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11/30/2007
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AMD Pulls The Plug On Quad FX Enthusiast Platform

The desktop platform was AMD's attempt to hold gamers who might be tempted to move to Intel's quad-core processors.

Advanced Micro Devices on Friday said it has stopped making the Quad FX platform that was launched late last year for power-insatiable computer enthusiasts.

The platform comprises up to two dual-core Athlon 64 FX processors, which operate in conjunction with Nvidia's SLI chipset that makes it possible to run multiple graphics cards that work together in projecting one image on a display. The overall platform targets gamers who often use multiple cards to boost game performance.

The Quad FX platform was AMD's attempt to hold gamers who might be tempted to move to Intel's quad-core processors. AMD didn't release its first quad-core product until September of this year, almost a year behind Intel.

AMD has an upgrade plan for the Quad FX, but isn't ready to set a date for its release, AMD spokesman John Taylor said. AMD plans to offer gamers the option of using the same 1207 sockets to plug in up to two Opteron quad cores. For enthusiasts satisfied with one quad core, AMD plans to offer in the second quarter of next year an FX version of its Phenom desktop processor, which would plug into a one processor AM2+ socket.

Even though the product is sunset mode, AMD said it continues to offer support for the Quad FX platform. Sales for the platform have been relatively low, in comparison to AMD's high-volume products, Taylor said.

AMD launched its first quad-core desktop processor in November, and said it would introduce its Phenom-anchored Spider platform for computer enthusiasts early next year.

AMD's Phenom 9600 and 9500 have clock speeds of 2.3 GHz and 2.2 GHz, respectively. Among the differences with Intel's competing processors is design. AMD has placed all four cores on a single die, while Intel packages two dual-core dies.

AMD plans to ship a 3.0-GHz Phenom in the second quarter of next year, along with the 2.4-GHz Phenom X4 9700 and the 2.6-GHz Phenom X4 9900.

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