AMD Announces Quad FX Platform

AMD today announced its long-awaited 4×4 enthusiasts platform—officially named Quad FX. The Quad FX platform features AMD’s Dual Socket Direct Connect (DSDC) architecture to deliver dual dual-core processors for the most demanding users. AMD claims to cater the Quad FX platform towards megatasking enthusiasts.

Powering the Quad FX platform is the new AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors. The new Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors share AMD’s socket F with Opteron processors. Each Athlon 64 FX-70 series processor is equipped with 2x1MB of L2 cache. Unlike the workstation and server class Opteron 2200 series processors, Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors do not require registered DDR2 memory. It is unknown if Opteron 2200 series processors will function when plugged into Quad FX motherboards.

Quad FX based systems will initially be available with dual-core processors. Launching today with Quad FX are the Athlon 64 FX-74, FX-72 and FX-70. Additionally, Quad FX systems will be compatible with AMD’s upcoming quad-core processors for a total of eight processor cores.

AMD claims Quad FX is needed because “The emergence of a dual-socket consumer platform is critical for enthusiasts who demand systems that offer the sheer power and system headroom to let the enthusiast configure this system to his or her heart’s content, and launch a fleet of entertainment and productivity applications at once,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, Desktop Division, AMD. “AMD is redefining performance by enabling our customers to take advantage of the amazing megatasking capability of two AMD Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors in the AMD Quad FX Platform.”

Joining AMD with the launch of Quad FX is NVIDIA. NVIDIA today is also launching its nForce 680a MCP for Quad FX systems. With the nForce 680a MCP Quad FX systems feature a total of 56 PCIe lanes and 12 links. This comes out to four PCIe x16 slots with two full-speed and two half-speed slots. Eight additional PCIe x1 lanes are available for other peripherals, slots and etc… Up to 20 PCI slots are supported, though there may be slot placement issues on motherboards.

Plenty of I/O options will be available on nForce 680a based Quad FX motherboards. NVIDIA’s nForce 680a supports a total of 12 SATA 3.0Gbps ports and four PATA devices across two channels. RAID levels 0, 1, 0 + 1, 5 and JBOD are supported with the integrated SATA controller.

Plenty of networking options are available with the nForce 680a MCP. Four Gigabit Ethernet controllers are available with the nForce 680a MCP, though its up to the board manufacturer to implement it. Nevertheless, the four Gigabit Ethernet controllers support NVIDIA’s FirstPacket, DualNet, Teaming and TCP/IP offload technologies.

Other notable features of the nForce 680a MCP include up to 20 High-speed USB ports and high definition audio.

Pricing of Athlon 64 FX-70 series start at $599 for a pair of FX-70’s and top out at $999 for a pair of FX-74’s. Availability of Quad FX systems and parts are expected in early 2007. Currently, Asus is the only known motherboard manufacturer to have a Quad FX motherboard ready. Global Tech News previously revaled images of ASUS’ upcoming Quad FX motherboard.