AMD AthlonXP


128K L1, 256K L2

Socket A

Enhanced 3DNOW!

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In an attempt to keep the gap in CPU speed from AMD to Intel at a minimum, AMD have opted for a new chip called the AMD Athlon XP. Based on the Palomino core which is also used in the Athlon 4 Mobile and the Athlon MP.

What's new

  • New design to reduce power consumption over Thunderbird core by 20%

  • Implementation of the full Intel SSE instruction set.

  • Hardware auto data pre-fetching unit

  • L1 Data TLB (Translation Look-Aside Buffer) was increased from 32 to 40 entries.

  • Implementation of a thermal diode to monitor processor temperature

Well in short its a simple case of better performance with less power consumption. Always a good thing. However there is more news coming from the AMD camp. Something that really none of us would of expected. As we all know Intel have got there Pentium 4 chip up to 2Ghz while AMD's Thunderbird CPU was stuck at 1.4Ghz. even the though the 1.4Ghz Thunderbird was far better priced and offered a performance that matched Intel's CPU's which were at higher clock frequencies. This however is not so good when we are talking about marketing to the average user. Its always been Megahertz that is the deciding factor in performance for many people. So what do you do if you CPU's are far better than the MHz rating suggests?

The Return of Performance Rating

It was never going to happen but it has done. The return of the PR system. This was basically used a few years back by Cyrix processors because they felt the technology of their CPU's was unfairly rated by MHz. They were being out sold by CPU's with faster MHz rating even though the Cyrix CPU's performed faster at the basic everyday tasks.

Cyrix then decided to give there CPU's a rating as a comparison to the Intel Pentium Processors. This was Cyrix sold there CPU's as the PR rating rather than the MHz speed. To the consumer all they see is the PR rating and take that as the speed.

This is exactly the effect that AMD wish to achieve. They are calling their PR system a simple model number, but they won't allow AMD recommended motherboard to show the true clock speed in the BIOS.

Currently this is what AMD is scheduling for release with the actual MHz speeds and the model numbers which you will hear so much about when trying to buy one.

Clock Frequency (MHz) Model Number
1300 (1.3Ghz) 1500+
1333 (1.33Ghz) 1500+
1400 (1.4Ghz) 1600+
1467 (1.47Ghz) 1700+
1500 (1.5Ghz) 1800+
1533 (1.53Ghz) 1800+
1600 (1.6Ghz) 1900+
1667 (1.67Ghz) 2000+
1733 (1.73Ghz) 2100+
1800 (1.8Ghz) 2200+

Read about the Athlon XP's New Core the Thoroughbred Here

AMD are obviously set to not showing the clock frequency at all or at least keeping the exposure down to a minimum. However you have to say that its an option for AMD that must of seemed appealing considering the true power of their CPU's. We'll just have to see what the consumer thinks of all this. Overall though the chip is very competitive in the benchmarks against even the 2Ghz Pentium 4. Even though AMD are pulling a marketing stunt. I would recommend using the model numbers as a good guide if you are comparing it to the P4. AMD are not however using the P4 as a base for its model number figures, they are in fact basing the model numbers on its own Thunderbird counterpart.

Technical Features 

  AthlonXP Thunderbird
Bus Speed 200/266Mhz  (100*2/133*2) 200/266Mhz  (100*2/133*2)
L1 Cache 128K (64K Instructions 64K Data) 128K (64K Instructions 64K Data)
L2 Cache 256K On Chip ( full clock speed) 256K On Chip ( full clock speed)
Micron Technology .18 .18
Transistors 37.5 Million 37 Million (of which 15 million is for the L2 cache)
Form Factor Socket A Socket A
Voltage 1.75v 1.75v

Useful Links


Drivers for the AMD AthlonXP

No Drivers required for CPU. more info can be found at the AMD website

Got a problem or need more info maybe the PantherProducts forum can help you. 

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