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AMD Athlon XP 2000+, A Virtual Milestone!
Author : Wayne Date : 7th January 2002

3DVelocity would like to thank AMD and especially Theresa Zimmer for their help and courtesy in providing this processor for review.

...Product AMD Athlon XP 2000+
...Manufacturer AMD
...Supplier AMD
...Price

Around £300

 

 

 

 

Introduction :

20 years have passed since we say the first x86 PC and boy how things have changed. AMD's first new processor of 2002 is yet another milestone for the company that spent much of its early years playing catch-up to the mighty Intel, and while it may not be a true 2.0GHz processor, the 2000+ rating is still a noteworthy advance that will be remembered for all the right reasons.

Other than being a new speed grade, nothing else has changed. The processor runs at 1666 MHz and is considered by AMD to be the equal of a classic Thunderbird core operating at around 2 GHz. Despite the confusion, the rating scheme AMD use is nothing to do with Pentium 4 speeds, it is entirely based on estimated performance of the original Thunderbird core.

The XP2000+ also introduces an interesting question regarding AMD's future processors. Clocked at 1667MHz, it achieves this speed using a 133MHz fsb combined with a 12.5x multiplier (12.5x133.3 = 1667). As 12.5x is the maximum supported multiplier on a lot of motherboards out there, this means the 2000+ is the fasted Palomino many of you will be able to use short of a BIOS update, a new motherboard or an increased processor fsb from AMD on their next speed grade.

When the XP1900+ was released just before Christmas, I think most of us assumed it would be at least February before we saw the 2000+ make an appearance. I can only guess that the reasoning behind such an early release was down to Intel's impending 2.0 and 2.2GHz 0.13 micron Northwood processors due any time.

For the moment at least, the 2000+ is the undisputed speed king. With the 1900+ beating out 2.0GHz Pentium 4's in most applications, the 2000+ is pretty much king of the hill right now, the big question is for how long?

A look at the processor :

I have no doubt that those of interested in the architecture behind AMD's XP processors have already scoured the 'Net and wised up on it, but as we haven't really looked at it since the launch, I do want to go over some of the finer points again in this review. Before I do however, let's take a look at new XP 2000+.

The first thing that will probably catch your attention is the fact that the package is brown, not green as we've been seeing recently. According to AMD we will soon be seeing all their processors supplied in green, it is AMD's corporate colour after all, but I kind of like them in brown.

The 2000+ is still manufactured using the new organic packaging, which is a rather grand name for something that is essentially nothing more than fibre glass, and as with all previous XPs, the L1 bridges are laser cut to form the now familiar trenches making unlocking them that bit more of a challenge.

 

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