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AMD Athlon XP 2700+ (333 MHz FSB) Processor Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged:

Overclocking 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.

From a certain point of view, AMD is simply overclocking the Athlon XP processors in the same way that many of you have been doing for years. Increasing the front-side bus of the Athlon has always been the easiest way to increase the performance of your system overall. However, it has just come into fruition that AMD can officially support this faster bus speed and become confident in their processors reliability with it.


I did some basic overclocking tests on this Athlon XP 2700+ that I had here, and the results were fairly mild. All of the overclocking was done via FSB increases and no multiplier adjustments were made and our set multiplier was at 13x. The maximum stable overclock I was able to achieve was to take the CPU to 183 MHz front side bus, which would have been an amazing overclock on the 133 MHz FSB but is only slightly impressive on the new 166 MHz DDR bus. Clocking at 2.383 GHz, the Athlon XP performed very nicely and it showed that AMD still has some growing room in this new “Rev B” Thoroughbred core. Another interesting note is that if you are looking to buy one of the new processors based on the 333 MHz bus, you can get a 2700+ clocked at over 2800+ speeds by simply increasing the bus to 175 MHz – without ever having to deal with figuring out multipliers.


I think we might have been able to push the processor even further had our test motherboard allowed us to install a larger heatsink. For more on the specific motherboard used, check out our review posted later today.


The system setup for this processor review is a pretty drastic change from the one we were using previously. We tested the AMD setup using a brand new Asus motherboard based on the nForce2 chipset. That’s right, you are finally seeing benchmarks on a live nForce2 motherboard! We also upgraded the video card to a Radeon 9700 Pro card instead of the Ti 4400 cards we had been using for some months now. These changes made all of our previous numbers obsolete, of course, so there was a lot of testing to be done.


For the Pentium 4 setup, we used the Soltek P4X400 (provided by MisrCorps) motherboard coupled with a 2.8 GHz processor. The same Radeon 9700 Pro card was used on this setup as well. Unfortunately, I did have some problems with the Soltek board that caused some crashes and forced me to make other bios changes in order to prevent it – however this caused my numbers for the Pentium 4 setup to be slightly lower than I expected. I have a strong suspicion that our problems were caused by the Soltek board forcing the Radeon card into 8x AGP mode. Soyo is providing me with another P4 board as well, and when it arrives I will see how it performs with the 2.8 GHz P4 and update appropriately.


On both setups, power was definitely an issue. The Radeon 9700 card itself was reason enough to get the best you can afford, but coupling that with the two most powerful processors available and you can see that load on the PSUs was intense. I tried out two power supplies here on these systems, and both performed magically. The brand new Vantec Stealth 520w PSU and the Antec 430w TruePower PSU were able to push these loads with ease.


Memory settings on both setups were running at 333 MHz DDR with CAS 2 and 1T Command Rate.


Here are the setup tables and the list of benchmarks that will follow:




AMD Test System Setup


CPU

1 x 2.17 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2700+ Processor

1 x 2.13 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Processor

1 x 1.80 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2200+ Processor


Motherboard

Asus A7N8X nForce2 Motherboard


Memory

2 x 256MB Corsair Micro XMS3200 DDR DRAM


Hard Drive

80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE


Video Card

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro


Video Drivers

Retail


Operating System

Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1




Intel Test System Setup


CPU

1 x 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 Processor


Motherboard

Soltek 85ERV P4X400


Memory

2 x 256MB Corsair Micro XMS3200 DDR DRAM


Hard Drive

80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE


Video Card

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro


Video Drivers

Retail


Operating System

Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1




Tests:


Quake III: Arena

3DMark 2001

SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench

SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench

Content Creation Winstone 2001

Business Winstone 2001

SPECviewperf 7

Cachemem

ScienceMark

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