AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU Review

The best there is!


The high-end processor for a high-end price.


Fastest processor, overclockable, reliable, and powerful.


Too darn expensive…

So AMD finally decided to convert their best processors (the FX Series) into dual cores. My first thought is, wow I would like to get my hands on that and luckily I get my chance at work. This time I have to build a new computer for my desk as the old one fried because I overclocked it too much (I told them that the processor was bad and have to buy/build a new system… Shhhhh).

AMD says that it is their intention to make the FX series processors the ultimate desktop PC processor, therefore the jump to dual-core technology. This dual-core AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor replaces the last top of the line processor (the AMD Athlon 64 FX-57). AMD claims that this new processor is perfect for not only games but for all multi-thread projects that would require a dual-core processor. They will not discontinue the FX-57 but are planning to get rid of it in the future. This FX-60 by far is the best dual-core processor available today; Intel does not even come close.


Since this is also a 939 socket compatible processor, it is as easy to install as all previous 939 processors. If you have installed as many processors as me, you will be able to install these in a breeze. But AMD makes their processors easy to install anyways. If you are not sure about something or if it is just your first time installing these, just follow the instructions in the quick installation guide. If you the steps listed in the guide properly, you should have no problems what so ever. If you install the stock heat-sink and fan, your job will be even simpler, but you will need to follow instructions for other heat-sinks if you choose not to use the manufacturer-supplied one.


I will let you in a little secret; this FX-60 is a very overclocking friendly processor. Even though, this is the fastest processor available from AMD I easily achieved an overclocked speed of about 2.8 GHz; I did not have the cooling system to go any higher (I used the stock heat-sink and fan for this overclock). I will certainly get better cooling on it and try to go higher as I feel it is capable enough to go way higher. I have read many articles that suggest this processor can be safely overclocked to 2.9 GHz with better cooling. If you want to overclock your system, here are some tips you can use: you should lower the HT (HyperTransport) multiplier to 3x or 4x or the HT frequency to 1.1 GHz or lower; the default HT multiplier is set to 5x; you may need to raise the Vcore voltage to 1.5V or 1.55V; you will definitely need a very good cooling system; also use good thermal grease like Arctic Silver for optimal performance.

I always like to not recommend overclocking your processor if you use the stock heat-sink and fan for cooling it, but in this case, I was able to overclock about 7 percent without it overheating or crashing. But I would still advise caution as it is a very expensive processor and I assume everyone would regret frying it. On the other hand, this processor is one of the fastest available, so you technically do not have to overclock it. I would highly recommend you use Arctic Silver thermal grease to install your heat-sink because it transfers heat more efficiently to keep your processor running cooler at all times. You can purchase these from your local computer store or online for about five to eleven bucks each.


Even with normal usage, your heat-sink will/may accumulate dust and dirt, so the best thing to do to prevent it is to clean the inside of your computer every two to three months or so. Some months ago, I did not clean mine for over six months and the processor started running hotter than usual, but after I cleaned the head-sink and the inside of my computer thoroughly, it was back to normal again. You can use the Falcon Dust-Off duster to blow all the dirt and dust off; it will only cost you between four and nine dollars.

The First Boot

The first boot is always the trickiest one of all as anything can happen. So it is best to clear your CMOS/BIOS settings to factory defaults to start out with a clean system; doing so will reduce the chances of crashes and conflicts once you start installing stuff. Also, some new systems will not work properly if you do not reset the settings. You may not have to do this if you are just replacing or upgrading your processor. You can always go back and change the settings to your needs once you have it working properly.

Installing the Operating System: You will then need to install your favorite operating system or if you already have an operating system installed, just boot up. One thing to keep in mind when booting up for the first few times is to keep a close watch on the processor and memory (RAM) temperatures; especially if you used a different heat-sink and even more if you overclocked the processor. I also suggest that you make sure the memory sticks you used are compatible and can overclock without problems. If your memory sticks are one of the cheaper ones or are not compatible, your system may be unstable or will not boot at all.


First and most important of all is the speed rating of this processor that makes it stand out from the rest. Even though it is rated 200 MHz (2.6 GHz) lower than its predecessor (the FX-57), it still feels ways faster as it has dual cores.

I told my boss that I needed the fastest computer since I do a lot of data entry or data-related projects and a slower system will just make my work slower. I thought about it for a while and told me to get what I needed on the company account and should not worry about the cost. I was very delighted with his decision and excited at the same time.

Now, when you compare any AMD processor with its competitor Intel, you may think that the AMD processor is slower (because of Intel’s higher speed rating standards) but when you use these processors for yourself, you will notice that they perform way better than any Intel could. I will always recommend AMD processors over any Intel because they are easy to overclock, install, use, maintain, and plus they perform better.

Your computer will boot up way faster (does not matter which operating system you have installed) and your applications will startup much quicker than you would expect. This is the fastest processor I have ever had experience with and I am glad I got the chance to use it at work because I personally would not be able to afford a system with this processor. If you cannot afford this Athlon 64 FX-60 or the FX-57, I would highly recommend the AMD Athlon 64 4000+ or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ as an alternative; they perform about the same but cost a lot less.

Many customers of mine often ask me if 64-bit dual-core processors actually are better than the older 32-bit single-core ones. I always assure them that it is the best way to go. Once they try it for their selves, they know they will be ready for the future with great power and performance. If the client does not mind paying a bit more for the upgrade I would highly recommend this newer dual-core (FX-60) processor. I think the dual-core processors are more powerful and they will probably stick around for a long time and replace the single-core FX processors.

This processor uses the 939 pin design like most AMD 64-bit processors. The 1024 KB x 2 (2048 KB / 2 MB total) L2 cache memory will run the 2000 MHz (1000 MHz x 2) of FSB (Front Side Bus) with maximum performance. You will experience more power and speed if you combine this processor with the right motherboard that will speed up your DDR memory. Everything on your computer will just startup within a millisecond as you click it.


You are probably wondering that this processor is too good to be true… right? Well, guess what, it is real and the performance and power are amazing. So I did not really notice or experience any problems with this processor. All AMD processors are very reliable and you can never go wrong with an AMD. I usually update all software, drivers, and games to make sure there are no problems. I do not like to take any chances with the systems I build, even though this one was for me. I would recommend that you check for driver and software updates at least once a month or as needed. I would also recommend updating your motherboards BIOS regularly to keep it performing at its best and to remove any issues that exist.


MotherboardDFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR
CPUAMD Athlon 64 FX-60
RAM2x Corsair 1GB PC3200 DDR
Graphics CardeVGA GeForce 7800 GT (256 MB)
StorageWestern Digital 160GB
Power Supply500W
Operating SystemWindows XP Professional


I have been using this new system for about two or three weeks now and as of now I have not found any problems of any kind; the whole system runs at lightning speed and does not ever get hiccups with high maintenance software or games. I overclocked it, but it has not overheated as of yet. I did perform some benchmarks with 3DMark 05 and got a score of 7525 (actual data). CPU test 1 score was 4.1 frames per second, and the CPU test 2 score was 6.6 frames per second (higher is better in these tests). This benchmark is accurate as of January 10th, 2006. The computer runs very fast with Windows XP Pro SP2 installed on it and boots up in just under 10 seconds and becomes ready for use.


As always, AMD provides a three-year limited hardware warranty that includes phone support. You can visit or dial (408) 749-3060 to get warranty support. You may be asked for the serial/model number and date of purchase for this unit, which can easily be found by the following instructions in the manual or ask one of the representatives on the phone.


I just love using my new system at work and best of all I did not have to spend a penny from my pocket to get it. I guess now I have to work extra hard for my boss to make up for the loss. After using this processor for a few weeks, I wish it was affordable so I could upgrade my own system. This is the best processor for your gaming rig, but not everyone can afford it yet. The AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 is the boss of all processors. For all you tweakers and overclockers out there, the multiplier is unlocked (woohoo) so you can overclock more easily. Play around with it and the FSB for some fun, but I would not recommend overclocking a processor that costs over a thousand dollars.

If you want a very fast computer and do not care too much about the price, I would highly recommend all FX-series processors. You will definitely be amazed by the speed and power of these processors. Best of all, your computer will startup faster, all applications will run quicker, and you will be able to multi-task seamlessly. And plus your pocket will be a lot lighter.


Architecture90 nanometer
Processor TypeAthlon 64 FX
Socket Type939
Front Side Bus Speed :1000 MHz x 2 (2000 MHz)
Clock Speed2.6 GHz
Performance IndexFX-60
L2 Cache Size1024 KB (1 MB per Core) x 2 (2 MB total)
L1 Cache Size128 KB (per Core) x 2 (256 MB total)
Max Temperature49o - 65o C
Voltage1.35 - 1.35 volts
Thermal Power110 watts
Included DevicesCooling fan and heatsink
Other Features64-bit instruction set support
HyperTransport technology
Warranty3 years