The chipmaker will unveil its Athlon 64 FX-55 chip next week, in an effort to bump up the performance of game desktops and other high-end PCs in time for the holiday season.
The chip is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday, along with the AMD Athlon 64 4000+, the company's highest-performance processor for mainstream desktops.
Chips such as the Athlon 64 FX and Intel's Pentium 4 Extreme Edition populate the very top of the desktop market, appearing mainly in game machines fitted with the latest graphics cards and high-performance storage systems to render games with the greatest speed. PC makers generally don't sell game machines, which often cost well more than $2,000, in large numbers. But the market segment is one of the more profitable of the desktop PC business, both for manufacturers and for AMD and Intel.
The high-performance game PCs can also create a so-called halo effect that elevates manufacturers' more pedestrian desktops, not unlike the way General Motors uses its Chevy Corvette sports car to elevate the image of its sedans. Indeed, performance information posted on AMD's Web site Friday reveals that the Athlon 64 FX-55 offers an overall performance improvement of 8.7 percent over the Athlon 64 4000+.
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