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AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Processor Review

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Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD
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Introduction and System Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Today AMD has released to the public the Athlon XP 2000+ processor based on the Palomino core we saw introduced back with the Athlon XP 1800+. Because this chip is merely an upgrade to a currently existing platform, the words will be short and the benchmarks will be plentiful -- just don't expect wildly outrageous and/or revolutionary scores.


There are a couple things to talk about with the new Athlon XP 2000+ processor. First, let's mention the price. Below is a quick layout of the models, speeds and their prices with the purchase of a 1000 pieces:


AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (runs at 1.67GHz) $339 (ea @1KU)

AMD Athlon XP 1900+ (runs at 1.60GHz) $269 (ea @1KU)

AMD Athlon XP 1800+ (runs at 1.53GHz) $223 (ea @1KU)

AMD Athlon XP 1700+ (runs at 1.47GHz) $190 (ea @1KU)

AMD Athlon XP 1600+ (runs at 1.4GHz) $160 (ea @1KU)


As you might guess, the 2000+ model takes the top of the price table coming in at $339 -- just about $60 more than the previous top model, the 1900+. As you go down the table, the prices differences decrease, as has become fairly standard in the PC market. What you will now have to judge is how the addition of 70 MHz to the clock speed, coupled with AMD's better IPC (Instructions Per Cycle), affect your overall system performance. Because the processors are available as you are reading this, even if you are wanting to purchase a processor today, this kind of debate will affect you.


There are no physical changes made to this processor over any of the other XP models, with the exception of clock speed. As you might have seen from over-seas, AMD will be slowly migrating their OPGA (organic packaging) over to a green color instead of the current brown. This will have no affect on performance -- it is merely for asthetic purposes. By the end of the first half of 2002, you will find all the Athlon XP processors will be in the new green package.


Finally, the last interesting bit of information I have for you is on the Thoroughbred core of processors for the Athlon XP. While the 2000+ model does not use it, it is expected to start shipping this quarter. It boasts a die shrink from 0.18 micron to 0.13 micron allowing the core to shrink in size and achieve higher clock speeds. Interestingly, even though the new Northwood processor from Intel has doubled their cache to 512 KB and lowered their die size, the Thoroughbred still has a much smaller area: Thoroughbred= 80 mm^2 vs Northwood = 145 mm^2.


Enough of the small talk, here is our system setup for the tests as well as a list of the benchmarks that will follow. I apologize again for not having an Intel P4 setup to test against the AMD processors, but Intel, as you might guess, is having "difficulties" finding me a 478-pin 2 GHz processor. :)




Test System Setup


CPU

1 x 1.67 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Processor

1 x 1.60 GHz AMD Athlon XP 1900+ Processor

1 x 1.53 GHz AMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor


Motherboard

Shuttle AK31 Revision 3


Memory

1 x 256MB TwinMOS PC2100 DDR DRAM


Hard Drive

20.5GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE


Video Card

GeForce 3


Video Drivers

Detonator 22.90


Operating System

Windows XP



Tests:


Quake III: Arena

3DMark 2001

SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench

SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench

Content Creation Winstone 2001

Business Winstone 2001

4 different SPEC view perf tests

Cachemem

ScienceMark

Sysmark 2001

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