AMD Athlon XP 3000+

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The AMD Athlon XP 3000+ - Page 2

The AMD Athlon XP 3000+:
A 2.16GHz CPU with 512K L2 Cache
Has AMD Done Enough to Take The Speed Crown From Intel?

By, Marco Chiappetta
and Chris Angelini
February 10, 2003

Our Test System's Major Components
A Flagship CPU with Top Notch Components


We tested the Athlon XP 3000+ with a group of top-notch supporting hardware from Asus, Corsair Micro and ATi.  We used an nForce 2 powered Asus A7N8X motherboard to test AMD's newest CPU.  As you all know, for maximum performance the nForce 2 needs to operate in "Dual-DDR" mode, so we populated the A7N8X with two matched 256MB PC-3200 DDR modules from Corsair, for a grand total of 512MB of RAM.  We had an ATi built Radeon 9700 Pro pushing the pixels in our test rig, officially making our Athlon XP 3000+ test bed a "kick-ass" system.


Cooling duties were handled by the heatsink / fan combo provided to us by AMD with the 3000+.  As far as "stock" coolers go, AMD looks to have a winner on their hands with this improved model.  About the only thing we didn't like about this new cooler was the clip design.  We would have preferred to have seen a more reliable and sturdy three-pronged clip mechanism, instead of the single pronged design seen here.  The thin aluminum fins, copper core and quiet fan were all very appealing though, and its performance was surprisingly good.  Obviously, this cooler will not hold a candle to something like a Thermalright SLK-800 coupled with a high-speed fan, but you'll be happy to note that even when we overclocked this CPU to almost 2.4GHz..  Our core temperature never even came close 85°C, which is the Athlon XP 3000+'s maximum die temperature rating.

The Athlon XP 3000+ Exposed
Getting to the Nitty-Gritty


We ran WCPUID v3.1a to take a look at the inner workings of the Athlon XP 3000+.  The above screenshots are of the general CPU information page, the CacheID information page and the Standard and Extended Feature Flags.  The CPU status screen indicates our CPU was running at its default clock speed of 2.16GHz (13x166MHz).  The CacheID screenshot shows the Athlon XP 3000+ still sporting 64K of 2-Way set associative Instruction L1 cache and 64K of 2-Way set associative data L1 cache, but 16-Way set associative L2 cache has been increased to 512K, for a grand total of 640K of full-speed on-die cache.  The Standard and Extended Feature flags haven't changed from previous generations of the Athlon XP.  (WCPUID ID Information taken from an Athlon XP 2700+ is available here.)

Overclocking The 3000+
(Lower Clock Speed + Greater Surface Area) - More Transistors = Better OC?


2.43GHZ (13X187)
2.43GHZ (13X187)
2.43GHZ (13X187)
2.43GHZ (13X187)

Many of you are probably wondering how all of the extra transistors that comprise the new "Barton" core, have affected the overclocking potential of the Athlon XP.  Well, if our experience is any indication, the overclockers out there are going to be very pleased with AMD's new desktop CPUs.  We overclocked our Athlon XP 3000+ by raising the FSB, and were able to take our particular CPU all the way up to 2.43GHz (13x187MHz) at default voltage, using the "stock" cooler provided to us by AMD.  That is an almost 13% increase without using exotic cooling, or raising the processor's core voltage.  Using a VapoChill or water-cooling the CPU, and jacking up the core voltage would undoubtedly produce even better results.  We should also note, that after benchmarking the system while overclocked, we immediately restarted the system and entered the BIOS and never saw the core temperature never exceed 75°C.  At default clock speeds our CPU's temperature hovered between 48° and 52°C. 

The extra surface area provided by the larger core, seems to make cooling these new CPUs easier, with the added benefit of making them more durable.  Also, we didn't verify this ourselves just yet, but unlocking the multiplier on "Barton" based CPUs should be the same process as unlocking a "Thoroughbred".  Connect the Fifth L3 trace and you should be in business.


So, How Fast is it?

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