AMD's Athlon 64 4000+ and FX-55 processors

Rubbing it in
— 12:23 AM on October 19, 2004

AS A CHILD, I loved to play Archon, the chess-like action/strategy game for 8-bit computers. I played often on my Atari 800, and once, I tried playing over at a friend's house on his Commodore 64. He popped the disk into the drive, booted up the computer, and started loading the game. We waited.

And waited.

We went outside, played in an abandoned field, caught some crawdads in the creek, and came back inside. Still loading.

This was the Commodore 64, the computer outselling my beloved Atari 800 by some obscene ratio, the computer my friend had bragged about repeatedly, the computer helping run Atari's home PC business into financial ruin. It must have taken 40 minutes for that game to load via the C64's terminally lethargic 5.25" disk drive. At about minute 39, something deep inside my head must have, silently and imperceptibly, snapped. You are now reading what I believe is the 40th CPU review that I've written for The Tech Report over the course of the last five years. These reviews have been dedicated to the task of providing the reader, with concrete certainty, information about how the most central component in a PC performs across a range of different applications. I suppose it's my way of helping prevent another atrocity like the C64 disk drive situation—or at least of documenting it properly so people know what they're getting into.

The folks at AMD must understand my dysfunction, because they have been producing ever-faster processors to feed my reviewing habit since day one. Today is no different; AMD is lifting the curtain on a pair of new CPUs that are faster than anything else they've ever produced, the Athlon 64 4000+ and Athlon 64 FX-55. As usual, we've run them through a broad spectrum of benchmarks and compared them to their closest competitors, and I can assure you, these things could play one very mean game of Archon, no waiting required.

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