AMD QuadFX FX-70 Platform Performance & Overclocking

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Building A Budget QuadFX System

The AMD QuadFX platform hasn’t made too much noise since it was launched a couple months ago, but the reasons are obvious to all.  It’s expensive to build, consumes energy like a muscle car and there is only one motherboard to pick from for those thinking of building a QuadFX system. When the QuadFX processors came out on November 29, 2006 they were expensive and not a great value for the level of performance they produced. Now over a month later and after rumors of slow sales on QuadFX systems, one would think that prices would go down on the parts, but they have actually gone up!  Looking at an online retailer like Newegg it’s obvious that each pair of QuadFX processors has gone up ~$100 across the board.  

Processor Original Price Current Price Price Increase
AMD Athlon 64 FX-74
$999
$101 (10%)
AMD Athlon 64 FX-72
$799
$101 (13%)
AMD Athlon 64 FX-70
$599
$101 (17%)

When we posted our original article we were told by AMD that the QuadFX series of processors would be paired together and that it wouldn’t be possible to buy them individually.  What really happened is the opposite of this.  Retailers are selling them individually as they never shipped together in a single box.  When pricing these Socket F processors remember to multiply the price by two! Regardless of the price increase, we got our hands on a pair of FX-70 processors to see how they would perform.  Legit Reviews has already done an in depth article on the FX-74 processors the day they came out so be sure to read that review before going any further if you haven’t already.

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The pair of FX-70 processors look no different than the FX-74 processors and to be honest there is no difference at all between the parts other than what tests they passed before they were labeled.  The FX-74 was able to run at a higher frequency at a lower voltage and was binned the flagship processor at the factory.  The processors that didn’t make the cut were again tested at lower speeds and if the passed that is what they get named.  Since all AMD FX series processors are factory unlocked with a little luck, or more voltage, we should be able to get our FX-70 processors running at FX-74 clock speeds in a matter of seconds, but before we talk about that another minor QuadFX update that needs to be brought to light.

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Since our original article published  a new BIOS has come out that will enable the Asus L1N64-SLI WS motherboard to support 4-pin CPU heatsinks like the Ajigo MF091-097 that AMD just recently sent out. These Ajigos heatsinks replace the pre-production heatsinks that came with our “4×4” system in its original configuration. The new Ajigo heat sink (pictured on the right) is a bit smaller than the original ones that we were sent and feature a 4-pin fan versus the 3-pin fan design. After we updated the BIOS and install the new heatsinks, the machine runs much quieter as the fans now properly modulate their speed based on thermal feedback from the CPU to the motherboard. The result is a system with an acceptable noise level for what we consider a workstation-class machine. No significant difference in temperature was noted between the two sets of heatsinks.

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