From time to time, I get asked, “What computer should I get?” And, while its rare, I do get the question, “…if I want the best-performing desktop for gaming and multimedia encoding?”
Since the emergence of the Athlon 64 FX series with the FX-51 in late 2003, the Athlon 64 FX has reigned over the performance PC industry and beat the Pentium Extreme Edition in roundup after roundup.
In fact, some high-end gaming system builders have almost exclusive relationships with AMD, to the point that they currently dont offer Pentium CPUs in their PCs.
System builders like Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Overdrive PC and VoodooPC build their reputations on high-end systems that use the latest FX series processors, though FX sales usually count for relatively few units a month.
The bulk of their sales come from more pedestrian—affordable—systems that use processors like the Athlon 64 X2 3800+, 4200+ and the like.
The Athlon 64 FX-62 is a dual-core processor, which means that multithreaded tasks like Windows Media Encoder are more efficient on the FX-62 than on a single-core processor like the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition or single-core Athlon 64 processors.
The multimedia scores like the Photoshop CS2 and WME scores on the systems below show this performance gap.