AMD Athlon XP 3200+

The AMD Athlon XP 3200+ - Page 2

The AMD Athlon XP 3200+:
A 2.20GHz "Barton" with a 200MHz FSB
The Barton Core Gets Its First Speed Bump...

By, Marco Chiappetta
May 13, 2003

Our Test System's Major Components
Simply The Best!



We used some of the best components available to test the Athlon XP 3200+.  Asus' nForce 2 based A7N8X Deluxe v2.0 was our motherboard of choice.  The latest version of this board uses the C1 stepping of NVIDIA's very popular nForce 2 chipset.  The C1 stepping ensures reliable operation at FSBs exceeding 200MHz.  As you all probably know, to get the best performance out of an nForce 2, you must run the memory in Dual-Channel mode, with aggressive timings, at the same clock speed as your processor's FSB.  To do this, we used a pair of high quality 256MB (512MB total) TwinX Corsair PC3200 modules.  Rounding out our test system were an ATi Radeon 9700 Pro and a 128GB Seagate Barracuda V 7200 RPM SATA hard drive.


AMD supplied us with an Ajigo heatsink to help keep the Athlon XP 3200+ nice and cool.  At first glance this heatsink looks rather plain, but it actually performed quite well.  The thick copper base and thin aluminum fins do a great job of pulling heat away from the processor's core.  We also liked the fact that all 6 hold-down tabs are used to fasten this cooler to the socket, and the fan is virtually silent.  At default clock speeds this cooler kept our Athlon XP 3200+'s temperature around 39 - 42 degrees Celsius.  When we overclocked the system, however, things got a little "toastier".  While overclocked we saw temperatures approaching 65 degrees Celsius.

The Athlon XP 3200+ Exposed
The "Inner Workings"





We fired up WCPUID to take a closer look at the Athlon XP 3200+'s clock speed and feature set.  The screenshots above are of WCPUID's general CPU information page, the CacheID information page and the Standard and Extended Feature Flag pages.  The general information page shows the 3200+ running at its default clock speed of 2.20GHz (11x200MHz).  Just like the Athlon XP 3000+, and the other "Barton" processors to come before it, the Athlon XP 3200+ is equipped with 64K of 2-Way set associative Instruction L1 cache and 64K of 2-Way set associative data L1 cache.  This processor also has 512K of 16-Way set associative L2 cache, bringing the total amount of full-speed, on-die cache to 640K.  The Standard and Extended Feature flags are identical to earlier versions of the Athlon XP.  (WCPUID ID Information taken from an Athlon XP 3000+ is available here.)

Overclocking The 3200+
They Just Keep Getting Better...


2520MHZ (12X210)
2520MHZ (12X210)
2520MHZ (12X210)
2520MHZ (12X210)
2520MHZ (12X210)

The Athlon XP 3000+ we reviewed back in February was a fairly good overclocker.  At its default voltage, with stock cooling, we were able to increase the 3000+'s clock speed by 13%.  Well, it seems that with each new batch of processors, AMD further refines their .13 micron, copper manufacturing process.  We were able to take the Athlon XP 3200+ all the way up to 2520MHz!  A full 320MHz, or 14.5% higher than its default speed!  Getting to this speed was a bit trickier than just raising the FSB, however.  It's already a stretch finding RAM that's going to run reliably in Dual-Channel mode with aggressive timings at 200MHz.  Sure, you can relax the memory timings and take the FSB higher, but the best performance comes by running your memory with aggressive timings.  Luckily, the multiplier of an Athlon can be easily adjusted with a quality motherboard.  We found the "sweet spot" for our CPU and memory was with an FSB of 210MHz and a multiplier of 12.  We suspect using more advanced cooling techniques would have allowed us to take this CPU even higher

So, How Fast is it?

Tags:  AMD, Athlon, XP, 320, AM

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