AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 Launch Review Page 2

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Synthetic

  • SysMark 2004
  • MadOnion’s 3DMark2003
  • WebMark
  • PC Mark 2004
  • MainConcept 1.3
  • SiSoft Sandra 2004 SP1

Games

  • Falcon 4.0
  • Ghost Recon
  • Flight Simulator 2002
  • F1 Challenge
  • IL2: Forgotten Battles
  • Comanche 4
AMD Athlon 64 FX-53
Intel 3.40 GHz
Extreme Edition

SysMark 2004

MadOnion’s 3DMark2003

1024 x 768

1600 x 1200

1024 x 768

1600 x 1200


WebMark

PC Mark 2004

MainConcept 1.3

SiSoft Sandra 2004 SP1

Cache

Combined

CPU

CPU Info

Memory

MMX

System

Cache

Combined

CPU

CPU Info

Memory

MMX

System

 

1024 x 768
AMD Athlon 64 FX-53
Intel 3.40 GHz
Extreme Edition
Falcon 4.0
49
46
Ghost Recon
227
234
Flight Simulator 2002
41
40
F1 Challenge
100
124
IL2: Forgotten Battles
113
100
Comanche 4

 

1600 x 1200
AMD Athlon 64 FX-53
Intel 3.40 GHz
Extreme Edition
Falcon 4.0
44
42
Ghost Recon
127
137
Flight Simulator 2002
40
40
F1 Challenge
87
111
IL2: Forgotten Battles
75
69
Comanche 4

Testing this time around has shown that both processors are coming in with some parity. The synthetic scores seem to be Intel oriented in score. SysMark 2004 I expected to be all Intel but surprisingly, the scores were essentially dead even. WebMark04, Sandra and MainConcept all showed wins for the P4 EE but PCMark04 demonstrated the biggest win disparity over the FX-53. 3DMark03 was essentially even when comparing the CPU scores directly although Intel did slightly win out over AMD.

Game scores are where AMD showed their power. They rocked ahead in IL2:FB, pulled out a win in Falcon 4 using SuperPak 4 (SP4) and Comanche 4. You might notice that scores in Falcon 4 are down from other benchmarks. SP4 offers many new features which have brought the overall framerate scores down using the PapaDoc Benchmark. Ghost Recon and F1 Racing came out as a big wins for Intel while FS2002 was a virtual dead heat.

We are planning to start including LOMAC soon. I’m still working on finding a good benchmark. It’s possible I’ll be offering a contest soon for submissions on .TRK files to find a real good benchmark. Interested parties are welcome to contact me directly.

Conclusion

It’s great to see AMD getting on with the MHz. It will be much easier to recommend the FX series when they move off Registered DDR. No one can question the power of the FX-53. This is AMD’s most powerful processor ever released for the PC. The FX-53 powered through our benchmarks across the board.

One note worth mentioning is the stability of the FX-53. It wasn’t that long ago during the K6-2 and K6-3 days that AMD was notorious for heat and instability issues. The FX-53 is a fine example of AMDs consistency and stability. We experienced no lock-ups, hesitations or failures at all.

I was planning and did do some testing in 64-bit Windows XP. I’m not sure how relevant the scores are however since the OS is still many months (>1 year) from release and drivers are still *very* raw. There are not too many benchmarks that I one can even use to test right now. As we get closer to the launch of 64-bit Windows and as drivers become more efficient, I’ll begin testing it again.

Overall, the FX-53 is on target with performance when compared directly to the 3.40GHz EE. The synthetic scores were dominated by Intel while the game scores showed overall parity but given the immense popularity of IL2 Forgotten Battles and Falcon 4, I would have to give the winning nod to AMD.

To me it comes down to intangibles. Price is the most obvious. A quick search on Pricewatch shows the 3.40GHz Extreme Edition is not available yet. Price is listed from Intel as $999. The 3.20GHz EE is available but given the 3.40GHz EE was released over a month ago, I certainly expected to see it for sale.

AMD expects the FX-53 to be in the channel right away with OEMs getting the first available samples. Cost for the FX-53 will be $733 which is the current price of the FX-51 which will no doubt fall in price and become a great value for a very near flagship processor.

Directly comparing the FX-53 with the 3.40GHz EE is easy. Neither is for sale currently on the street. We have no idea when the 3.40GHz EE will be for sale. We got word from AMD that the FX-53 is for sale and should be in stores soon. Pricing is where we draw a distinction. The FX-53 is roughly $270 cheaper for essentially identical performance. Both CPUs offer fabulous performance but with AMD’s FX-53 having a near 30% cheaper price and 64-bit performance for future OS and games, its gets our nod for SimHQ recommendation.

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