Computex 2003 - Most Athlon64 Motherboards Likely Delayed
plenty of Athlon64 motherboards were on display, many are unlikely to hit store shelves until late in 2003, when A64 chip supplies improve.
should come first, the Athlon64 motherboard or the Athlon64 processor? The answer depends on who you ask; ask AMD and they'll say the chip, ask motherboard manufacturers and they'll say the chip.... wait, did I get that right?
In spite of all the glory AMD
are now reveling in having produced the world's first desktop 64-bit processor, until January 2004 arrives,
it is going to be darn difficult for consumers to actually purchase an Athlon 64 processor
by the sound of it.
Consequently, while there
were dozens and dozens of Athlon64 motherboards in both the Socket 754 and Socket
940 flavor on display at Computex 2003, things were not as they looked.
Manufacturers it seems, are very hesitant to begin production of Athlon64 mainboards until AMD
takes the bull by the horns and the limited Athlon64 supply problem
is fully remedied.
That means, until you can walk into the 7-11
equivalent of a computer store and buy an Athlon 64 3200+, or Athlon64 FX51
processor, you are unlikely to find a wide variety of Athlon64 motherboards
half of the manufacturers showing off their Athlon64 boards told PCstats that
they're holding off volume production until late 2003 or January of next year,
or until they are sure of the market for the Athlon64. The larger mainboard manufacturers
who can handle a luke-warm demand expect their Athlon64 boards to
be ready mid-to-late October if they aren't already out now.
When asked how the AhtlonXP figures into the
equation now, Jacky Huang, General Manager of DFI estimated that there was
still roughly 6-12 months left in the lifespan of the K7 AthlonXP
processor. DFI do not intend to produce any more AthlonXP motherboards, and so to
end off the K7-saga with a bang, created the Lanparty NF2 Rev.B Ultra
Given the announced transition of the Athlon64 FX processor to Socket 939
formfactor, the lifespan of the Socket 940 Athlon64 FX series is as unclear as it is confusing
to observers. AMD have stated they will continue to support the formfactor late
into 2004, though it will be replaced by the Socket 939 Athlon64 FX as early as the first
quarter of 2004.
Manufacturers producing Athlon64 motherboards may have as
three or four variants for the Socket 754 Athlon64 processor, but when it came to
the Athlon64 FX chips, there was rarely more than one or two boards on display
- unless they were intended for purely sever applications. SiS have already confirmed with
PCstats that they intend to release the SIS756 chipset in March of 2004 to support
the Socket 939 Athlon64 FX processors which are anticipated to be available
then. SIS only have one more chipset, the SIS760, planned for the Athlon64
FX 940-pin version.
comes to the question of
whether to go Athlon64 FX (socket 940) or Athlon64 3200+ (socket 754), one Gigabyte
rep PCstats spoke with figures the socket 754 Athlon64 3200+ path
is a better route to go even though the FX-series packs in about 10-15% more
performance right now. The reason sits with the Athlon64 FX's requirement for
Registered DDR memory, which is more expensive and at the moment difficult to find
in PC3200 speeds. In any event, roadmaps can
change, and have on frequent occassions.
excitement which has maintained itself surrounding the
Athlon64 launch, PCstats has compiled a comprehensive assortment of the
many Athlon64 motherboards from over a dozen different manufacturers; and here
they are... 44 Athlon 64 motherboards!