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AMD Athlon (Slot A)

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      23.04.2002 03:39
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      **technical Stuff dude!!!*** Introduction After for the monumental brawl between the Athlon XP 2000+ and Pentium 4-2.2 GHz processors, which incidentally were released the same day, we have been waiting to see which company would flinch first. Many expected Intel and their high-scaling Pentium 4 to make the first move, potentially tilting the performance results in their favor by jacking the clock speed or FSB quite significantly. The other potential move would have AMD introducing their new 0.13-micron Thoroughbred core at a high clock speed, and basically taking the Pentium 4 to town. Neither of these events has come to pass, and instead AMD has released the Athlon XP 2100+. This model is a faster Athlon XP processor, using the same Palomino core as its predecessors, and does not include the much-anticipated Thoroughbred core. This is by no means bad news, as the existing Athlon XP is a very fast processor core and increasing its speed to 1.73 GHz for the 2100+ means higher performance for the AMD crowd, along with the promise of lower prices for the rest of the line. In many ways, this seems like a bridge processor, designed to span the gap between the Palomino and Thoroughbred cores, while still giving Intel fits in terms of competitive performance. AMD understands that Intel can rapidly scale the Pentium 4 architecture; but until the newer AMD core is available, this is a great interim move. The interesting part comes when we see exactly how fast the Athlon XP 2100+ is, and whether AMD can perform a clean sweep of the benchmark testing. Conclusion This is basically yet another story of the fast getting faster, with AMD ratcheting up their Athlon XP clock speed and taking back top spot in the desktop performance market. While not an attractive upgrade option for existing Athlon XP owners, those wanting the highest AMD performance will appreciate the option of including the Athlon XP 2100+ in new system buys. This st ory gets more interesting when you realize that AMD is doing this without the benefit of 0.13-micron technology or an increase in FSB speed, and these results get us even more hyped for the upcoming Athlon Thoroughbred core and the possibility of a 333 MHz bus. Pros: Fastest Overall Desktop Processor Excellent Price-Performance Great Positioning at the 2100+ Performance Rating Cons: Still Waiting for Thoroughbred Core Pentium 4 Northwood Runs Cooler A Small 66 MHz Speed Jump

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        12.10.2001 22:20
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        So there I was, considering an upgrade to my computer. Before started to purchase anything (as I was going to make it myself) I did a lot a research into what I wanted in my computer. There was one item for which I needed to do no research; this was the processor that I was going to put in this new computer. In my mind the only processor that was going to go into the new computer was a AMD Athlon, the only choice was what speed to I buy? The review will try, I hope, to be as jargonless as possible and if there is any I will try to explain (if I miss any explanations please inform me so I can update this). ** Why AMD ** Well the major difference between AMD and Intel is the pricing of their processors. A quick browse on the internet and you find that AMDs top of the range Athlon processor costs you £175 where as Intels top of the range Pentium 4 costs you £540 (source www.novtech.co.uk 12/10/2001). I wasn't going to get the latest chip so I eventually paid around the £110 mark, which for what I got I thought, was very reasonable. The other thing is that AMD Processors have been tested and have consistently outperformed their Intel rivals. ** What Athlon Chips are Available? ** There are many variations available to the consumer, here is an overview of the Athlon Processors that can be purchased: • AMD Athlon™ processor with a 266MHz front-side bus supporting PC2100 DDR memory technology is available at 1.4, 1.33, 1.2, 1.13, and 1.0GHz. • AMD Athlon™ processor with 200MHz front-side bus supporting PC1600 DDR memory technology is available at 1400 (1.4GHz) 1300, 1200, 1100, and 1000MHz . Front-side Bus - this is the way in which the processor communicates with the rest of the computer. The faster the Bus then the faster the computer. (I hope this explanation is sufficient, if I have missed anything please let me know). DDR - stands for Double Data Rate, which basically mea ns that the speeds of the processor are double the PC100 and PC133 standards (faster basically!). For a more detailed explanation of this, if you are interested check out the AMD website. Generally the processors with the 266 MHz front-side bus are a little more expensive, but only to the tune of £1 (not much if you ask me for a little extra performance). The only thing is with this is that you have to make sure that the motherboard that your processor is plugged into supports this, if it does not then you will not benefit from these speeds. ** Installing ** What can I say about this, apart from it is very easy (well for me). I wouldn't recommend any installing a new processor unless they are confident with what they are doing. The processor is quite an expensive bit of kit to just go play around until the chip is installed. The interface with the motherboard is a Socket A connection, this is very similar to that of the old Pentium series. It is just the chip with its connection pins in the bottom, this fits into the housing on the motherboard, and it can only go in one way, and is then locked in place. The only thing that may be tricky is the fitting of the heat sink (a device to help cool the processor down). But this too is that challenging. ** Using ** After I had set-up this new computer I could see the difference all this new kit had made to the speed of the computer. The computer no longer lagged when loading some bits of software; these just loaded very quickly (just what I wanted to see). Since then I have got back into gaming a little as this new computer could run the game that I wanted at reasonable speed with no jerky movement and no waiting around while the processor to catch up. I have had no problems with this new processor; it has been very stable. ** My Thoughts ** AMD used to be thought of as the poor man's Intel, but in recent years their processors have been gaining a new i mage and actually out perform Intel's latest Pentium 4 Processors. I would recommend anyone to look for a computer with an AMD Processor in it as for one it will be a lot cheaper than the Intel rival, which most probably out performing it. All I can hope is that AMD keep up their good work and provide an alternative to Intel at an affordable price. For those interested in some more specific detailed about the processor these can be found on the AMD website, www.amd.com. Alternatively, the following are some products features as found on the AMD website. ** Features (source www.amd.com) ** The industry's first nine-issue superpipelined, superscalar x86 processor microarchitecture designed for high clock frequencies: • 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, piEnhanced 3DNow! technology for leading-edge 3D performance . • 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 • Compatible with Windows® 98, Windows 95, and Windows NT® 4.x without software patches • pelined integer units • Three out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined address calculation units • 72-entry instruction control unit • Advanced dynamic branch prediction 266MHz or 200MHz AMD Athlon™ processor system bus enables leading-edge system bandwidth for data movement-intensive applications . • Source synchronous clo cking (clock forwarding) technology • Support for 8-bit ECC for data bus integrity • Peak data rate of 1.6 to 2.1GB/s (depending on processor bus speed) • Multiprocessing support: point-to-point topology, with number of processors in SMP systems determined by chipset implementation • Support for 24 outstanding transactions per processor

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          12.05.2001 03:52
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          I have been running the AMD Athlon 800 MHz processor for nearly one year now and it has been smooth sailing. I built the computer myself and used the Biostar M7MKA Motherboard because I needed two ISA slots and most of the motherboards only have one. I installed one SDRAM PC100 128 MB memory chip. This is a powerhouse, of course 800 MHz isn't much any more but I am happy. I have had no problems running any programs or installing any hardware, this is truly a good chip. If you decide to put a computer together with an Athlon processor, I highly recommend a large heat sink with a built in fan that snaps on the processor. The Athlon processor runs hot and requires some way to cool it. I bought a full tower case with two fans in the front and two fans in the back to help keep it cool. The Bios on the Biostar motherboard will warn me if it gets to hot and you can custom set your own temperatures. To this day it has never warned me and I have checked manually in the bios to see what the current temperature is and it is just fine. The Athlon Lineup The first AMD Athlon was the 700 MHz processor with a 200MHz front-side bus. When this chip came out they shattered it all with the 200MHz front-side bus, at the time most were running a 100 MHz front-side bus and a few were running a 133 MHz front-side bus. Now they have the 1.2 GHz processor with a 266MHz front-side bus supporting PC2100 DDR memory technology. DDR (Double Data Rate) Memory allows the memory to read and write twice per cycle, this will be a significant increase in speed. The 1.1 and 1 GHz processors will run the 266 MHz bus and PC2100 DDR memory technology. On the 200MHz front-side bus the 1.2GHz, 1.1 GHz, 1 GHz, 950 MHz, 900 MHz and the 850 MHz will support the PC1600 DDR memory technology. Here again I missed out, my 800 MHz will only use the older PC 100 and PC133 SDRAM. Oh well my motherboard wouldn't support the DDR memo ry anyway, so I guess in a year or two I will build me a new one. Some of the Facts The AMD Athlon was the first x86 platform bus running at 200MHz and now at 266 Mhz. They were the first processor that includes fully pipelined, superscalar floating-point engine for x86 platforms. A total of 384K cache, 128K L1 cache and 256K on-chip full-speed L2 cache. Enhanced 3DNow Technology - AMD's original 3DNow was the first x86 instruction set to use superscalar SIMD floating point techniques with 21 instructions. The Enhanced adds 24 instructions to improve things like MP3 applications, Dolby Digital and more. AMD verses Intel Ok the Athlon was challenged against the Pentium III and totally in every test blew their doors off. Now Intel has the Pentium IV with a 400 MHz bus running at 1.5 GHz a new generation. According to ZDNET AMDs Athlon 1.2 GHz with DDR memory did better in Business Winstone, CC Winstone and 3D WinMark tests using DirectX 7.0 and 8.0 against the Pentium IV. The Pentium IV 1.5 GHz outperformed the Athlon on SPEC tests, MP3 1.3 Encoding and Photoshop. http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/stories/reviews/0,6755,2668441,00.html So check out the link if you want to find out more information between the two. Overall Weather you like AMD or not, you should be thankful for the competitive edge AMD has managed, this has brought the price of a computer way down. Before AND showed they could run with the big boys, Intel was sticking it to the consumer for the outrageous processor prices. Competition is necessary for the consumer to get a fair price. Don't get me wrong about Intel, they are a good company that produces good processors and so is AMD. I have owned several of both brands and I have been happy with both. It comes down to you what you want to buy, the Athlon is generally cheaper than the Intel processors. I do love my 800 MHz and highly recommend the AMD Athlon Processor. If you are in the market for the Athlon Processor I also recommend one with the DDR memory.

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            10.04.2001 05:08
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            The AMD Athlon processor is a great buy. It is far superior to Intel's and Cyrix's models, being the M2/3 and Pentiums respectively.It boasts AMD's '3D NOW' technology, which is not even offered on any pentium or Cyrix processor. This 3D NOW! technology enhances games with impressive results, and also the Athlon can reach great speeds effortlessly. Also the Athlon houses a 200mhz FSB, compared to Intel's 133mhz. It loads programs very quickly, providing you have a decent hard drive and runs them very quickly. The Athlon is similar to Intel's Pentium 3, although it is proven to be far superior in ALL resects, including cache memory and how many programs handled at any one time. The Athlon is far cheaper than Intel's Pentium 3, as with Intel you are only really paying for the brand. I recently upgraded my PC to an Athlon, and it proved to be a cinch for even an almost computer novice. There are 2 major disadvantages to the Athlon, as you need a 300watt power supply and also Athlon components can prove to be costly, for example motherboards cost up to £50 more than for a Pentium 3 equivalent. However, the Athlon is in my opinion the best processor on the market.

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              11.02.2001 05:51
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                21.01.2001 08:22
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                Married to mother is a 1GHz Athlon Socket A processor. For around £250, it will make your PC fly. I've been wedded blissfully to my Slot A Athlon 600 for the last year, but advances in manufacturing allow 1GHz (1000 MHz) performance at a bargain basement price. Athlon architecture includes plenty of on chip memory: Level 1 features 128K coupled with 256K of level 2 cache. AMD's 3DNow! instruction set speeds games, while Athlon's amazing 'floating point' performance allows complex mathematical calculations to be performed without breaking into a sweat, it also helps AMD clinch the gamer's crown. Just a couple of caveats: Athlons run very hot' so make sure you fit an approved fan, and these processors like a meaty power supply to be fitted in your computer case. Check the AMD website for approved units and, if in doubt, make sure yours is rated at 300W. Chaeper 230 or 250W units simply give up the ghost. And no, AMD doesn't have shares in PSU companies - as far as I know!

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                02.11.2000 21:45
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                I must admit to not being an Athlon user myself although I have plenty of mates who are and theres no doubting that the Athlon is the quickest chip around by a long way and is also very well priced against its main competitor, the Intel Pentium III. If you want to spend the money on getting a fast PC for gaming and everything else you can throw at it then the Athlon is the way to go. The initial Athlon got AMD to the top of the tree in terms of speed over the PIII and now the Thunderbird has extended that lead. The Thunderbird is rumoured to be quicker than Intels soon to be latest offering, the Pentium 4 so this is going to be an interesting one for Intel, they really have to drop their prices because at the moment if you want an Intel then you are paying more for a chip at lower clockspeed and lower performance. You can almost guarantee that if you buy an equivalent performance Athlon and PIII, that the PIII will have set you back £100-00 more than the Athlon has so I dont know why people continue to buy Intel. The arguament that Intel was more reliable than AMD and Cyrix has been shot out of the water long ago as all are equally stable. The only reason I think that people are buying Intel over AMD is because of the fear to change because Intel are the original CPU makers and have been the best for so long. At least when Intel had the quickest chips people had a reason to pay all the extra for Intel but now when AMD are a lot quicker I dont see how Intel can justify charging what they do. Its the same at the lower end where the Duron thrashes the Celeron at much cheaper prices so Intel are in trouble as far as I can see. As for the Athlon well there prices are falling all the time and so if your after a PC to play games on and that flies along then the Athlon is the chip to go for. Personally I am a Cyrix user and hence not a pro AMD person before people accuse me of being biased in that direction, I can just see Intel falling apart.

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                29.10.2000 21:59
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                AMD have really gone to town with this proccesor! And in my opinion Intell have a lot of work to do to catch up with American Micro Devices great work! The specs of the Athlon Processor are as follows: The AMD Athlon is buily upon silicon using the 0.18micron sized transistors - which means you could put about 10 thousand of them on the full stop at the end of this sentance. <-- that one! It has a 128KilloByte Level one Cache memory buffer coupled with a 256Kb Level 2 buffer giving a whole 384 Kb of Cache Memory the speeds range from the 700Mhz mark to the 1.1Ghz mark (1100Mhz) which is suffice to say Very Fast!!! Ir runs on the Slot 1 interface (Like the newer PIII processors, and unlike its newer big brother the AMD Athlon Thundebird that runs on Socket A technology... Suffice to say this new generation of CPU is going to hit the market with an almighty bang and is definatly going to earn AMD a good few converts from the Intel camp! And myself (having been a fan of AMD for many years) wish them all the best for a job very well done! Intel - eat that!!!

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                  13.10.2000 17:13
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                  This is the second AMD chip that I have ever purchased, and it is also by far the best one that I have ever purchased. After trying this chip I must say that there will be no turning back for me. There are some problems with it, like the fact that you need some special equiptment to use it, but the cost of this extra equiptment in relation to what you'd need for a PII or PIII is insignificant. You need a Slot A motherboard, which won't take any chip apart from AMD's at the moment. That's not a problem, because you'd probably need a new motherboard if you were upgrading your processor anyway. You also need a special PSU though, otherwise you void your warrenty the instant you turn your computer on. Apart from those two problems, this is the best CPU that I have ever seen, and I've gotten through a few. This could well be, and probably will be considering Intel's luck at the moment, the chip that makes AMD the dominant company in the CPU Market.

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                    09.10.2000 06:39
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                    Which is greater? AMD? Or Intel? Not that people would say Intel now, as the situation going on for these few months is not that good for them. The previous Single No.1 is getting down day and day. Why this happened is most becuz of AMD's Athlon! When Athlon appeared last year, it is really something increadeble. 200 Mhz system makes it quite a bit different to Intel's 133 Mhz. And it's cache, it's everything is this attractive, Oh, also, the most important reason for us to choose Athlon is it's price, it is just cheap! 30% - 50% less than Intel's similar product! So thy should we not get it, experience the age of Freedom, now!

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                      24.09.2000 20:27

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                      The new AMD Athlon processor boasts extremely fast operation and extreme reliability. It can handle just about anything you are daring to challenge it to. The Intel Pentium III used to be top of the market, but research and customer opinions show that the new AMD Athlon Processor is substancially faster. AMD Athlon's go right up to 1.1GHz (1100 Mhz)!!! I have an AMD Athlon 750 Mhz and it's really fast, i can't imagine what a 1100 Mhz would be like !!!!

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                      21.09.2000 05:47
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                      The Price and Performance will blow you away. AMD have really moved the goal posts with this new processor, Intel have a lot of work to do. The Athlon is available from speeds of 500Mhz to 800 and possibly above. The Athlon is the first time I have bought a non Intel chip and although you require a Slot A motherboard which aren't too common I can't imagine ever going back to Intel I have yet to find a compatibility problem under Windows 98 and I run a lot of old programs. With PC133 Ram helping speed your machine I guaran-damn-tee you won't regret buying an AMD Athlon.

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                        21.09.2000 05:30
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                        Well were now at 1.13GHz, I never imagined we'd reach this speed so quick although its a bit false as they announce the chip 6 months before you can expect to see any kind of amount in the shops. The new 1.13GHz machines are being released now from the big manufacturers, although Intel have had to withdraw there 1.13GHz chip due to major problems with it. Seems like there having a few probs to me. You might be asking yourself, who needs this much power? Only the big intensive 3d gamer, or someone who needs a computer for performing scientific calculations or a graphic artist. Prices for these new machines are unknown at the moment but as with all new machines of this kind of generation, they will be expensive, you can really expect to pay for them. Your going to start seeing them with 30+ Gb HDD, 64 Mb graphic cards, 128 or even 256 Mb of Ram. This is needed else you start bringing in bottlenecks and you might as well not have the processor power. Im gonna stay faithful to me little Cyrix MII because theres no need for me to use this kind of excessive power but for you gamers these new Athlons are very very quick.

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                          22.08.2000 02:49
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                          Yeah, I have just managed to upgrade to Athlon and boy do you feel the speed, some might need to wear safty gear when using this hardware. I have the 750 varient and compared to my old K6-2, well the speed has gone through the roof. My kids have a P3 system running at 700 (been clocked) but when running comparitive software the P3 seems like an old grandad, mind you my K6 looks like an old corpse. Well I noe turn in respectable times for Seti tasks, my 3d rendering has come down so that I no longer have to go and make coffee, and Quake 3 rocks. I was very lucky in that I transferred all my othe components, so a self built upgrade can be had at a relatively cheap price. Dont go the Intel path, be different use AMD.

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                          07.08.2000 09:12

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                          I have had a couple of different processors in my time. A 486 to a pentium celeron 300 then onto a pentium II 450 processor and finally onto an Athlon 700. I use my machine for programming and playing games. I have found that the athlon runs circles, around the pentium. Games are more stable, and run smoother. All my programming languages compile alot quicker. It would be fair to say yeah the Athlon is alot faster than the 450 but you notice a huge difference. Another good thing to point out about the athlon is that it doesn't to date have any security issues like the early released pentium III's where people could access your machine through a back door that intel had installed in order to find and correct faults( please do correct me if i am wrong). In the past also Intel has had to recall many motherboards to which were ment to work with the Pentium III's but were found to be faulty due to some technical glitch. All the above is in the past now but it does make you think which processor do i want to get? The answer being it is like buying a car, Reputation, and my opinion is that the AMD has an outstanding record compared to other parties involved.

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