AMD's Athlon XP 2100+ Processor

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AMD's Athlon XP 2100+ Processor
Crunching Code at 1733MHz.

By, Marco Chiappetta
March 13, 2002


We'll round out the benchmarking with some scores from MadOnion's 3DMark and Video 2000 MPEG Encoding Tests along with a Time Demo run using the omnipresent Quake 3 Arena.



Benchmarks and Comparisons
MadOnion and Quake 3 Time Demo Benchmarks

Next up, we ran MadOnion's 3D Mark 2001 SE though a default benchmark (1024x768x32, without antialiasing).  The only difference in the test system's configuration was the CPU itself.  The video card's driver settings and benchmark settings were not changed in any way.

Is that about what you were expecting?  The 66MHz. increase in core clock speed translated into roughly a 1% increase in the default 3D Mark 2001 score, nothing earth shattering but it is measurable.  With a little video card and CPU overclocking, we're fairly certain that 13000 3D Marks is within reach.  Dave has been trying to take over the number one spot in MadOnion's Fastest Webmaster contest for a while now, I think I may try to talk him into using an Athlon for his next run at the "crown".

MadOnion's Video 2000 MPEG2 Encode test, uses the host CPU to run an MPEG2 compression test and generates a score accordingly..

This is another CPU test that is showing it's age.  Both the Athlon XP 2000+ and 2100+ tore through this test.  And while the performance difference may be very small, if you're encoding a large files, and multiple not so large files, opting for the faster CPU is probably a good idea.

Now the for the one benchmark that finds it's way into virtually every CPU or Graphics Card review on the web, Quake 3 Arena.  Running Quake 3 at low resolution with a powerful video card, isolates the performance of the host CPU.

Once again, we see that the small clock speed advantage gains very little in terms of real, measurable performance.  There is a less than 4 frames per second difference between the two CPUs, which is unperceivable to the naked eye when we hit levels this high.

What can we say about the Athlon XP 2100+ that the numbers don't say for us?  This is one fast CPU, plain an simple and we're not the only ones with that opinion.  As you're reading this, a few large OEMs like Compaq and NEC are readying PCs for immediate shipment powered by the Athlon XP 2100+.  If you're not the type who buys "boxed" systems, expect to pay upwards of $400 for AMD's newest flagship processor.  In quantities of 1000 pcs., the Athlon XP 2100+ will sell for $420 each.  To some, seeing a price tag that high on an AMD CPU, the company that has been selling top of the line CPUs for peanuts as of late, may be surprising.  Keep in mind that if you want premium parts though, you'll have to pay a premium price.  Even so, the Athlon XP 2100+ is still considerably less expensive than a similarly performing CPU from Intel.

Not everything is rosy in the AMD camp though.  While currently, neither AMD nor Intel have a firm grasp on the over all speed crown, Intel does have at least a perceived advantage.  Intel has been manufacturing CPUs on their .13 process for months and yields are getting better with each passing day.  Keep in mind that the current crop of Athlons are still being manufactured using AMD's .18 micron process.  There is simply no denying that the Palomino core is quickly reaching it's ceiling.  AMD may not be able to take the Palomino based Athlon XPs much higher and the next-gen Thoroughbred Athlons built using a .13 process, are still nowhere to be found.  This is almost the same situation Intel was in when the Coppermine Pentium IIIs hit their limit.  Whether or not AMD falters and Intel tries to capitalize remains to be seen.  We are hoping AMD has a run of good luck and Thoroughbreds make an appearance sooner, rather than later.  For now though, no one should worry.  There hasn't been a better time to be a computer enthusiast.  The amount of raw horsepower we can have on our desktops for a relatively small investment is fantastic and should appease even the most discriminating power user.  You can thank good ol' fashioned competition for this and a company like AMD that has taken on Intel at their own game.

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Tags:  AMD, processor, CES, Athlon, XP, process, pro, SSO, AM

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