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snakebite1967

amd 3000+

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Feature Barton (Athlon XP 3000+) Thoroughbred (Athlon XP 2800+)

Transistor Count 54.3 million 37.6 million

L1 Cache 128KB 128KB

L2 Cache 512KB 256KB

Total Cache: 640KB 384KB

Die Size 101 square millimeters 84 square millimeters

Clock Speed 2.16GHz 2.25GHz (XP2700 @ 2.16GHz)

Max Thermal Output 74.3W 74.3W

Check Prices check prices check prices

Turbo Tax: Sector 33 Naughtiness

This table encapsulates all the differences between Barton and Thoroughbred; no new instructions or other features have been added. Interestingly, the Athlon XP 2700+, which is widely available, also clocks in at 2.16GHz. AMD is also releasing two additional CPUs using the Barton core, an Athlon XP 2800+ at 2.083GHz (166MHz frontside bus, 333MHz effective) and the Athlon XP 2500+ at 1.833GHz (166MHz FSB, 333MHz effective).

AMD was unable to ship the original Athlon XP 2800+ in substantial quantities, though the 2700+ is currently widely available. AMD has indicated that the new Barton CPUs will be more readily available, and will replace the older Thoroughbred 2800+ units. It will be interesting to see if the company can really ship the 3000+ in quantity, given that its maximum thermal output is the same as that of the hard-to-find 2800+.

The PC Mark memory test results on the previous page provide a pretty strong indication that there's a delicate balance between clock rate and cache size.

When Intel introduced the Northwood CPU, with its larger cache size, the slowest Northwood was 2GHz -- the same as the maximum clock rate of the older Willamette core. There was no question as to which Intel CPU would be faster.

Here, AMD is introducing a product that clocks slower than its previous top of the line, but with more cache. The net result is that applications that are sensitive to cache size may run better on Barton, but apps which like higher clock rates (and have tight loops running in L1) will run faster on the 2800+.

This is all somewhat moot, as AMD will not be shipping a 2800+ Thoroughbred at all, opting for the slower-clocked, Barton variant. However, it is interesting to see the tradeoffs here.

Of course, you might look at the Barton 2500+ and note that it clocks more slowly than the Thoroughbred 2400+ -- but that's not apples-to-apples either, as the 2400+ only supports a 266MHz frontside bus.

The real contradiction, though, is that the Athlon XP 2700+ clocks at 2.16GHz, while the 2800+ will clock at 2.083GHz. It's likely the 2700+ will perform better in some CPU-intensive apps than the 2800+. This leaves us scratching our head over the entire product naming scheme.

All of this indicates that AMD is playing a tricky and delicate balancing act with its product numbering scheme. As we've seen, the 3000+ isn't superior to the 2800+ in every case. When compared to the P4 at 3.06GHz, the results are also somewhat mixed -- AMD is faster in some cases, Intel in others.

Which CPU should you buy? If you're a gamer, the 3000+ offers a substantial performance boost over the hard-to-get 2800+, thought the P4 seems a bit better in a wider range of games. But the AMD solution will cost you less money.

At $588, the top-of-the-line Barton costs a bit less than the P4 at 3.06GHz, which costs around $650 (check prices). The P4's use of Hyper-Threading benefits some applications, and may also improve multitasking situations. But it's also more expensive. On the other hand, Intel is readying a new line of P4's that will support a much faster frontside bus. At that point, AMD will have to play catch-up again.

Product: Athlon XP 3000+

Web Site: www.amd.com

Pro: Additional L2 cache makes a difference in some cases.

Con: Slower clock rate than AMD's previous best.

Summary: The new Barton CPU offers speedy performance in games, but is a mixed bag in other applications. However, AMD maintains its price/performance edge when paired with Nforce2 motherboards.

Score:

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Scroll down Snakebite :): AMD 3000XP post

Also, could you try to not make such long post and use a link if it's already on the web. Too much information for me to take in the format this board limits us to. :blink:

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