With the launch of AMD’s desktop K8 processors, AMD essentially
decided to partition the Athlon 64 brand into two parts, one for extreme enthusiasts
and one for regular (price oriented) enthusiasts and general consumers. The
two brands of course are the normal Athlon 64 and the Athlon 64 FX, but when
taking a closer look at the two one can see that they really are not that much
different. The Athlon 64 FX is much like the AMD Opteron we saw launched in early
2003 as it needs registered memory to run and uses the same socket.
But what is the main difference between the Athlon 64 and the
Athlon 64 FX you ask? It all comes down to the memory. The Athlon 64 FX line
of processors uses an integrated dual channel memory controller while the Athlon
64 uses a single channel memory controller. Of course you get better performance
with dual channel memory but in the Athlon 64 FX’s case, its a three hundred
dollar difference so it is easy to see why the Athlon 64 FX line has had trouble
picking up with many enthusiasts…. although it is faster, is it worth the
price hike? That’s a question every individual has to ask themselves when looking
to buy a new processor, but for many the choice has been a resounding no.
With that said, AMD is using their Socket-754 design on the Athlon
64 while as mentioned earlier the Athlon 64 FX uses the Socket-940 pin design
like its almost identical twin, the Opteron. The heat spreader if of course a
very welcome addition to many enthusiasts as it helps cool the core of the CPU
while decreasing the risk of crushing the CPU core during installation.
The official price of the 3400+ is currently $ 417 in 1,000 unit
quantities but as of today is going for around $ 400 in OEM packaging and $ 425