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Anand Reviews Athlon 64 FX-53 305

trickofperspective writes "Anandtech has a review of AMD's latest processor, the Athlon 64 FX-53. Long story short -- the FX-53 is a "very solid processor," but you'd be better off waiting a couple months for Socket 939."
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Anand Reviews Athlon 64 FX-53

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  • Addendum (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:34PM (#8601252)
    Tom []'s review is here [].
  • by lofoforabr ( 751004 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:36PM (#8601269) Homepage
    I am yet to see a very liquid (or even a gasous) processor. Wouldn't it be cool? Hey, if it would be cool, it would solve the thermal problem inherent to solid processors. Why not make them?
  • by BJZQ8 ( 644168 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:38PM (#8601288) Homepage Journal
    I had a conversation with a neophyte that was looking to "build their own computer" yesterday...He was obsessed with the idea that megahertz=performance...I tried to tell him that an FX-51, 52, or 53 would be a much better performer, all around, than any Pentium 4, "Extreme Gaming Edition" (as he put it) or not...but in the end, he was swayed by things like "Hyperthreading" and "Netburst"...AMD is having a hard time fighting against Megahurtz Madness and Buzzword Bufoonery.
    • by snarkh ( 118018 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:42PM (#8601343)
      But surely AMD's HyperTransport technology with 3DNow! is a worthy contender.
    • by 74nova ( 737399 ) <<jonnbell> <at> <>> on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:47PM (#8601411) Homepage Journal
      some people are also scared of amd being cheap. my brother was convinced that there were some things his amd 600 wasnt compatible with just because it was an amd. i tried to convice him otherwise and, well, he now owns a 3.whatever dell with hyperthreading.

      slightly OT, but 'Buzzword Bufoonery' is, in itself, a fantastic sort of anti-buzzword buzzword that i shall use from now on. a fictitious cookie for you if you invented that.
      • some people are also scared of amd being cheap.

        A lot of people avoid AMD because of the heat, too. I will probably not buy another AMD after the XP2100 I got last year. With a lian-li case, arctic silver compound, an SLK800 heatsink and 7 80mm fans it still runs at 58C. Overclock it just a teenie bit and it will jump to 70C within minutes under load.

        It's very loud, not all that fast and consumes more power than most datacenter servers. I saved a whopping hundred bucks by not buying a 2.4Ghz P4 at the tim
        • >With a lian-li case, arctic silver compound, an SLK800 heatsink and 7 80mm fans it still runs at 58C.

          Wow! After reading that I will never buy arctic silver compound, an SLK800 heatsink, or a lian-li case ever again. Using the stock fan and a $25 case (no fans), and the world's most garbage PSU known to man my Athlon 2000 runs at about 45 degrees C. :-)
        • My guess is something is wrong somewhere.

          I'm running an AMD XP 2500+ at stock speeds and voltages with the OEM heatsink and some cheap, white thermal compound and my system sits as 119F (48C) and under heavy load (say many hours of hectic UT2K4) it gets as high as 130F (54C). That's the reading I get on the front of my case from a thermal probe touching the side of the raised center part of the top of the chip.

          It's also very quiet, even with three case fans in it.
        • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Thursday March 18, 2004 @04:28PM (#8602641) Homepage Journal
          arctic silver compound

          Just for the record, you do know that it's a very good insulator, and that if you have more than just a bare film of the stuff then you've basically wrapped your CPU in a sweater, right?

          Perhaps you do, but it seems like Arctic Silver is the computing equivalent of low-profile tires: if a little bit is good, a whole lot must be better! It's almost the computing equivalent of a whaletail on a Sentra, although some people do actually use it correctly and see some benefit.

    • by vwjeff ( 709903 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:52PM (#8601476)
      Intel is changing their naming scheme soon. You can find the article at:

      Intel was forced into this due to the many variations of a chip with the same clock speed. It's also a good way for them to explain why their Pentium-m is faster than the Pentium 4-m.
    • I've often thought that processors should take the clock and divide it by 16 as the first step, just so the Mhrzt can be 16 times higher.

      Later they could remove the divide by 16 and claim to have an internal "clock multiplier" and charge extra for the part.

      -- this is not a .sig
  • The AMD website says the chip has virus protection against MSBlaster, Slammer, etc. Does anyone besides me think this is a bad idea? Not that virus protection is bad per se, but that all these "protections" built into the chip are harbingers of even more "protections" to come. I'll let your imaginations fill in the rest.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I prefer my processors to be very very solid.
  • Pardon me... (Score:2, Informative)

    ...but why aren't the graphs loading? I can see that they're Flash, but when I right-click on them, it says "Movie not loaded" and "About Flash Player"

    If you do manage to see the "movies" ... would anyone mind converting them to GIF or PNG?
    • Re:Pardon me... (Score:3, Informative)

      by CoreDump01 ( 558675 ) *
      That's why i love flashblock for Mozilla / Fire*

      It lets you select exactly which flash banner / whatever on a site is displayed.
      This is a must-have IMO
  • Waiting (Score:5, Funny)

    by unassimilatible ( 225662 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:48PM (#8601435) Journal
    you'd be better off waiting a couple months for Socket 939."

    So if I wait long enough, better, faster stuff will come out?

    • Re:Waiting (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:08PM (#8601678)
      There are times to wait for the next best thing...

      AMD's 754 and 940 will be replaced by 939s (I think). If you don't think you will ever want to upgrade this CPU, it doesn't matter what you choose. I think the 939s are dual channel though (754 is single).

      BUT... as for current AMD motherboards, PCI Express isn't around and is a _MUST_ at this point. PCI Express will be taking over from this point forward. This means future video cards _may not_ be available for AGP setups. I bet the higher end cards won't be at all.

      I haven't upgraded a CPU in any computer I have, but I have upgraded vid cards. I am sure AMD boards will have PCI Express soon. If you are thinking of buying, let this be your reason to hold off.
    • Todays better, faster stuff will be cheaper
    • Yeah, and what's really unusual is that the current stuff will be cheaper if you wait.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:50PM (#8601455)
    i think michaels computers had this processor in his systems for months now, this is old news ...
    • /desktop1.gif

      Nope, it's the "AMD FX-51 3400+". Actually, if AMD used PRs on the FX-51, it would probably be 3400+, seeing as the only difference between the FX-51 and the A64 3400+ is that the FX supports dual-channel, but requires ECC. Performance isn't that much different, even...

      Still, it's obvious that Michael's Computers is BSing...
  • Other Reviews (Score:4, Informative)

    by breakinbearx ( 672220 ) <breakinbearx@hCO ... .com minus punct> on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:01PM (#8601595)
    As covered by arstechnica, there are also reviews at [H]ardOCP [], Hexus [], [], Sudhian [], and The Tech Report []. AMD's official announcement is here [].
  • Flash for Graphs?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:05PM (#8601646) Homepage Journal
    Who the hell uses proprietary Flash(tm) technology to display simple friggin' graphs! What the heck is the purpose of that? PNG, JPEG or GIF isn't good enough?!? Someone needs to hit these guys with a cluestick.

    That's just lame.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:16PM (#8601771)
      This has been discussed a thousand times. Here goes one more...

      Anandtech gets revenue from advertisements. These advertisements are in flash. If you don't have flash enabled, then Anandtech does not get paid for that advertisement. Therefore Anandtech makes sure the information of value is also in flash, to ensure that they are compensated for your viewing of their material.

      So please, when you find that cluestick - make sure to give yourself a good whack with it.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:25PM (#8601892)
        Hooray for Flash Click to View []!
        • I've been using click to view since I first heard about it a few months or so ago. It's just awesome-- there's no more useful extension out there for casual web browsing. You have no excuse not to run it.
      • The trouble is, this requires that Flash be available for you platform. Many architectures, operating systems, and browsers are not supported by Flash at all. Until a decent, reliable, open-source (i.e. easily recompileable) flash player is available, I will continue to avoid flash-using sites like the plague.

        Regarding ad revenue: why can't they just display GIF or JPEG ads? GIF ads can even be animated. What features do the advertisers need that can't be provided by a platform-independent GIF animatio
      • >Therefore Anandtech makes sure the information of
        >value is also in flash, to ensure that they are
        >compensated for your viewing of their material.
        >So please, when you find that cluestick - make sure
        >to give yourself a good whack with it.

        That justification can be (and often is) used for making everything suck.

        Pay cable channels with more ads than show (not even counting content-embedded ads), DVDs with non-skippable "previews", DRM, Trusted computing, Windows in general, poorly documented pr
    • What the heck is the purpose of that?

      The purpose of that is to make you enable Flash when viewing thier page. That their ads are also Flash based is purely a coincidence...

  • by fullofangst ( 724732 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:06PM (#8601658)
    I don't get it. Why bother saying "you'd be best off waiting" for the next chip ? The Athlon FX-53 is a flagship chip. It's the currently fastest chip they do. If you want the highest performance, you would obviously buy it now. If you wait a couple of months then you don't want the highest performance. This is what this chip is for, here and now - the fastest available performance. Yes there will be a faster one in a few months but that just continues ad infinitum. If you lived by the rule of waiting for something faster to come out, you'd die of old age before you actually purchased the damn thing.
    • by Phosphor3k ( 542747 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:14PM (#8601739)
      What he is saying, is that the current socket form factor will be discontinued in a few months. If you want to ensure any sort of future compatibility as far as upgrades are concerned, bite your lip and wait a few months for the new socket.
    • Because the FX-5x line of chips is using a socket type that is doomed in few months. So after you want the fastest ship after few months you end up buying a new motherboard as well. The new socket on the other hand is going to be in use for some time.

      Sure, if you've got money buy whole machine every time you want to update the processor (or if you already have a board that's compatible with FX) go for it.

      The cycle does continue to ad infinitum, but this is more of a case of deciding at which point to ente
    • This platform is not upgradable. If you can justify the insane premium of buying THE fastest processor, you can probably justify buying another one real soon (otherwise you'd be better off buying something somewhat below the top and keep it longer). And to do this, you need an upgradable platform.

      For me, it doesn't really matter. I've found that by the time I want to change CPU, I want to change the mobo, memory and all that anyway. Upgradability only matters if you need to upgrade your CPU much faster tha
    • There is one very good reason to wait for 939. It supports unbuffered DDR Ram. RAM that most people are using with their Pentium 4 Dual DDR chipsets. Socket 940 is usable only with Registered ECC DIMMS which are more expensive and a bit harder to get a hold of.

      So I assume that many people, like myslef, will take those 2 sticks of DDR 3200 RAM they invested in for their P4/875 setups, and use them in their Socket 939 motherboards.
  • Why can't AMD stick to the traditional K6, K7 and keep on adding up. All this Fx and Opteron and 8 million other names are confusing as hell.

    Whatever happen to marketing making your purhase decisions easier. It's doing to exact opposite nowadays. Intel ain't doing a whole lot better.
    • Hmmm, what CPU I want? 3Dnow!? SSE? 3000+ or 3000MHz? FX? AMD64? Opteron? HyperTransport? Oh I don't know, just give me that one *points to box on the shelf*.

      Two theories here:
      1) Baffle them with bullshit. Average punters get confused and just buy whatever the salesperson sells them.
      2) Make stuff sound impressive and technological, so uninformed wannabe geeks can buy whatever AMD is making currently, and feel 7331 about it.
  • Duel Opterons (Score:5, Informative)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:10PM (#8601703) Homepage Journal
    Been wanting to go back to a true Dual system, (my last was a Dual P3-800, My Dual P2-400 is my Linux box) Keeping an eye out on prices for a new modern Dual system compared to a fast AMD FX.

    You can pick up a Dual AMD-2800 for about 500 bux for a barebones cpu's+mb+case (also uses PC2100 ram). Opterons for dual systems are ridiculously priced, 248's are about 900 bux each, and motherboard for 300, so about 2500 dollars for a basic barebones system. Dual Xeon 3.2's with 1meg cache are about the same price, but xeon motherboards are less "workstation" friendly, and more expensive. ( PCI-64 slots, etc)

    Also with PCI-X gfx cards about to be released, a bunch of new motherboards will come out. And It looks like Socket 940 is going to be phased out later this year for Socket 939, so a FX buy might be a locked in purchase, with no upgrades. Which the Opteron uses 940, so I'm a little confused about the Opteron's upgrade path.

    Hoping if I want 6 months, the prices for Opterons will be down enough to build a basic dual system, with PCIExpress, and at least 2+ ghz CPU's. Something that will be fast as an FX in gaming, but also have the dual cpu smoothness feel with power of running virtual machines and crunch numbers well.

    The Xeon line is cheaper, maybe some new motherboards might come out and bump it up to the system im thinking about.

    • Re:Duel Opterons (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:21PM (#8601826)
      1) PCI-Express is what's coming, not PCI-X, which is something older. PCI-Express is mostly being abbreviated as PCI-E, from what I've seen.

      2) Socket 940 isn't the one being phased out, Socket 754 is. Socket 940 is for Opterons & Athlon FXs. Athlon 64s are what use Socket 754, and that's the one being ditched for Socket 939. Once Socket 939 is available, Athlon FXs will also be made available in that socket form factor. Socket 939 & the new Athlon FXs will also enable you to use NON-registered memory, which will be less expensive, though you won't be able to use as much of it.
      • I do get PCI-X and PCI-Express mixed up, name sounds pretty close.

        The roadmap shows 939 for FX AMD 53/59, 940 is being ditched for FX, but not Opteron. So yes, 754 is end of life, and so is 940 for FX.

        Why by a 940 FX board when you can only upgrade to single cpu opterons?

        • CPU thoughts (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) *
          I wouldn't buy a 940 board for an FX system - 940 will be the thing to get for Opterons, if you want multi-proc, and/or registered memory to get LOTS of memory, for a DB machine or something. It's good to have a choice, as long as both choices are going to be around for awhile. Really, you'll want to target your platform (CPU & mobo choices) to what you want to do with your system.

          I guess it's good this socket switch is happening at the same time as the switch to PCI-E, so you can get all this stuff ou
  • by EconolineCrush ( 659729 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:19PM (#8601811)
    Tech Report's review [] tests the FX-53 against a total of sixteen other chips. Good reading if you've got a benchmark fetish, too.
  • by scrytch ( 9198 ) <> on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:21PM (#8601837)
    Price. The price difference between some of these chips they're benchmarking puts them in different leagues. The FX-53 is NOT cheap compared to the 3200, but the P4EE makes them both look like chump change. This review looked like the output of a report generator (written by Macromedia I imagine), not a review.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @03:45PM (#8602104)
    I know, I know, these silly review sites love to have these "longer bar is better" graphics, but let's look at this rationally.

    Take the SysMark 2004 benchmark. The commodity priced Northwood 3GHz P4 clocks in at 176. This new Athlon gets a 199. Ooooh, longer bar! But what does it really mean? I means that the Athlon is ELEVEN PERCENT FASTER than the processor that's one notch above the absolute bottom end you can get in a Dell PC (3GHz, the bottom end is 2.8GHz). And the price is over THREE TIMES HIGHER. Is this worth it? Does it make sense?

    The answer is no, *unless* you are simply looking at the 64-bit capabilities. If that's the case, then great. Otherwise I don't see why anyone would care about these benchmarks.
  • by mattgoldey ( 753976 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @04:14PM (#8602494)
    Michael's Computers [] has had these for 2 years.
  • by usrerco ( 576913 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @04:25PM (#8602602)
    Hope this isn't a RTFAC (C=Carefully), but I don't see in this article if they specify the tests were done with a 64 bit version of the OS and 64 bit binaries for the apps, or just a 32 bit versions.

    Maybe I'm missing it, but in the "OS" category, they only say "Windows XP Profession SP1", no reference that I can see if it's a 64 bit version of the OS or not. Ditto for the apps.

    My understanding is (with the current state of affairs, 03/18/2004) if you run to the store and buy an AMD 64 machine, you'll get a 32 bit version of Windows and apps.

    But you only get the benefits of eg. >2^32 ram access IF you run a 64 bit OS and 64 bit apps.

    Being able to access >2^32 of ram in an app is really useful for 3D rendering of very large projects (a business I happen to associated with), so if the tests are done with 32 bit OS/Apps, the benchmarks would seem to be not so useful for that purpose.

    Considering this is a 64 bit processor being evaluated, it would seem lacking not to mention this.

    Most folks in 3D evaling AMD 64's are sticking 64 bit os's on there right away (Suse, Gentoo, Fedora/Yarrow, etc), and doing tests with that.

    Am I missing the part where they talk about 32 vs. 64 bit OS in these tests? I would /think/ it would make a big difference benchmark-wise.. correct me if I am wrong.

    ps. With all those blinking flashing (*!&@# banner adds, it's often hard to RTFAC. I wonder, do schools now give reading comprehension tests in rooms with flashing lights and spinning graphics to simulate 'real world' scenarios? >;)
  • by Kynde ( 324134 ) <kynde AT iki DOT fi> on Thursday March 18, 2004 @06:03PM (#8603747)
    Where are the 64bit processor benchmarks where the tests have been compiled for them?

    I mean, given that the x86 64bit decendants have more registers and all, running some stupid Sysmark or Unreal Tournament on top of them is like comparing V4 and V8 engines in such a way that the V8 only gasoline to four of it's cylinders.

    What I want to know is the P4 flag ship lined up with the AMD 64bit flag shit on linux with a kernel compiled for 64bit and apps compiled for 64bits.

    I have not been able to locate a single such benchmark as of yet. Anyone? Please...

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!