AMD Athlon 64 3400+

The AMD Athlon 64 3400+ - Page 1

The AMD Athlon 64 3400+:
The Athlon 64 Gets Its First Speed Bump...

By, Marco Chiappetta
January 6, 2004

AMD closed out 2003 by quietly releasing the Athlon 64 3000+.  The 3000+ was clocked at the same 2.0GHz as the Athlon 64 3200+, and it used the same 754 pin socket, but it featured 512K of L1 cache, only half that of the 3200+.  Its performance, however, was only slightly behind that of the 3200+, and it was priced much more affordably at around $200 U.S.  The 3000+ is exactly the type of CPU mainstream buyers gobble up in droves, but this almost low profile launch was rather unusual, with all the fan-fare being made about the new core in general.  AMD and Intel have been playing a perpetual game of one-upmanship for the past few years, as each company tries to outdo the other with each new CPU release.  The Athlon 64 3000+ wasn't meant to compete with Intel at the high-end of the market though.  The processor we'll be looking at today, however, can possibly compete with Intel's best, dollar for dollar.

Only a few weeks after the introduction of the 3000+, AMD is now officially unveiling the Athlon 64 3400+.  This new CPU is similar to the 3200+, but it is clocked at 2.2GHz, matching the clock speed of AMD's flagship FX-51 processor.  We took a look at the Athlon 64 FX-51 back in September, and were quite impressed with its performance and the new features that it brought to the table.  If you're not up to speed on all of the enhancements associated with the relative new Athlon 64 architecture, we'd suggest taking a gander at our FX-51 launch article, there's a lot of information there.  Architecturally speaking, the new Athlon 64 3400+ is very similar to the FX-51, with the only different being their respective memory interfaces.  The Athlon 64 FX-51 has a 128-bit memory interface, while the 3400+ has a 64-bit interface.  The same HyperTransport link, 1MB of L2 cache and integrated memory controller are all there, however.  On paper, the Athlon 64 3400+ has the makings of a speedy and significantly more affordable CPU.  What do you say we plug it in and take her for spin?  We though you'd like that...


Specifications of the AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Processor
Increased Core Clock Speed
Specifications / Features from AMD.COM

The AMD64 core provides leading-edge 32-bit performance and support for future 64-bit applications

  • AMD64 technology provides full speed support for x86 code base for uncompromising 32-bit performance, with readiness for 64-bit applications
  • 40-bit physical addresses, 48-bit virtual addresses
  • Eight new (sixteen total) 64-bit integer registers
  • Eight new (sixteen total) 128-bit SSE/SSE2 registers
  • Including support for 3DNow!? Professional technology and SSE2

A high-bandwidth, low-latency integrated DDR memory controller

  • Supports PC3200, PC2700, PC2100 or PC1600 DDR SDRAM
  • Unbuffered DIMMs
  • 72-bit DDR SDRAM memory (64-bit interface + 8-bit ECC)
  • Up to 3.2 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • ECC protection enables increased system reliability

HyperTransport technology for high speed I/O communication

  • One 16-bit link up to 1600MHz
  • Up to 6.4GB/s HyperTransport I/O bandwidth
  • Up to 9.6GB/s total delivered processor-to-system bandwidth
Large high performance on-chip cache
  • 64KB Level 1 instruction cache
  • 64KB Level 1 data cache
  • Up to 1MB Level 2 cache
  • Improved branch prediction for greater accuracy in anticipating instruction calls
  • Enhanced TLB structures for better memory management of complex workloads





The specifications listed above don't reveal anything we haven't seen before.  The Athlon 64 3400+ is equipped with the same 1MB of L2 cache, has the same integrated memory controller, the same HyperTransport link and the same die size as the 3200+.  It's not until you get to the bottom of the list above, and see two additional operating frequencies, at different power states, that we observe something new.  With the 3400+ AMD is bringing their "Cool'n'Quiet" technology to the a desktop CPU.  This is the same technology that allows AMD mobile processors to run only as fast, and to draw only as much power as is needed, for any given task.  As the name implies, the result is a cooler running and quieter system, because the system's fans can spin slower, which in turn consume less power. In order to take advantage of this CPU feature, you must have a motherboard that has been designed to support the Cool'n'Quiet technology.  We've already begun to see some vendors add the feature their BIOS options (see here), and suspect others will be adding it as well in the near future.




Physically, the Athlon 64 3400+ looks identical to the 3200+ that preceded it.  It uses the same organic packaging, and has the same large integrated heat spreader.  When placed side by side with a Pentium 4 though, the Athlon 64 3400+ is quite a bit larger.  A quick look at the underside of the CPUs reveals the much "busier" 754 pin package, as opposed to the 478 pins found on the P4.  The stock cooler AMD provided with the 3400+ also deserves some attention.  The heatsink, which is built by Ajigo, has a thick copper base, with thin Aluminum fins covering its entire surface.  We found the heatsink to work quite well.  It kept our CPU running in the mid 40°C range while gaming at default clock speeds.

 More Processor Info & Overclocking

Tags:  AMD, Athlon, Athlon 64, AM

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