AMD launches four-core 4x4 motherboard

AMD launches Quad FX Platform, hoping to keep up with rival Intel's quad-core chips

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) launched a motherboard with four cores on Thursday, targeting gaming enthusiasts in an effort to keep pace with the release of quad-core chips by rival Intel.

AMD's Quad FX Platform includes two dual-core Athlon 64 FX-70 series chips and uses Nvidia's 680a chipset. AMD's choice of components shows it is willing to follow open standards even though the company acquired Nvidia's rival ATI Technologies earlier this month, said Ian McNaughton, product manager for Athlon 64 FX products.

The launch highlights a debate in the industry about the definition of quad-core processors. Intel has claimed it won the quad-core race on Nov. 14 by packaging two dual-core chips together in the Xeon 5300 for servers and Core 2 Extreme QX6700 for gamers.

But AMD calls its Quad FX Platform a "4x4," and says it won't release a true "quad-core" processor until 2007, when it combines four cores on a single piece of silicon called "Barcelona." Analysts say they won't be able to judge the winner of the debate until they can test comparable products.

In the meantime, one thing is certain: a PC with four computing cores can run a lot of applications at once. PC vendors who use the Quad FX will attract more than just hard-core gamers, McNaughton said. A desktop with four computing cores can be a workstation for "megataskers," those users who watch high-definition video while burning a DVD, downloading a BitTorrent file, and chatting on a TeamSpeak connection, even as their PC runs antivirus software, Skype and instant messaging applications in the background.

"The PC usage model has changed. It's evolving, it's getting crazy and we love it," he said. "People are doing four, five, six things at the same time."

Of course, gamers are still a core audience for this product. The extra cores will allow fans of multiplayer online games to play two instances of the game simultaneously, controlling two characters in a single episode of EverQuest, World of Warcraft or Lineage, according to AMD.

Many of these gamers have been using AMD's Opteron server chip to manage their heavy computing loads, McNaughton said. The Quad FX Platform will be a more efficient tool for the job and will allow them to upgrade to a pair of quad-core Barcelona chips in the middle of 2007.

As the hardware industry relies increasingly on multicore designs, chip power is measured by scalability and efficiency, not just frequency, said AMD spokesman Bubba Wolford. That development is pushing chip vendors to grow from being simple component suppliers to selling entire platforms. AMD has followed that trend to produce its AMD Live product for media center PCs and now the Quad FX.

AMD is selling the Quad FX Platform with three types of chips built with a 90-nanometer process, charging US$599 for a pair of 2.6 GHz FX-70 chips, US$799 for a pair of 2.8 GHz FX-72 chips, and US$999 for a pair of 3.0 GHz FX-74 chips, if purchased in lots of 1,000 units.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?