seems like some rivalries will never die. History is
riddled with intense rivalries that people will never
forget. Sports fans have the Yankees versus the Red
Sox and Ali versus Frasier, and techies like you and I have
The rivalry between Intel and AMD gets even more intense, with
today's introduction of two new CPUs, the Athlon XP 2700+
and the Athlon XP 2800+. What makes things even more
interesting is that not only did AMD increase the clock
speed of these new Athlons to 2.17GHz and 2.25GHz
respectively, but they have also raised the Front Side Bus
frequency by 25%, from 266MHz to 333MHz.
and analysts have been pressuring AMD for months, almost
begging them to reconsider their position, and increase the FSB on their high-end CPU.
Thankfully, AMD listened... or was it all part of the plan?
Specifications of the AMD Athlon XP 2700+
333MHz System Bus and
a Core Clock Speed of 2.17GHz
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN
Key Architectural Features of
the AMD Athlon? XP Processor:
Architecture for enhanced performance
superpipelined, superscalar x86 processor microarchitecture
designed for high performance
parallel x86 instruction decoders
out-of-order, superscalar, fully pipelined floating point
execution units, which execute x87 (floating point), MMX?
and 3DNow!? instructions
out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined integer units
out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined address calculation
instruction control unit
hardware data prefetch
speculative Translation Look-aside Buffers
3DNow!? Professional technology
for leading-edge 3D operation:
3DNow!? instructions?the first technology enabling
instructions to enable improved integer math calculations
for speech or video encoding and improved data movement for
Internet plug-ins and other streaming applications
instructions to improve soft modem, soft ADSL, Dolby Digital
surround sound, and MP3 applications
instructions with SIMD integer and floating point additions
offer excellent compatibility with Intel's SSE technology
Windows® XP, Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows NT® 4.x
266MHz AMD Athlon? XP processor
system bus enables excellent system bandwidth for data
synchronous clocking (clock forwarding) technology
8-bit ECC for data bus integrity
Peak data rate
support: point-to-point topology, with number of processors
in SMP systems determined by chipset implementation
Support for 24 outstanding transactions per processor
Other Architectural Elements:
The AMD Athlon?
XP processor with performance-enhancing cache memory
features 64K instruction and 64K data cache for a total of
128K L1 cache. 256K of integrated, on-chip L2 cache
for a total of 384K full-speed, on-chip cache.
infrastructure designs are based on high-performance
platforms and are supported by a full line of optimized
infrastructure solutions (chipsets, motherboards, BIOS).
Available in Pin Grid Array (PGA) for mounting in a socketed
infrastructure Electrical interface compatible with 266MHz
AMD Athlon XP system buses, based on Alpha EV6? bus protocol
approximately 37.6 million transistors on 84mm2.
Manufactured using AMD's state-of-the-art 0.13-micron copper
Today's launch isn't only about the
introduction of some new Athlon XP's with higher clock
speeds, and a faster front side bus (FSB), however. This is
also the first chance we've had to actually test a
motherboard based on NVIDIA's recently introduced nForce 2
The board we used with the
Athlon XP 2700+ was a pre-production Asus A7N8X supplied to
us by AMD.
The nForce 2 brings a host of features to the table like
AGP 8X, DDR400 support and a high speed connection between
the North and South bridge using AMD's HyperTransport
protocol. In previous conversations we've had with
NVIDIA, we were told the nForce 2's memory controller had
been significantly enhanced over the first nForce. Preliminary numbers were showing notable performance
increases over the competition. Needless to say we
were eager to get our hands on a board for testing. As
you'll see later, it was worth the wait.
The Setup, Processor ID and Overclocking