AMD's Opteron 148 and 248 processors
IF YOU HAVE BEEN
following these things at all, you probably know that AMD introduced its Athlon 64 FX chip last month to great fanfare. This new processor took our benchmark suite by storm, beating out the Pentium 4 3.2GHz by some downright embarrassing margins in many tests. Intel struck back preemptively with its Pentium 4 3.2GHz Extreme Edition, but now that we know that product's actual, heart-stopping price
, the P4 EE looks more like a stunt than an actual option for purchase. In my view, the Athlon 64 FX reigns as the fastest x86 processor in the desktop market.
Even so, the Athlon 64 FX and the P4 EE share a common heritage: they are plucked from the top end of each manufacturer's professional workstation/server lineup of chips. Specifically, the Athlon 64 FX-51 is a 940-pin chip nearly identical to an Opteron, with the exception that it runs at 2.2GHz. Before today, the fastest Opteron ran at 2.0GHz. No more. The Opteron 148 chip arrives at 2.2GHz as the workstation equivalent of the Athlon 64 FX. The 248 and 848 models, meanwhile, raise the prospect of servers and workstations with multiple processorschips just like the Athlon 64 FXrunning in tandem.
Now, grab your drool rag and ride along as we put the Opteron 148 and 248 CPUs through their paces to see how they measure up as workstation processors.