Overclocking The Sempron 3300+ & Wrap-Up
Many of our readers are of the enthusiast mold and wouldn't forgive us if we didn't overclock the Sempron 3300+. Please keep in ming that our results are indicative of our particular processor as well as the memory and motherboard, so individual results may vary. Nonetheless, we gave it a whirl and ran another round of 3DMark05 once we reached our top speed.
With this particular configuration, we managed to push the Sempron 3300+ processor up to 2.3GHz, an increase of 300MHz or 15%. We achieved this by setting the clock register to 230MHz, the highest stable speed this motherboard would tolerate with the Sempron 3300+. This extra 15% gave 3DMark05 an increase of 14.16%, pushing the original score of 3878 up to 4427 3DMarks.
With the announcement of their new Sempron 3300+ processor, AMD is aiming to up the ante in the economy class processor market. Setting their sights solely on Intel's Celeron product line, AMD claims better overall performance potential compared to the fastest Celerons currently available. In essence, these claims held true throughout our testing, showing the Sempron 3300+, and even the older 3100+, offered a more balanced performance picture when compare to the Celeron D 535. In fact, the only time the Celeron D 535 processor posted leading scores was with synthetic testing. Once we focused on real world performance, the results was almost all Sempron. With desktop and multimedia application testing, both Semprons posted the strongest results, as did our gaming and Windows Media Encoder 9 tests. Only with XPMEG's encoding test did the Celeron manage to tie the Sempron 3300+'s processing capabilities.
Overall, the "Palermo" based Sempron 3300+ has shown a lot of promise as a solid, all-around economy chip. While the Celeron D 535 is a valid option, it struggled to compete, even against the older 3100+, especially with multimedia intensive applications. AMD has made a strong case for the importance of L1 cache compared to L2 cache with their architecture, showing in the majority of tests, the Sempron line had the advantage over the Celeron, that struggled with its 28KB L1 cache complement. Not only has the 3300+ grabbed our attention, it also shed new light on the existing Sempron 3100+ as well.
For those looking for an affordable processor with little sacrifice in performance, the Sempron line offers a more balanced option over current Celeron offerings. Selling at an entry point of $127 in 1K lots, the Sempron 3300+ does come in a bit pricier than the Celeron D 535, which we purchased for $99. However, with recent price cuts to the Sempron line, we expect existing price gaps to close over time, making an even stronger case for the either socket 754 Sempron processor, as long as 64-Bit computing is not in your plans any time soon.