How many AMD Athlon 64 users remember Socket 754? Probably about 70% of the AMD 64 crew wouldn't know of or fully remember Socket 754. It's ironic due to the fact this is where AMD Athlon 64 started and the new Socket 939 come as a result of Intel's overpowering DDR memory controller. Socket 754 was where AMD Athlon 64 launched the Clawhammer architecture using a 3200+ core with 1MB L2 cache. Unfortunately, AMD's short sightedness not to include a dual channel memory controller in the original designs pushed Socket 754 towards the backburner rather quickly.
While this did lead to faster AMD64 chips with Dual Channel DDR, it did leave a bit of a sour taste in the users who just brought their AMD64's and being left behind with little support for the architecture that was considered aging, only six months after its introduction.
Socket 754 has now made a comeback for AMD in the form of the budget line of Sempron processors. Sempron on the K8 architecture features the on-chip single channel memory controller supporting DDR-400 and beyond in the latest revision cores, SSE2 and now x86-64 and SSE3 in the latest Sempron CPU's nicknamed the Sempron64. Until now, motherboards for the Socket 754 have been very budget orientated with little features or ability to boost the overall system performance - that is until EPoX got its claws into the high-speed budget market.
Today we look at the first motherboard to support nVidia's SLI dual graphics technology on the Socket 754 platform, and hopefully not the last. So come and check out the EPoX 8NPA SLI and see what it has to provide for the forgotten socket.
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