2GHz K8L. It is dominated by Intel now, and will be a close race by the end of 2007.
However on the 4C front I do not see Intel catching AMD before Q1 08.

By ss284 on 1/4/2007 9:39:35 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that 65nm athlon x2s are very slightly slower than their 90nm counterparts, I would have to disagree with your first statement that a 65nm quad would match a kentsfield in performance.

By hubajube on 1/4/2007 2:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
I would have to disagree with your first statement that a 65nm quad would match a kentsfield in performance.
And I would have to disagree with your statement because a 65nm quad from AMD won't be the same core as the present 65nm cores.

By androticus on 1/5/2007 1:07:23 AM , Rating: 2

And I would have to disagree with your statement because a 65nm quad from AMD won't be the same core as the present 65nm cores.

Let's see... 939 to AM2 (DDR2)... no performance increase; 95nm to 65nm... performance **decreases**

Quad FX... performance **decrease** on most applications and benchmarks compared to equally clocked X2 rigs (seemingly due to cache coherency issues.)

So exactly WHAT in AMD's **recent** history of new product design leads one to conclude any kind of earth-shattering or even measurable improvement in performance is coming with K8L???

By cochy on 1/5/2007 2:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
However on the 4C front I do not see Intel catching AMD before Q1 08.

Please explain. I do not understand. By 4C do you mean quad-core? If so how do you figure Intel will only "catch" up to AMD by Q1 08 when last I checked AMD doesn't even have a quad-core cpu in the market yet let alone have any real benchmarks available. No one has any idea how the AMD quad cores will perform. So your statement is very presumptuous. If I understood you correct of course.

AMD has already stated that they are not interested in the multi-core approach or race, if you will, with Intel. This statement leads me to believe that AMD will forfeit the desktop x86 mainstream performance crown to Intel and focus on their real winners and current cash cow the Opteron, and the future with integrated graphics/cpu + chipset market which AMD hope to become a very large player as seen with the acquisition of ATI.

On the desktop front, I believe AMD realizes that they just can't compete with Intel's enormous wealth and resources. Even for the past few years while AMD had the performance crown securely in their pocket (K8 vs. P4), they still had a very hard time gaining considerable market share from Intel. Reason: They just couldn't properly market their superior product because of Intel's MASSIVE marketing power. Mainstream users just didn't understand the potential of K8. Now that Intel is back in front with C2D, I think AMD has given up for the long term for the mainstream performance desktop.

AMD's biggest supporters were PC enthusiasts. Unfortunately for the desktop industry, the enthusiast market, while nice (as seen by boutique PC shops like Alienware, Voodoo etc.) is not a cash cow. However, the server industry is, and for the most part the people making the buying decision on servers are pc enthusiasts and understood the potential of K8 and jumped all over the Opteron. These people are not as susceptible to marketing as mainstream users, thus negating Intel's massive marketing advantage. Opteron still has a very large advantage over Core 2 in SMP operations.

Anyway this is just my opinion based on the news out of AMD recently. I definitely have more chance of being totally off base here, since exiting the mainstream performance desktop market is a pretty drastic measure.

By Snipester on 1/7/2007 1:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
"You won't be able to re-use QuadFX CPUs because they are 1208-pin unregistered DDR, which means they won't work on a normal socket AM2 mobo, or on a normal socket F server mobo--that means you'll just have to throw them away. No one will want them. "

Incorrect! There is an AM2 Quad comming. Not sure if its native though or slapped 2 Brisbanes together.

By tomt4535 on 1/3/2007 9:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know where I read this and Im probably wrong, but do these procs come in pairs of 2? Or do you have to buy 2 of them?

By Pitbulll0669 on 1/3/07, Rating: -1
By tdawg on 1/3/2007 9:55:08 PM , Rating: 3
Everything published to this point says that these are sold in pairs. Didn't AMD even state that there would be two per box? No reason AMD would think they could sell only one of these at $350--for the lowest end one--and actually get people to buy one, let alone two.

I didn't check Zipzoomfly, but I'm guessing Newegg's description and specs pages for these processors is incomplete and they will soon post the fact that these come in pairs.

By BaronMatrix on 1/3/2007 10:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
$700 for two FX60s is not a bad deal. Check out for owner comments. There are reviews everywhere and QFX is better on Vista than on XP so it will give C2Q a run for its money.

By ScythedBlade on 1/4/2007 6:02:17 AM , Rating: 3
Doesn't every CPU suffer a performance hit under Vista?

By mino on 1/4/2007 6:20:18 AM , Rating: 1
Well, depends on the architecture.

FX suffers hugely in XP due to bad NUMA support so Vista will help it significantly.

As for FX, the best way is to buy an 2.6GHz K8 FX-70 for $350 now along with the mobo, and one has an open path up 2 3.2GHz K8L... provided the performance will be necessary.

By androticus on 1/5/2007 1:13:47 AM , Rating: 2

FX suffers hugely in XP due to bad NUMA support so Vista will help it significantly.

I read recently that Microsoft will only be providing advanced NUMA support in Vista Ultimate. If this is true, FX (and Core 2 Quad, perhaps to a lesser degree) won't be particularly better on Vista (Normal Human Edition) than on XP, especially counting the seeming performance hit you get in Vista (ex. anandtech or toms recently tested a whack of games and they all performed worse, often much worse, on Vista vs XP -- so much for the "ultimate PC gaming platform".)

It is even mentioned in AMD's own press release:

By mino on 1/4/2007 6:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
Newegg decided to sell them individually, thats the reason $599 FX-70 "retails" for $350.

IMO it makes sense, $350 for FX-60 and $550 for FX-64 is not a bad deal after all.

By androticus on 1/5/2007 1:27:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure both newegg and zzf are misdescribing those processors -- I could have sworn that AMD said that the part numbers for these guys were for TWO cpus in a box, not one. i.e, by definition, FX-70 is the part number for 2 cpus, with there not being such a thing as one -- of course i could be wrong, but those prices are nasty, who would want to pay 350 bucks for a middling AMD cpu that is ass-kicked by even a low-end C2D??? let alone 2 of them, plus a $400 mb and a--what???--600W+ ps???

marketing oxymoron
By nerdye on 1/3/2007 9:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Its true that only the die hard AMD fans would want the quad fx, as its not price or performance competitive. Using the word "quad" when clearly AMD needs two dual cores to achieve "quad" status seems to be a marketing ploy to earn recognition as Intel already has a "quad" core (kentsfield) out already, even though if its not a native "quad core" cpu. The reason its an oxymoron is that the die hard tech guys know that its price and performance beneficial to buy intel right now and will not be tricked by the marketing ploy of the fact that quad fx has the word "quad" in it. I'm a big time AMD fan myself, yet I find myself writing this post on an E6300 on a p965 ds3. Even die hard fans gotta be realistic in spending money.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By Duwelon on 1/3/2007 10:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah there's not much red posts here right now. The cost of things is a sobering fact I think, because even the most rabid fanbois that show up here are pretty quiet when they know they have to slap down a $1k+ on something. You make the money gap closer and you'll have rabid fanboism but in this case, I think it's interesting even the most annoying poster is quiet.

Personally i'm a band wagon jumper, I'll keep going with whoever gives me the best bang for my buck and it certaintly aint AMD, even now. I gotta earn my own parts and pay the bills too, but I think it's interesting how tame these posts are given the huge cost of this "uber AMD" setup.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By TheOneYouKNow on 1/4/2007 12:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Funny thing though...

When AMD was number 1 for 5 years in a row - people still bought Intel products. Why now is it popular to say never buy AMD when you can buy a C2D?

Just an observation.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By deeznuts on 1/4/2007 12:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
AMD was not #1 for five years.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By glennpratt on 1/4/2007 3:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
That's true. I don't think anyone is saying don't buy AMD. Just don't buy AMD's version of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

I just bought an Opteron 165 and I love it, but this funky, most likely dead end platform scares me.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By jarman on 1/4/2007 8:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
More like Sept. 2003 to ~July 2006.

RE: marketing oxymoron
By Aikouka on 1/4/2007 8:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how "the system" has really changed, T.O.Y.N. The only real difference is that we've seen a role reversal, but people will still buy from each company regardless of the performance aspect. Also, it may not relate to the enthusiast sector, but whatever the "deal o' the week" is at Circuit City, Best Buy or Fry's is helps to move computers (be it an AMD or Intel-fitted computer).

RE: marketing oxymoron
By cochy on 1/5/2007 3:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
This question relates to my above post. The people posting here are for the most part pc-enthusiasts. They understand that at present the C2D is superior to K8. That is why you are seeing "don't buy AMD" now.

When AMD was number 1 for 5 years in a row, as you say, the people who "still bought Intel" were those mainstream users whom Intel bought with their far superior marketing prowess. This is why it's been such a hard life for AMD in this desktop space. I don't think they want to be the "little guy" anymore and they realize the have a cash cow with Opteron. The rest is in my previous post.

Look At Server Boards for this setup
By scmikes on 1/4/2007 8:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
I would suggest that you look at server boards for this setup.

on new egg
motherboards->server ->socket 1207

is an asus SLI board with 8 slots.

With dual quad on the way, 4 memory slots will not cut it for a linux compute best.

just my 2 cents.

RE: Look At Server Boards for this setup
By Master Kenobi on 1/4/2007 9:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Well as the mainstream moves into 64-bit computing, the amount of memory slots can increase since before 4GB of RAM was over the capacity of 32-bit to handle. I think the max is 128GB with the 64-bit?

By Uarmm on 1/4/2007 9:50:53 AM , Rating: 2
I believe 128 gigabytes is an artificial limit that apple uses on their macbooks. The actual limit is much higher.

RE: Look At Server Boards for this setup
By Myrandex on 1/4/2007 9:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think server boards are compatible because of different memory module support. The regular Operton socket 1207 uses registered memory, and these use regular unbuffered DDR2, so unless the memory slots are physically the same then I don't think the server board would work correctly.

RE: Look At Server Boards for this setup
By scmikes on 1/4/2007 9:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
ECC is supported but not requried. Take a peek at the supported memory at the Asus site, not all of it is error correcting.

Sever people run ECC, because it "has to be right". It is your call what you run on theses.

By Missing Ghost on 1/4/2007 2:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
He is talking about registered memory, not about ECC memory. On AMD, Opteron socket F requires registered memory, while FX requires unregistered memory. ECC is optional.

8 Core Upgrade Path?
By phaxmohdem on 1/3/2007 8:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would give serious thought to this platform over a C2D if there was some assurance of a K8L 8 Core upgrade path.

RE: 8 Core Upgrade Path?
By retrospooty on 1/3/2007 11:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
I would give serious consideration to just waiting for the K8L and see how well it performs vs Intel's offering at the time. Right now, Intel obviously has the advantage, but that may change.

RE: 8 Core Upgrade Path?
By mino on 1/4/2007 6:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
The fact AMD officialy states that and even considers it a major selling poit is not sufficient ??

Well, the better assurence may come form some insurrance company :).

FYI AMD could not afford to make K8L incompatible with QuadFX and SocketF platforms(it means the same essentially). That would hurt them enormously in the server space. Almost every server customer would be outraged.

However if one does not need a machine now, to wait for AM2+ in Q3 may not be a bad idea.

AFAIK it is allways a good idea to wait...and wait...and...

quade core on the "cheap" by chance?
By Fenixgoon on 1/3/2007 8:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
obviously the highest end (FX 74 was it?) can't compete, but does the lowest end one offer a competitive quad core solution? i dont know the pricing offhand, so i can't compare :(

RE: quade core on the "cheap" by chance?
By Fenixgoon on 1/3/2007 8:48:31 PM , Rating: 3
nevermind i just checked prices.. they are insane :Q

By mino on 1/4/2007 6:26:26 AM , Rating: 1

$1100(700+400) gets you quad-core plus a workstation-class mobo.

Kentsfield would set you back $1300 with a good desktop-class mobo.

By DEredita on 1/4/2007 1:00:31 AM , Rating: 2
Are these processors coming in pairs, or do you need to order two? For example - Newegg has the FX-74 for $550. Is that for a pair of processors? OR do you need to order two of them, then order the $400+ motherboard?

RE: question
By Dactyl on 1/4/2007 3:12:50 AM , Rating: 2
NewEgg is selling single CPUs, not pairs.

RE: question
By mino on 1/4/2007 6:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
At newegg they come as singles.

No, you do not need two of them to work. The mobo will work flawlessly also with a single CPU.

some clarity is needed
By davegraham on 1/3/2007 9:23:05 PM , Rating: 5
According to AMD's distributors (Avnet, D&H, et al.) the FX-7x series parts are not cleared to start selling until 1/22/2007. AMD is charging what they list on their website; obviously, companies like Newegg and ZZF are using their tiered pricing to create profit margins on high-demand, low-availability product.

from my distributor research, the Asus boards look like they will be coming into stock towards the end of January and yes, their pricing is set at what was mentioned intially, $349.00


Stick with affordable dual core solutions for now
By EglsFly on 1/4/2007 6:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
If your a gamer, your best bet is to stick with affordable dual core solutions now as most games still only use one core, while there is a few that will take advantage of two.

Quad core and above is just not worth the price/performance premium for gaming applications.

By Mike101 on 1/4/2007 9:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto. Unless your running VM's or something exotic you wont see any real increases until maybe mid 2007 but then prices should be declining and K8L should beging to show what it can do.

I wonder
By aceadoni on 1/3/2007 8:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
I have always been an AMD underdog fan but this FX core is a joke. Andandtech's review clearly has intel winning on a longshot and for me there is no price justification to buy such a thing that will not outpreform and utilize more power to deliver inferior preformance. Intel took the gloves off and when they are done migrating to 45NM process will continue to be able to play the price war as they would be able to yield more per wafer. Bottom line why make a product that only die hards would spend money on. It is doubtfull that they will sell enough of these things to make a dent in the margin hit they are already taking having to reduce pricing on the cpu's to compete with intel.

RE: I wonder
By Tom Tom on 1/4/2007 12:42:44 AM , Rating: 1
Ihaveallwaysbeenanamdunderdogtoobutiamstillandyoune edtogetajobinadifferentcountryorlearnhowtotellastor yinenglish.

Meh, I'd rather wait for Core 2 Quad
By Domicinator on 1/3/2007 9:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
There is a batch of new quad core Core 2s coming out in Q1 of 07. Among them will be a $500 model. That's the one I'm waiting for. I have always been an AMD guy, but they're drawing at straws in this case. They completely lost all their high end credibility as soon as Core 2 was released.

By Tom Tom on 1/4/2007 12:34:19 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, Meh, I agree. Now, Im going out to hurd sheep.

By PlasmaBomb on 1/4/2007 7:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Just to point out that the ram slots are pretty close to the cpu sockets, so don't be expecting to run a large aftermarket cooler with large dimms like the corsair dominator series or ocz's equivalent.

RE: Ram
By Pitbulll0669 on 1/4/2007 2:55:39 PM , Rating: 1
AGAIN THEY ARE FACKIN NUTS!!!!If they think they are going to get people to buy this without any idea if it will support KL8 they are nuts..and if you buy it you are nuts

more typos
By mikeblas on 1/4/2007 3:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
I think glennprat.. must've meant "and accompanying motherboard" instead of "and accompany motherboard".

E-peen + 20!
By shaw on 1/4/2007 3:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
Definately a toy for the people wishes to increase their e-penis. I have a feeling this is going to be advertised to the ignorant gamers with too much money much like people who purchases the Intel Extreme processors because of the "Extreme" in their name.

So, now all we have to do is wait for games to come out that make use of four cores. Woohoo! Probably not going to happen anytime soon because I would feel that it's not worth the investment to put time and effort into attempting to optimize a game for single core, dual core, and quad core gaming. I forsee lots of slapped together coarse threading in the future.

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