AMD reanimates FX brand for Bulldozer platforms

— 9:20 AM on June 7, 2011

As the release of AMD's Bulldozer processor approaches (and moves back slightly, then approaches again, and moves back a little), the CPU maker has made a quick announcement at E3 stating it will be resurrecting the "FX" brand that once signified some of the fastest CPUs on the planet.

Previously, FX processors were AMD's premium products, its only CPUs with unlocked multipliers and competitors to Intel's pricey Extreme Edition CPUs. A quick parsing of today's press release reveals this go-round may be a little bit different.

"AMD’s FX brand will enable an over-the-top experience for PC enthusiasts," said Leslie Sobon, vice president of worldwide product marketing, AMD. "By combining an unlocked, native eight-core processor, the latest in chipset technology, and AMD’s latest graphics cards, FX customers will enjoy an unrivalled feature set and amazing control over their PC's performance."

Yep, "FX" now pertains to an entire platform, not just a top-end CPU model. 'tis a new world these days, after all.

This news would appear to comport with rumors from last month about Bulldozer/Zambezi pricing that indicated a whole range of FX-labeled processors, ranging from four to eight cores. That source also suggested the top-of-the-line FX processor would cost "only" $320, which hints at performance and product positioning opposite Intel's mid-range Sandy Bridge processors, not its Gulftown six-core parts. Then again, the fastest Sandy Bridge, the Core i7-2600K priced at $317, is oftentimes faster than Gulftown, so our reading of the tea leaves still suggests potentially good things when Bulldozer arrives, assuming the timing doesn't change too radically.

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