Review Index:

AMD Athlon XP 3200+: Enter the 400 MHz FSB

Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

AMD Comes Around a Bit Quicker This Time…

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In reality, even before the release of the 333 MHz front side bus parts were released into the market back in October of last year in the form of the Athlon XP 2700+, we knew that AMD was looking at the 400 MHz front side bus as well. When NVIDIA started showing us products that had support in their bios’ for 200 MHz and beyond for the host bus, we knew that something was going on. The scenario seemed vaguely familiar…

A long, long time ago, there were 266 MHz FSB Athlons and DDR266 memory speeds. Chipsets then arrived to push the boundaries and give us 266 MHz FSB Athlons with asynchronous DDR333 memory support. The advantages there were slight, and we knew that the dramatic changes occurred when the CPU and memory buses remained synchronous. Seeing this, AMD took it upon itself to delve into the 333 MHz FSB Athlons, and it was good. :) Synchronous 333/333 processor and memory combinations reigned for a short while, until the DDR400 spec was introduced and tested. We then saw many motherboards and chipsets flaunting a new 333 MHz FSB Athlon and DDR400 asynchronous combination. Only this time, the performance increases were slim to sometimes none. Now, once again, AMD has upped the Athlon with a new, faster front side bus – this time in a much shorter span of time. With today’s release of the Athlon XP 3200+, Athlons are now available in 400 MHz FSB, meaning synchronous 400/400 system speed support.

Athlon XP 3200+ (left), 3000+ (center) and 2700+ (right)

With the move to a synchronous platform, we will no doubt see increases that simply weren’t able to show off the speed of the DDR400 spec. But, as with many new processor changes, there are other components that need adapting as well. Enter the new motherboard chipsets…