Nathan Kirsch’s General Thoughts and Conclusions:
The AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 comes out today with a price tag of $1,031 for the processor in a box (P.I.B.). This means that the FX-60 is reserved for those die hard enthusiasts and those that can afford one. During our testing and use of the AMD FX-60 we found it extremely responsive on the desktop and current game titles with ease. During our benchmarking we put it up against the last three Intel Extreme Edition processors and found that none could really compete in todays testing. The Intel 955 did improve performance over the previous generation Intel 840 processor, but it wasn’t enough to beat out the AMD FX-60 in the vast majority of our benchmarks.
After coming back from CES and seeing the Dell XPS 600 Renegade it makes me wonder why Dell went with an Intel 955 processor as our testing showed that the AMD FX-60 would have been the better choice for the market that computer was aimed at. It’s a shame that Dell showed off their first Quad-SLI based Intel system only a week before AMD launched their FX-60 processor. Imagine what that Dell system would be like running the FX-60 overclocked above 3GHz with Quad-SLI graphics. Marketing gimmick or not if I was going to spend that kind of money I’d want the best CPU on the market and in Q1 2006 that would be the AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor.
Looking back at the performance numbers I am left looking for the ‘turbo’ button on our Intel test systems. The extreme edition processors are starting to look a little less extreme these days even though Intel keeps making them better. With no turbo button in sight Intel fans are going to have to either wait for Conroe or jump on board the X2 ship with AMD. In closing keep in mind that AMD’s socket AM2 is coming out later this year along with new motherboards that support DDR2 memory. It looks like the battle for market share in the second half of the year is going to be a big one. Intel says that Conroe is the real deal, while AMD is talking up their socket AM2 boards.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor is no joke! For the first time AMD bridges the dual-core/gamer divide with a processor that will satisfy even the pickiest consumers.