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.
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
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
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.
Page 2- Continued