"AMD is really hitting their stride with their Hammer processor architecture. Sensing weakness throughout Intel's rival product offerings, AMD is not showing any mercy and going for the jugular, continuing to release higher clocked processors despite having well documented performance advantages over Intel's Pentium 4 and Xeon lines. AMD appears to be having great yields with their 0.13 micron manufacturing process, shown by the way that they have quickly and efficiently moved their 2.4 GHz Hammer processors to each of their product lines.
AMD is right in the middle of two simultaneous transitions, which have created some overlap in their high-end processor lineup. The Athlon64 FX is transitioning to a Socket-939 interface, as are the standard Athlon64 processors. At the same time, the first generation Athlon64 processors based on Socket-754 are moving down out of the spotlight in order for them to merge with AMD's upcoming "Sempron" processors for the budget market.

In the process of these various transitions, we came to realize that AMD currently has five different 2.4 GHz "Hammer" processors on the market, all being sold under different names and to different markets. This has got to be somewhat confusing for those considering buying an AMD processor. Heck, it's even fairly confusing for us. These five models are the Athlon64 3700+, Athlon64 3800+, two Athlon64 FX-53 processors, and the high-end Opteron 250. Making things even more confusing, there will likely be two more 2.4 GHz Hammer chips on the market soon, as AMD preps their mobile Athlon64 and Athlon64 DTR product lines for upgrades in the near future.

Despite sharing the same clock speeds and the same basic processor architecture, AMD's various Hammer processors vary quite a lot in terms of cache sizes, memory interfaces, form factor designs, and most important of all, pricing. We wanted to see what kind of real-world performance differences there are between these new high-end Hammer chips. So, we grabbed three of the more popular models (Athlon 64 3700+, Athlon64 3800+, and the 940-pin Athlon64 FX-53) for a taste test."

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