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3DVelocity's XP 2000+ Review

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AMD's Athlon XP 2100+ (1.73GHz)
Author : Martyn Date : 13th March '02

3DVelocity wish to thank AMD and particularly Theresa Zimmer for providing this CPU for review.

...Product AMD Athlon XP 2100+
...Manufacturer AMD
...Supplier AMD
...Price TBC



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 >>>