Page 1 - An Introduction and Specifications
Brr, it seems like only such a short time that we reviewed AMD's Athlon 3000+, the fastest AMD processor available at that time. My prognosis and semi-conclusion in that review was that I stated we'd be seeing 64-bit desktop CPU's quite soon, none-the-less I also expected a few more processor with the good old 32-bit core. In fact I already saw the processor we are testing today at the CeBIT 2003 in Hannover.
Today therefore we are testing the Athlon XP 3200+, once again the fastest high-end performing processor from AMD. This processor is a bit different though, Of course the CPU is based on the newer Barton core but AMD shifted towards a 200 MHZ (400 MHz effectively) Front Side Bus which is very clever in terms of boosting performance. Why, a bottleneck these days for faster PC's and CPU's is it's memory bandwidth. The 400 MHz (2x200) FSB allows higher clocked DDR memory in this case PC3200 better kown also known as DDR400. With that extra breathing space the memory bus now has a bandwidth of 2.7 GB/sec to 3.2 GB/sec which is very welcome.
Interesting to see is that the CPU core basically is 100% the same as the XP 3000+, in fact the die is 100% the same. It's doing 11x200 MHz thus a 2.2 Clockspeed. The Athlon XP 3000+ is clocked at 13x166 MHz = 2.167 GHz
So the big difference is only the fact that this CPU can run a higher FSB. Combined with the right mainboard and memory this can create a seriously fast combo, an expensive combo though as you will pay roughly 450 USD for this baby.
We received the processor together with a mainboard from ASUS, the nFORCE 2 based A7N8x, this board can run in a Dual Channel configuration and so it did, it was equipped with Corsair memory 2x256MB. Weirdly enough the memory performance did not go higher than 2800-2900 MB/sec at DDR configuration which in my eyes was disappointing. More on that later.