Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
If you haven't jumped on AMD's dual-core Athlon 64 X2 yet, but still want to upgrade your system, here is another option. At least when it comes to gaming and as long as multithreaded applications are rare, the FX series remains AMD's fastest offering.
The new processor posts specs which will make a few product managers at Intel jealous. The FX-57, based on the San Diego core, is AMD's first FX product manufactured in 90 nm. The chip is clocked at 2.8 GHz and is first in the product line to support DDR1-533 memory. New is also support for SSE3 instructions. As other San Diego cores, the chip integrates 1 MByte L2 cache. The Thermal Design Power is 104 watts.
Compared to the FX-55, AMD claims the FX-57 will post performance gains in the range of about seven percent.
While the dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4800+, priced at $1001, was a clear sign that AMD claims leadership for high-end desktops, the FX-57 sets the bar even higher: Pricing is set at a stunning $1031, not only the highest price for any current desktop processor on the market - but also the highest price for any desktop processor ever, at least as far as we can remember. By the way, the first FX-51 was offered at $799.