Part One: Pushing the Palomino...
If there is one statement we can all agree on then this is
surely it: The Athlon XP chips have been a great success.
And why wouldn't they be? The Palomino core proved to many
just what a superb design the Athlon based chips were, constantly
keeping up with competitors despite operating a lower overall
frequency (GHz). AMD's design was a winner, the only factor
that some were skeptical over was the reintroducing of 'performance
ratings' rather than MHz to distinguish the individual speed
variations of the processors. Indeed, I still hear some less
experienced users referring to their latest investment as,
for example, 'the Athlon one point six', when they are actually
talking about the 1600+ that doesn't actually operate at one
point six Gigahertz. This contentious issue's inherit aspects
of beginner deception is now largely overlooked purely because
the 1600+ would indeed best the performance of the competitions
1.6GHz CPU. In fact, as AMD have proved time and time again
in a variety of vastly different benchmarks, it not only (and
forgive me for paraphrasing myself) 'bests it', it smashes
through the performance levels set by competitor's products.
For some the MHz of the CPU is the most important factor when
purchasing a new computer but we can therefore suggest that
this is now even more naïve than our previously mentioned
friend and his 1.6 confusion. While the competition's MHz
have skyrocketed, it's just as important to note the actual
work per cycle has diminished. This is the point AMD would
like you to focus on. If operations in a given cycle are reduced
for pure frequency increases, the overall performance of the
product is reduced. By maintaining an excellent stance of
accepting both aspects of CPU performance as essential to
each other, AMD's CPU have achieved much more per clock cycle
than the closest competitors CPU. We started with the initial
launch models. (1400+, 1500+, 1600+, 1800+) and look how far
we have come already...
For many, the XP 2000+ (1.67GHz) was seen as the final revision
of the XP. The core and it's 0.18 format was just about to
reach it's limit and we all anticipated the upcoming 0.13
based CPU's. AMD surprised many by releasing another model
number in this highly successful XP series, the 2100+. Operating
at a frequency of 1.73GHz and including the usual enhancements
such as Quanti-Speed architecture, the Palomino comes back
once more to set new standards in CPU performance. It remains
to be seen as to whether this really is the last XP, in this
form at least. It would certainly seen like it from the outside
looking in. AMD is keeping it's cards close to it's chest
on upcoming CPU's thus far, and what scant information IS
available will not be commented upon, at this stage, by us.
We start as usual then, with a quick recap on the XP CPU.
From then, it's all about the benchmarks as you'd expect.
Let's move on...
Page Two: The Athlon XP CPU >>>