AMD reintroduces FX processors

Written by Clive Webster

June 7, 2011 // 4:46 p.m.

Tags: #am3 #amd #compatibility #fx #overclocking #plans #processor #roadmap #socket-am3

Back in the days when single-core CPUs ruled and dual-core processors were deemed overindulgent, the Athlon FX range of AMD processors had hardware enthusiasts drooling. Pitched as an alternative to pointless Pentium 4 Extreme Editions, FX processors were what we wanted.

That all changed with the advent of Conroe circa 2006 though, and so the FX brand was retired after failing to justify its high price tag. With the advent of Black Edition CPUs, which used the same unlocked multiplier trick that FX CPUs offered but for very little price premium, we had thought we’d seen the last of the FX processor.

Today at E3 AMD confirmed the rumour that it will brand its next range of high-performance processors FX. ’FX-branded products will be geared toward enthusiast PCs and HD entertainment aficionados…The first platform to earn the FX title, the “Scorpius” platform, will feature the now-available AMD 9-series chipset motherboards and AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series graphics cards, plus the upcoming “Zambezi” unlocked, native eight-core processor.

The Zambezi core will be based on the Bulldozer architecture that we previewed last year. Back then the word was that Bulldozer would only be a server and workstation part, but we now know that it’ll fit in Socket AM3+ motherboards.

We don’t expect Zambezi processors to have an integrated graphics chip, unlike the rest of AMD’s 2011 processor lineup, as AMD expects FX processor owners to use a discrete graphics card for maximum performance, especially when gaming.

While current-generation Socket AM3 processors should work in Socket AM3+ motherboards, Socket AM3+ Zambezi processors probably won’t work in Socket AM3 motherboards. There may be exceptions to this (if a motherboard makers gets fancy with its BIOS) but we doubt it. Zambezi processors are expected to go on sale in September if rumours are to be believed.

Excited to see the return of the FX processors, or just annoyed you might have to wait another three months to see what it’s like? Let us know in the forum.
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