AMD 4x4 Gains Traction Against Kentsfield

AMD has been talking to Legit Reviews about the 4x4 platform since they briefed us about 4x4 at E3 2006, which was way back in May of this year. It's been a long time coming and to be honest we had our doubts that AMD would get it out the door this year, but when a pair of pinless processors labeled FX-74 processors arrived at the door our doubts were silenced in a jiffy.

AMD's answer to Intel's quad-core processors wasn't really a new processor architecture, rather it was taking two processors and slapping them on a multi-cpu motherboard and powering ahead at ramming speed to catch up to Intel's quad-core monster. While enthusiasts and followers of Legit Reviews have come to know this platform was called "4x4" it has now been renamed QuadFX now that the marketing team has taken control of the platform. QuadFX is AMD's new flagship enthusiast platform and while it doesn't contain a true quad-core processor it does have a pair of dual-core processors that is ready to take on a single Intel quad-core processor without thinking twice and that is exactly what we planned on doing with them.

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For this article we stuck the Intel QX6700 on a quad and ran it head on against the pair of AMD FX-74 processors, but before we go straight to the numbers and our thoughts on the system let's take a look at the new FX-70 series of processors from AMD and see what they are all about.

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Looking at the specifications they seem similar to AM2-based FX processors that we have reviewed in the past and you are right in thinking so.  For the most part other than a packaging change and some new HyperTransport links the FX-70 series of processors are nothing more than an update of their current processor design. The FX-74 also enjoys a 200MHz speed increase, so a 3GHz processor from AMD is now something that can be had without overclocking!  Let's take a closer look at a FX-74 and the new pinless design.

Up Close Look - FX-74

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Now that AMD has moved the FX series of processors over to a new package it means that you can't mix and match them with other processors that are currently on the market.  It's physically impossible to put an FX-74 in an AM2 platform because it just wont fit!

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Flipping the processors over you can really see the differences.  The FX-62 on the left has 940 pins and the FX-74 on the right has no pins, but has 1,207 locations connection points on the bottom of the processor - hence the 1207 LGA name.

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AMD has put two of these FX-70 series processors on a motherboard with a pair of NVIDIA 680a chipsets and has managed to create a motherboard that puts nearly all others to shame.  The two dual-core FX-70 series processors are connected to each other by a single coherent HyperTransport bus and each processor has it's own independant set of memory banks. The DDR2 memory controller has been modified to run dual-channel non-ECC memory modules, so while two dual-channel memory kits are required ECC memory will not be. 

The processors connect to the each NVIDIA nForce 680a with a HyperTransport link, so a total of two HyperTransport links are present from the first processor to the chipsets. Since the platform uses two chipsets four x16 PCIe slots are present, which allows for four graphics cards to be run.  In the future Quad-SLI and other powerful graphics solutions will be able to be run on this platform. This platform is also ready for Greyhound/Barcolana, which means this QuadFX platform is ready to scale up to an 8-core platform in 2007 when the next generation processors arrive.  Since the platform is ready for the 45nm quad-core processors it's an added bonus for those that purchase one of these systems.

It should be pointed out that since QuadFX has two independent processors that the system has two memory controllers and therefore has a non-unified memory architecture (NUMA).  Since Windows XP doesn't support NUMA the memory performance scores in our benchmarking section will be lower than what will be seen on Windows Vista as NUMA is supported. AMD recommends enabling Node Interleave for Windows XP and disabling this feature for Windows Vista on its QuadFX platform.

To sum up the platform features support for 12x SATA drives, 8x USB 2.0 devices, two firewire ports, HD audio, 56 PCIe lanes and two gigabit ethernet connections.  The system is a monster and for those that can afford the system and 12 SATA drives it can be configured with three seperate RAID 5 arrays, which would lead to some serious storage and performance combinations for those who know what they are doing.

The Test System

AMD sent out full test systems to reviewers and when we got ours we took out the stuff we didn't want to use and installed the hardware that we wanted with our own clean installations of Windows XP Professional.  The GeForce 7900GTX's that came with the system were removed and the faster GeForce 8800GTX's were used in their place.  We kept the two 2GB kits of Corsair PC2-8500 DOMINATOR memory and the 1KW PC Power and Cooling power supply as you can't get much better than that!  We also upgraded the BIOS from revision 14 to revision 20 the day prior ro benchmarking, so our test system was updated the best that could be when we fired it up.

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Testing Procedure:

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows XP Professional build 2600 with Service Pack 2 and DirectX 9.0c. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. All of the modules were run in dual channel mode! The memory on the Intel and AMD test platforms with DDR2 memory was run with Corsair PC2-6400C3 memory running 4GB at 3-4-3-9 2T timings at 800MHz. except for the Intel quad-core system as it was run at 3-3-3-9 thanks to improved memory performance on Bad Axe 2. The memory on the AMD DDR1 motherboard was running 2GB at 400MHz with 2-3-2-6 timings.  The memory timings on the Quad FX system were set to 4-4-4-12.

Here is the AMD Scoket 939 Test platform:

AMD Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 FX-60/4800+

Motherboard

ASUS AN832-SLI Deluexe

Memory

Corsair PC-3200

Video Card

ATI X1900XTX

Hard Drive

Western Digital 250MB

Cooling

Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

Thermaltake 750W

Operating System

Windows XP Professional

Here is the AMD Scoket AM2 Test platform:

AMD Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 FX-62/5000+

Motherboard

ASUS AN832-SLI Deluexe

Memory

Corsair PC2-6400C3

Video Card

GeForce 8800 GTX SLI

Hard Drive

2x Western Digital 500MB

Cooling

Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

PC Power & Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows XP Professional

Here is the Intel Test Platform:

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

All LGA775 Processors

Motherboard

Intel D975XBX rev304

Memory

Corsair PC2-6400C3

Video Card

GeForce 8800 GTX SLI

Hard Drive

2x Western Digital 500MB

Cooling

Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

PC Power & Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows XP Professional

Here is the Intel Quad-Core Test Platform:

Intel Quad-Core Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

All LGA775 Processors

Motherboard

eVGA 680i SLI

Memory

Corsair PC2-8888 Dominator

Video Card

GeForce 8800 GTX SLI

Hard Drive

2x Western Digital 500MB

Cooling

Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

PC Power & Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows XP Professional

Let's move on and take a look at the testing!

Sisoft; Sandra 2007

Sisoft; Sandra 2007:

SiSoftware, founded in 1995, is one of the leading providers of computer analysis, diagnostic and benchmarking software. The flagship product, known as "SANDRA", was launched in 1997 and has become one of the most widely used products in its field. SANDRA is used by almost 400 world-wide IT publications, magazines, review sites to analyze the performance of today?s computers.

Multi-Core Support: As well as SMP (multi-processor) and SMT (multi-threading/Hyper-Threading) support we have added multi-core support for future AMD and Intel CPUs. The benchmarks have been optimized to schedule the optimum number of threads on the optimum (virtual) CPU on both multi-core and Hyper-Threaded computers.

Sisoft Sandra 2007

Talk about your sick scores!  Those QX6700 scores are just incredible, but guess what the Quad FX system with the FX-74 systems nearly catches up!  The Quad FX platform more than doubles the performance of the FX-62 test system that was also used in the performance chart.

Sisoft Sandra 2007

Our Memory bandwidth results should be no surprise.  Due to the NUMA issue noted on page two the memory results for the Quad FX platform are low, but we expected that.

Sisoft Sandra 2007

In Sandra's Multimedia test, we see another huge gulf in the results between the new Core 2 Duo chips and the rest of the pack.  The Quad FX platform is by far a step in the right direction and more than doubles the FX-62 platform that used to be the flagship system for AMD.

POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 13a

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 13a:

The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is an high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file, and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.

The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which in a nutshell allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 as all of the processors we are testing today are dual-core.

Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the score from dialog box, which indicates the average PPS for the benchmark. A higher PPS indicates faster system performance.

Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 13

The pixel rate counter (PPS) in POV-Ray is based off of the number of pixels rendered in the current frame divided by the total amount of time spent on the whole animation. This gives the effect of dividing the true pixels per second by the current frame number. With POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 13a we are able to look at a recent SMP benchmark to judge the differences between AMD and Intel dual-core processors. The benchmark shows that the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor X6800 is over three times faster than the previous generation Intel Extreme Edition processor. The old Pressler core is no match for Conroe in this benchmark! In a benchmark that AMD used to own it is now getting beat. The quad-core processor that we are looking at today comes in right next to the equally clocked E6700.

Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 13

Looking at the overall render score the winner is clear by a long shot.  The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX6700 blows the other processors away and more than doubles the performance levels seen on the AMD FX-62 processor, but once again take note that the Quad FX system more than doubled in performance.

POV-Ray Real-Time Raytracing

Legit Reviews was e-mailed by one of the developers over at POV-Ray to see if LR could include real-time raytracing in our performance analysis of Kentsfield and Quad FX.  After spending a bit of time to get the beta software to work correctly LR has some of the only real-time raytracing numbers available for Conroe, Kentsfield and Quad FX platforms. 

E-Mail From POV-Ray -- I thought I might ping you about an experimental feature we've added to the POV-Ray SMP beta: real-time raytracing. It's mostly useful to folks who have multi-core systems and in fact is something that I've wanted to do for years but the hardware just wasn't there (at least not in the consumer price range). It works best on a kentsfield or later, but a core 2 duo should be sufficient if you don't mind sub-10fps frame rates.

If you want to try it out it please feel free to grab it from:  http://www.povray.org/beta/rtr/

POV-Ray real-time raytracing Results

This experimental software by POV-Ray was a welcomed addition to our testing and was able to spread the work load across the four processors as seen above. The number that is used to gauge performance is shown in the status bar at the bottom of the main window as seen in the above image of with Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 taking care of the rendering.

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The Intel QX6700 processor used to own all other desktop processors when it used to come to real-time ray tracing, but it seems the Quad FX platform with FX-74 processors is only 4.9% slower as it comes in 0.61 frames per second behind.  

ScienceMark 2.0

ScienceMark 2.0 Beta:

Science Mark 2.0 is an attempt to put the truth behind benchmarking. In an attempt to model real world demands and performance, ScienceMark 2.0 is a suite of high-performance benchmarks that realistically stress system performance without architectural bias. For the Memory Testing, higher numbers represent better performance. On the remaining tests, lower seconds represent better performance.

Primordia "calculates the Quantum Mechanical Hartree-Fock Orbitals for each electron in any element of the periodic table." We ran the benchmark on default using Argon as our element.

As you can see, our Sciencemark results show that processor frequency is all that matters in Sciencemark and the E6700 and QX6700 both score nearly the same as both are 2.66GHz processors. Cipher and the Molecular Dynamics are led by the X6800 Core 2 Duo, followed by our AMD chips, the FX-74, FX-62 and the 5000+.

CineBench 9.5

MAXON; CINEBENCH 9.5:

CINEBENCH is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS based on the powerful 3D software CINEMA 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using CINEBENCH 9.5 carry significant weight when analyzing a computer?s performance in everyday use. Especially a system?s CPU and the OpenGL capabilities of its graphics card are put through their paces (even multiprocessor systems with up to 16 dedicated CPUs or processor cores). During the testing procedure, all relevant data is ascertained with which the performance of different computers can subsequently be compared, regardless of operating system. Again, higher Frames/Second and lower rendering time in seconds equal better performance.

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Our Cinebench results show again how the X6800 just reigns supreme over anything green (meaning AMD), completing our benchmarks at a 39% faster pace in the single CPU benchmark thanks to it's high clock frequency. When SMP is enabled and all the cores are used the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX6700 shows its stuff and completes the benchmark in just 15 seconds with the Quad FX platform coming in one second behind.  The QX6700 processor used to finish 20.6 seconds before the leading desktop processor from AMD, but AMD has reduced that gap to just one second on the SMP benchmark.

WinRar v3.61

RARLAB - WinRar v3.61 has a multithreaded version of the RAR compression algorithm, which improves the compression speed on computers with several CPU, dual core CPU and processors with hyperthreading technology. Multithreading is enabled by default, but you can disable it in "General" part of "Settings" dialog.

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When we ran WinRAR on the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX6700 we noticed that it used roughly 80-84% of the 2.66GHz quad-core processor, so it makes for a decent SMP benchmark. Before we take a look at the multithreaded testing results let's take a look at the single threaded performance chart.

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When running WinRAR v3.61 on a number of processors it was noted that Core 2 processors took the lead once again. The AMD Quad FX system gets killed in the single CPU test as the memory issue with NUMA has an impact on the benchmarking numbers.

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When SMP was enabled the performance greatly improved on all of the processors.  The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor easily took the lead thanks to the fact that it had four cores and passed up the X6800 that had the highest score in the single core test.

3dmark2006

Quake 4 Benchmark

3DMark 2006

3DMark06 includes an array of 3D graphics, CPU and 3D feature tests for overall performance measurement of current and future PC gaming systems. With this broader design approach, 3DMark06 has become the benchmark of choice for all PCs with top-of-the-line graphics hardware and CPUs. 3DMark06 is the first product from Futuremark using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library in two very complex, game-like threaded CPU tests conceived to measure properly performances of single processor, multi-core and multiple processor systems in next generation of games. In addition to using real-time physics, both CPU tests also employ multi-threaded artificial intelligence algorithms. By combining the results of the two CPU tests and four graphics tests, 3DMark06 enables users to get a 3DMark score which reflects the overall gaming performance of their PC.

3DMark 2006

With both processors at stock speeds we were happy to see both processors and platforms hitting over 13,000 for the overall 3D mark score. These GeForce 8800GTX's can take every CPU MHz you can give them.

3DMark 2006

In the CPU test the Intel QX6700 was able to best the Quad FX platform by nearly 600 points. 

Comanche 4 and Quake 4

NovaLogic; Comanche 4:

The Comanche 4 benchmark demo is a unique benchmark as it represents a real-world gaming experience. It contains the single player Eagle's Talon mission from the game as well as a detailed cinematic. This DirectX 8.1 benchmark demo measures your system's performance in the standard frames per second format. This game is very old, but even today it's one of the best gaming benchmark to show raw CPU performance.

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As we look at our gaming results, we need to remember that all of the cpus that we tested have more than enough power to run any of todays games at very playable and eye-pleasing settings. But as well look at them, it is hard not to see the facts that are before us: Core 2 Duo is to the gamer in 2006 what the A64 was to the gamer at its release.  There was a WOW! factor that many said could never be duplicated, but we are here to say that it has not only been duplicated, but surpassed with the Core 2 Duo. 

Here in the Comanche 4 test we see that the AMD Quad FX system trails by a 16 frames per second.

ID Software; Quake 4 v1.2

ID Software?s QUAKE 4, developed by Raven Software, takes players into an epic invasion on a barbaric alien planet in one of the most anticipated first person shooters for 2005. Even today in 2006 Quake 4 is played by professional gamers around the world in the fames World Series of Video Games (WSVG) and still one of the most played first person shooters on the market today.

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As we change resolutions in Quake 4, we really do not see much difference in the fps, but it is clear that the Intel QX6700 doesn't fare as well at the equally clocked Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor.  Since games often love memory bandwidth it's possible the lower memory bandwidth that we observed with Sandra 2007 is now playing a direct role in the performance numbers we observed here.  

F.E.A.R.

Sierra; F.E.A.R w/ v1.0.8 patch:

F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault and Recon) is a first-person close-quarters combat game for the PC. The story begins when a paramilitary force infiltrates a multi-billion dollar aerospace compound, and the government responds by sending in Special Forces. The group loses contact with the government when an eerie signal interrupts radio communications--and when that interference subsides moments later, the team has been destroyed. That's where you come in. As part of a classified strike team created to deal with threats no one else can handle, your mission is simple: eliminate the intruders at any cost, determine the origin of the signal, and contain the potential crisis before it gets out of control.

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Unlike  our Quake 4 results, our F.E.A.R. results show us that our scores are affected by the changes in resolution.  By while each cpu's scores are affected, the outcomes of how each cpu did against the others remained the same as the X6800 took top honors, followed by the E6700/QX6700, the FX-62, 5000+, and bringing up the rear is the 965EE.  This was the scenario at each resolution. 

Sony Vegas & Valve Particle Systems Benchmark

Sony Vegas 7.0b

The Vegas+DVD Production Suite combines Vegas 7, DVD Architect 4, and Dolby Digital AC-3 encoding software to offer an integrated environment for all phases of professional video, audio, DVD, and broadcast production. This suite lets you edit and process DV, HDV, SD/HD-SDI, and all XDCAM formats in real time, fine-tune audio with precision, and author surround sound, dual-layer DVDs.

Sony Vegas

Running our custom Sony Vegas 7.0b benchmark showed that AMD's Quad FX FX-74 system came in roughly 36 seconds behind Intel's QX6700 processor.

Valve Particle Performance Metric 

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Valve Particle Systems Benchmark

Running the particle simulation benchmark provided to Legit Reviews during Valve's editor's day we are able to use Valve's custom SMP benchmark to measure processor performance.  The results once again showed that the Intel QX6700 hands down beat out the AMD Quad FX test system.

Mega-Tasking Benchmarking

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For this benchmark we ran all the above applications and measured the time it took Sony Vegas 7 to complete. All four cores on the Quad FX system were at 100% load during this testing.

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On our custom mega-tasking benchmark we found that the Intel quad-core processor was faster with and without a full load. The Quad FX system didn't do badly, but under load it was half a minute slower.  When it comes to a benchmark that takes five minutes to complete 30+ seconds is significant.

Power Consumption

Editorial Note: Both the Intel quad-core and AMD QuadFX platforms consume more than 5 Amps of power during gaming when used with GeForce 8800GTX graphics cards in SLI. The AMD QuadFX test system shown above with FX-74 processors was actually hitting more than 6 Amps on 3DMark06 when we ran it at default test settings. With both the Intel QX6700 test system and AMD QuadFX FX-74 test systems running on the test bench at the same time I managed to trip my 15 Amp service to the room. Granted most homes in America use 14-2 Romex wiring with a 15 Amp breaker I figured that this might cause an issue where a many enthusiasts use more than one device in a room. If possible I highly suggest that when remodeling or building new to use 12-2 wire and a 20 Amp circuit breaker to power your multimedia room.

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Since power consumption is a big deal these days we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds.  Both systems ran with the same memory, power supplies, case fan, video card and hard drive model.  To measure idle usage we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For our 'load' readings we ran the system under partial load by running a custom video game demo on all of the processors. This simulates real world use as the majority of our readers play video games.

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When it came to idle power consumption the AMD Quad FX system consumed more power than the QX6700 system that was identical down to the same optical drive and fans. The Quad FX system used 124W more at Idle than our Intel QX6700 processor running on it's test platform.

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Under load the Intel X6700 uses 140W less power, but still used a ton considering most people don't have a power supply that large in their current system.  The only power supply that has passed AMD's testing for Quad-FX is the 1000W PC Power & Cooling PSU, but as the chart above shows a 750W power supply should be plenty for a single graphics card, but for SLI we would suggest using at least an 850W power supply to be on the safe side.

**TIP** If you are interested in saving even more money every month try switching to an Active PFC power supply!

Overclocking The AMD FX-74 CPU

When it came to overclocking it proved to be interesting on the new Quad FX platform.  We were unable to increase the bus speed, but we were able to increase the multiplier from 15 to 16, which resulted in a 200MHz overclock on our test system.  It was stable with NO VOLTAGE INCREASES on anything!  We tried to run a multiplier of 17, but the system wouldn't post.  Maybe with better cooling and a better BIOS revision we will be able to hit higher.

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In terms of performance we ran POV-Ray and tried out some Real-Time Raytracing as the application supports four cores and the results were amazing.  The stock Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and pair of AMD FX-74 processors scored just over 12 frames per second, which was impressive, but something that overclocking could improve.  By overclocking the Intel quad-core processor by more than 1GHz the rendering was averaging 17 frames per second, which is a 38% performance increase over the processor settings right out of the box.

Overclocked QX6700 Results

To do this overclock justice we graphed the above results and showed that the AMD Quad FX platform can hang with an Intel QX6700 quad-core processor when overclocked.  The Intel QX6700 is a monster when overclocked and the Quad FX system running at 3.21GHz couldn't come close to the results we are getting on The Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX6700.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

AMD has taken a step forward when it comes to desktop performance, but one has to wonder what took Quad FX so long to come to market.  It's been on the table and openly talked about since May of 2006, and why it's coming out the last week of November is beyond us.  If you look through the smoke and mirrors of the marketing slides it's obvious that no new technology is on the table.  The NVIDIA 680a chipset is really not much more than a couple nForce 5XX series chipsets paired together on a single board.  The processors are a little different due to the new package, but that shouldn't take six months to bring to market.  The end result is basically two FX-62 processors with a speed bump. Our test results showed this when we benchmarked the FX-74 against the FX-62 and the scores were basically doubled across the board.

By doubling the scores across the board AMD was able to catch up to Intel's latest quad-core processors in a number of benchmarks, but it's clear from our use of both system that Intel still has the lead when it comes to 'quad' platforms.  When it comes to pricing AMD has really slashed prices on their FX-70 series processor pricing.  Let's just say the prices you see below are hundreds less that what they were originally going to be released at and that's a good thing for consumers.

AMD Quad FX Pricing 

Since all the FX-70 series processors are unlocked it would seem that the best value would be with the FX-70 pair of processors.  The processors would run $599 the ASUS 680a motherboard would run $349 and a couple 1GB kits of memory would set you back the same as what a single Intel QX6700 would cost and the platform would support upcoming K8L 'Greyhound' processors from AMD. What it all comes down to is really taste and what you like.  The Quad FX platform will support awesome features like Quad SLI, 12 SATA hard drives and 8 USB devices, which is something no Intel desktop board can match.  Right now only ASUS will offer a board supporting Quad FX, so don't think you'll be able to shop around for different 680a boards.

Something that can't be overlooked is the power consumption on the Quad FX systems.  These systems run hot!  Our GeForce 8800GTX graphics cards would idle at 70C in the case and while we would like to report processor temperatures it seems that isn't possible right now.  NVIDIA says their nTune software won't work because ASUS doesn't have the BIOS correctly setup, so we can't tell you what these CPU's are running as neither ASUS nor NVIDIA has a utility that works. With three fans on the motherboard and two more on the CPU's and GPU's the system is tad loud even with Cool & Quiet enabled in the BIOS.  If there was a way to hook up the Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooler it would have been done, but since the new socket has different heat sink mounting brackets it's not possible. 

The launch of the FX-70 series of processors could mean the end of the FX-60 series, but AMD isn't sure on what is going to happen. AMD does stand firmly behind multi-CPU systems and believes that they are the way of the future and where the market is headed.  With Microsoft Windows Vista coming out and supporting NUMA technology the Quad FX platform should see better performance numbers than what we have shown on Windows XP Professional, but benchmarking on Vista RC2 is a waste of time as what our readers will experience on the production version would be different.

Legit Bottom Line: Quad FX has arrived and closes the performance gap between AMD and Intel, but ultimately it's nothing more than a stop gap till AMD K8L processors can arrive.