Amd athlon 64 fx 51 processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 Specs

AMD’s Athlon 64 3400+: Death of the FX-51

by Anand Lal Shimpion January 6, 2004 4:35 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • CPUs



IndexThe TestBusiness/Content Creation PerformanceDirectX 9 Performance – AquaMark 3DirectX 9 Performance – HaloDirectX 9 Performance – GunMetal Benchmark 2DirectX 7/8 Performance – UT2003OpenGL PerformanceDivX Encoding Performance3D Rendering PerformanceDevelopment Workstation PerformancePrice/Performance RatioFinal Words

What a weird way to end the year; at the beginning of 2003 we expected AMD to fall short of clock expectations and for Intel to trample all over the Athlon 64 with Prescott. With 2004, still in its infancy, being a meager 6 days old we know that the outcome of the processor wars of last year was not as expected. AMD surprised us all with a far more competitive Athlon 64 launch than we had originally expected, and Prescott didn’t exactly make it out the gates.

Instead we were left with a new class of processors with the Athlon 64 FX and the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition; cash cow CPUs marketed for our community but priced well above our comfort levels. Granted if you look back at the $1000+ price tag the Pentium II had upon its release a $700 CPU today isn’t asking too much, but we’ve grown far too accustomed to sub-$200 CPU prices for that to work.

With just under three-and-a-half months under AMD’s 64-bit belt, we’re ready for the first speed bump for the Athlon 64 line.

You’ll remember from our initial coverage that the major difference between the Athlon 64 and the Athlon 64 FX that the latter boasts a 128-bit memory controller as opposed to the 64-bit interface of the regular 64. The only other differences (other than price) were that the Athlon 64 FX was available at 2.2GHz (compared to the fastest 2.0GHz 64 offering) and the FX ships without a multiplier lock. With today’s launch, the focus is further shifted away from the pricey FX and onto the latest reason not to buy AMD’s most expensive CPU – the Athlon 64 3400+.

Now boasting a 2.2GHz clock, equaling that of the flagship FX51, the Athlon 64 has become an even more powerful force to reckon with. With a 10% increase in clock speed, can AMD begin to eat into Intel’s lead in encoding/content creation applications? Let’s find out…

A Diamond in the Rough

When we first looked at the Athlon 64 and FX we realized that the performance difference between the two was negligible at best, but what truly sealed the fate of the Athlon 64 FX in our eyes was the quiet release of the Athlon 64 3000+ based on AMD’s Newcastle core.

Newcastle is the mainstream successor to Claw Hammer, what all current Athlon 64s are based on right now. The only difference between Newcastle and Claw Hammer is that Newcastle has half the L2 cache, totaling 512KB instead of the original 1MB L2 that AMD launched. Why AMD would introduce the Athlon 64 with a 1MB L2 only to scale it back a couple of months later is anyone’s guess. Perhaps AMD felt that it would be necessary to compete with Prescott or perhaps there were design issues with getting it to market in time, needless to say that slowly but surely all Athlon 64’s will be Newcastle derived.

You caught a glimpse of the performance of the Athlon 64 3000+ in our earlier preview, but you will get a full taste of the price-effective performance that Newcastle offers in this review. Performance close to the Athlon 64 3200+ (which was close to the Athlon 64 FX51) at about half the price can’t really be beat, and you’ll surely see that here.

The Test
IndexThe TestBusiness/Content Creation PerformanceDirectX 9 Performance – AquaMark 3DirectX 9 Performance – HaloDirectX 9 Performance – GunMetal Benchmark 2DirectX 7/8 Performance – UT2003OpenGL PerformanceDivX Encoding Performance3D Rendering PerformanceDevelopment Workstation PerformancePrice/Performance RatioFinal Words



Athlon 64 FX-51 [in 1 benchmark]

Athlon 64 FX-51


  • Interface
  • Core clock speed
  • Max video memory
  • Memory type
  • Memory clock speed
  • Maximum resolution


AMD started AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 sales on September 2003. Based on a SledgeHammer architecture, this desktop processor is primarily aimed at home systems. It has 1 core and 1 thread, and is based on 130 nm manufacturing technology, with a maximum frequency of 2200 MHz and a locked multiplier.

Compatibility-wise, this is AMD Socket 940 processor with a TDP of 89 Watt.

We have no data on Athlon 64 FX-51 benchmark results.

General info

Athlon 64 FX-51 processor market type (desktop or notebook), architecture, sales start time and pricing.

Place in performance rating not rated
Market segment Desktop processor
Architecture codename SledgeHammer (2003−2004)
Release date September 2003
(19 years old)
Current price $30 of 25332 (Xeon Platinum 8276L)

Technical specs

Basic microprocessor parameters such as number of cores, number of threads, base frequency and turbo boost clock, lithography, cache size and multiplier lock state. These parameters can generally indicate CPU performance, but to be more precise you have to review its test results.

Physical cores 1 (Single-Core)
Threads 1
Boost clock speed 2.2 GHz of 8.3 (Ryzen 7 7700)
L1 cache 128 KB of 1536 (EPYC Embedded 3401)
L2 cache 1 MB of 12 (Core 2 Quad Q9550)
L3 cache 0 KB of 32768 (Ryzen Threadripper 1998)
Chip lithography 130 nm of 4 (Ryzen 9 7940HS)
Die size 193 mm2
Number of transistors 105 million of 9900000 (Ryzen 5 7645HX)
64 bit support +
Windows 11 compatibility


Information on Athlon 64 FX-51 compatibility with other computer components and devices: motherboard (look for socket type), power supply unit (look for power consumption) etc. Useful when planning a future computer configuration or upgrading an existing one.

Note that power consumption of some processors can well exceed their nominal TDP, even without overclocking. Some can even double their declared thermals given that the motherboard allows to tune the CPU power parameters.

Number of CPUs in a configuration 1 of 8 (Opteron 842)
Socket 940
Thermal design power (TDP) 89 Watt of 400 (Xeon Platinum 9282)

Benchmark performance

Single-core and multi-core benchmark results of Athlon 64 FX-51. Overall benchmark performance is measured in points in 0-100 range, higher is better.

  • Passmark

Passmark CPU Mark is a widespread benchmark, consisting of 8 different types of workload, including integer and floating point math, extended instructions, compression, encryption and physics calculation. There is also one separate single-threaded scenario measuring single-core performance.

Benchmark coverage: 67%

Athlon 64 FX-51

People consider these graphics cards to be good for Athlon 64 FX-51, according to our PC configuration statistics.

Quadro NVS


9500 GT


9700 PRO


These are the fastest graphics cards for Athlon 64 FX-51 in our user configuration statistics.

There is a total of 3 configurations based on Athlon 64 FX-51 in our database.

Quadro NVS

33. 3% (1/3)

User rating

Here is the rating given to the reviewed processor by our users. Let others know your opinion by rating it yourself.

Questions and comments

Here you can ask a question about Athlon 64 FX-51, agree or disagree with our judgements, or report an error or mismatch.

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overclocking AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 or lonely Superman

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • A bit of history
  • Legend assembly
    • RAM selection
    • Video card selection
  • Test bench
  • Test Method
  • Acceleration
  • Test results
    • Super Pi mod. 1.5XS
    • PiFast v.4.1
    • wPrime v.1.43
    • HWBOT Prime v.0.8.3
    • AIDA64 5.50.3600
    • WinRAR x86v. 5.40
    • Cinebench 2003
    • PCMark 2004 v. 1.30
    • PCMark 2005 v.1.20
    • 3DMark 2001 SE Pro b330
    • 3DMark 2003 v.3.6.1
    • 3DMark 2005 v.1.3.1
    • Doom III
    • Far Cry
  • Conclusion


“My sin? — Saving the World»

(c) Superman

The laboratory continues a series of articles on retroclocking. This time we will remember the legendary (without exaggeration) processor, which became the founder of a new era of 64-bit solutions and the AMD K8 architecture — AMD Athlon 64 FX-51.

The era of Athlon XP based on the Socket 462 (Socket A) platform ended on May 13, 2003, when the latest and fastest AMD Athlon XP 3200+ based on the Barton core with a frequency of 2.2 GHz was officially presented. However, users continued to use them for a long time, overclocking various types of models from the AMD Athlon XP family. Younger comrades, AMD Sempron, were produced at all until 2004 inclusive. nine0064

I think those who saw the era of folk Athlon XP, chipping more than one crystal and connecting more than one bridge in pursuit of performance, will remember those years with a smile.

September 23, 2003 AMD introduced a new architecture, socket and ideology for its processors — AMD Athlon 64. On this sunny autumn day, we were shown two new and unique CPUs for that time: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (Socket 754) and AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 (Socket 940).


If the former inherited the PR index from the previous generation of CPUs, then Athlon 64 FX-51 was the only representative of the new platform that had super abilities that neither its younger brother nor all previous solutions of the company combined had. In a word, like Superman, abandoned on an alien planet.

A bit of history

What skills did the new superhero have? The newcomer’s unique status was reinforced by the pricing policy: its recommended price was twice that of the former top Athlon XP 3200+ — $733 apiece. The original name is «FX-51», an indirect allusion to extraterrestrial processor technology from Area-51. A free multiplier that gives complete freedom to the enthusiast. As many as two channels of DDR-SDRAM RAM, not available for AMD Athlon 64 3200+ on Socket 754.

In addition, the representatives of the new architecture have support for SSE2 instructions, a memory controller built into the processor core, a new bidirectional HyperTransport bus with a bandwidth of up to 3.2 GB per second in each direction, improved branch prediction algorithms, a 1024 KB L2 cache, an extended pipeline and a host of other improvements. The differences from the previous generation were colossal.

Does this remind you of anything? The excitement was no less than in the case of the recently released most promising and revolutionary AMD processor of the last five years — AMD Ryzen. The headlines in the news feeds then were as follows:

Athlon 64: crazy prices;
Athlon 64 FX-51 50% faster than Pentium 4 3. 06 GHz;
Athlon 64 is already on sale in Japan: limited edition;
Only 100,000 Athlon 64s will be delivered by the end of the year?;
Athlon 64: goes on sale quickly and disappears just as quickly.

Reading the news, dated 2003, you understand that the situation is repeating itself. The same minor problems at the start of sales of the new platform, some shortage of new products in retail; although prices are now much more democratic than then, and this pleases. But back to the past. nine0064

Few could afford to purchase an AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 based configuration. The processor itself, coupled with the motherboard, drove the cost of a pair of components far beyond $ 1000. And it also required RAM, and not simple, but registered, which cost a lot, a top-end video card, a powerful power supply, and everything else that brought the cost of the entire system closer to $3,000. Some systems cost sky-high $16,000. Well-known PC assemblers immediately presented their extreme versions, which were based on AMD Athlon 64 FX-51. nine0064

Alienware announced the Aurora Extreme, which was priced at $3,799 with a discount.

Falcon Northwest introduced the Mach V FX-51 for $4495. It broke previous 3D performance patterns and easily passed the 7,200 parrot barrier in 3D Mark 2003, scoring around 21,000 points in 3D Mark 2001 SE.

Any components could be placed inside the system unit, the imagination was limited only by the buyer’s wallet, and from custom options it was possible to order engraving on the facade of the aluminum case, or airbrushing. nine0064

VoodooPC unveiled the «Voodoo F1» liquid-cooled PC for a record $5,995 in «Lamborghini» color scheme. The GeForce FX 5950 Ultra was pre-overclocked from 475 MHz to 570 MHz, making it the world’s fastest configuration.

There were other manufacturers of custom builds of extreme PCs, which not only selected the most modern components, but also overclocked them additionally, but this trio of manufacturers made only the best. nine0064

I will give a scanned page of a foreign publication, where a «table of ranks» of the most productive personal computers at that time was compiled:

But time does not stand still. So far, Alienware has been taken over by Dell, VoodooPC has been acquired by Hewlett Packard, and only Falcon Northwest has retained its independence.

But at the start of sales, and later on, the number of released AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 CPUs was very modest by the standards of the computer industry, only a few tens of thousands of copies. And the total circulation was about one hundred thousand pieces, many processors at the time of writing this article have already been disposed of and it is very difficult to find them for sale. nine0064