AMD Athlon XP 3200+

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The AMD Athlon XP 3200+:
A 2.20GHz "Barton" with a 400MHz System Bus
The Barton Core Gets Its First Speed Bump...

By, Marco Chiappetta
May 13, 2003

In mid February, AMD introduced a group of new processors based on their "Barton" core with 512K of on-die L2 cache, double the amount of the previous generation.  With the introduction of the "Barton", AMD gave the Athlon XP line of desktop CPUs a much needed "shot in the arm".  Performance versus similarly clocked "Thoroughbred" based Athlons was superior, and the performance deltas between AMD's and Intel's flagship processors were reduced.  For the most part though, Intel's 3.06GHz Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading took the led in the majority of benchmarks when compared to the Athlon XP 3000+.  Then in April, Intel release a new line of processors with 800MHz systems buses.  They simultaneously released new motherboard chipsets as well, the Canterwood (i875) and Springdale (i865), that further enhanced the performance of the Pentium 4 platform.  Before April came to a close, however, AMD did make some noise of their own when they released their highly anticipated 64-Bit Server Class CPU, the Opteron.  AMD is also poised to release new 64-Bit desktop CPUs based on the same architecture as the Opteron in September.  For now though, the battle for desktop supremacy is still between the "Barton" based Athlons and Intel's "Northwood-C" Pentium 4s.  Today we'll be taking a look at AMD's latest weapon in this battle, the Athlon XP 3200+.  This processor marks the first appearance of a 400MHz system bus for the Athlon.  So, does the Athlon XP 3200+'s faster system bus speed change the desktop CPU pecking order?  Read on and find out...

Specifications of the AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Processor
Increased Core and System BUS Speeds...

THE AMD ATHLON XP 3200+ UP CLOSE
             

CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

Key Architectural Features of the AMD Athlon? XP Processor Include:

QuantiSpeed? Architecture for enhanced performance

  • Nine-issue superpipelined, superscalar x86 processor microarchitecture designed for high performance
  • Multiple parallel x86 instruction decoders
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, fully pipelined floating point execution units, which execute x87 (floating point), MMX? and 3DNow!? instructions
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined integer units
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined address calculation units
  • 72-entry instruction control unit
  • Advanced hardware data prefetch
  • Exclusive and speculative Translation Look-aside Buffers
  • Advanced dynamic branch prediction

3DNow!? Professional technology for leading-edge 3D operation

  • 21 original 3DNow!? instructions?the first technology enabling superscalar SIMD
  • 19 additional instructions to enable improved integer math calculations for speech or video encoding and improved data movement for Internet plug-ins and other streaming applications
  • 5 DSP instructions to improve soft modem, soft ADSL, Dolby Digital surround sound, and MP3 applications
  • 52 SSE instructions with SIMD integer and floating point additions offer excellent compatibility with Intel?s SSE technology
  • Compatible with Windows® XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows 98 operating systems

400MHz AMD Athlon? XP processor system bus enables excellent system bandwidth for data movement-intensive applications

  • Source synchronous clocking (clock forwarding) technology
  • Peak data rate of 3.2GB/s
  • Support for 64-bit bi-directional data

The AMD Athlon? XP processor with performance-enhancing cache memory features 64K instruction and 64K data caches for a total of 128K L1 cache and 512K of integrated, on-chip L2 cache for a total of 640K of full-speed, on-chip cache.

Socket A 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 400MHz AMD Athlon XP system buses, based on Alpha EV6? bus protocol

Die size: approximately 54.3 million transistors on 101mm2. Manufactured using AMD's state-of-the-art 0.13-micron copper process technology at AMD's Fab 30 wafer fabrication facility in Dresden, Germany.


AMD didn't make any changes to the "Barton" core with the Athlon XP 3200+.  The only difference between this processor and AMD's previous flagship, the Athlon XP 3000+, is the FSB.  By lowering the processor's multiplier, and raising the FSB, AMD increases system bandwidth, which in turn should increase overall performance.  As you can see in the chart above, the Athlon XP 3200+ is clocked at 2.2GHz, a measly 30MHz higher than the 3000+.   This clock speed is attained by using a multiplier of 11 and an Front Side Bus speed of 200MHz (400MHz DDR).  The 30MHz increase in clock speed may not be very exciting, but keep in mind the real performance gains will come from the 20% faster system bus.  Thermal Power and current draw has increased incrementally as well, which is to be expected.

More Processor Info & Overclocking

Tags:  AMD, Athlon, XP, 320, AM

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