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AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 (Socket 939) Processor Review

By: Mike Wright | AMD CPUs & APUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Sep 10, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: AMD



When it comes to upgrades, I generally use the rule of 10. If a new product offers at least a 10% increase in performance, then it is worthy of being a replacement for the old components. The number 10 comes into play because as a general rule, you will be able to actually notice (without benchmarking tools) increases in performance when they come in at about 10% or higher. It goes without saying that this Athlon 64 FX-53 processor fits well into this category.


But you still have to be able to account for the higher than average entry fee. For this, consider several things. First off, the newer generation 64-bit processors are going to be the next wave for the general public. Whether you like it or not, it will happen. From the viewpoint of the enthusiast it will happen even faster. Next up is the s939 variety of processor we're looking at today. AMD has already stated that the s940 will phase out and the s754 will be used as the value line, so our upgrade path is already looking good for future purchases for at least the next few years according to AMD.


The onboard memory controller was an interesting thing to come up with and it works very well. Testing it against the nVidia nForce2 400 Ultra motherboard showed just how effective it could be with a massive 80% increase in memory performance. Total horsepower is also a good deal higher than with the Athlon XP system. The Athlon XP being tested with this processor isn't a total slouch by any stretch of the imagination but the Athlon FX ate it for lunch. When it comes right down to it, there really isn't a whole lot bad you can say about the FX series except price.


Yes, the Athlon 64 FX-53 is a pricey beast, but when you put out that much money it is good to know you will be the big boy on the block. As I stated early on, this is not a competition between AMD and Intel, but it doesn't take much research to see that when it comes to gaming, AMD is where the power lies. As this piece is being written, prices for the FX-53 have just fallen to US$775 and lower as you can see on DealTime at online stores such as Newegg, so while the prices are already heading downward, it will still cost a pretty chunk of change.


Bottom line... When it come down to having the baddest machine on the block, you've either got it or you don't. When you have the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 sitting under the hood, you've got the makings of having just that type of system. If you can scrimp and save enough cash to get one of these processors, JUST DO IT!


- Pros


Great performance


Onboard memory controller


s939 design for future upgradability


Fastest chip in town for gamers


64-bit processor


- Cons


Very expensive


Rating - 9.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award!



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