About a mot h ago AMD announced its new processor families based on AMD64 architecture. They were Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64. At launch we posted an article where we took a closer look at the features and performance of the eldest desktop processor aka Athlon 64 FX-51 (see our AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 vs. Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz: Clash of Strong Wills). However, at that time we promised that we will definitely return to this topic and test Athlon 64 3200+ targeted for a more mass market. Today we are happy to put our promise into life. We would like to offer you a new review of this particular processor. In this article we are going to talk in detail about the feature of AMD Athlon 64 3200+, its overclocking potential, and Cool’n’Quiet technology, which is typical only of this CPU.
For our review we purchased in a retail store a new boxed Athlon 64 3200+, so this article is not just an engineering sample review, but it looks at a real mass piece. I would like to stress that these processors are currently available in many stores for about $400-$450. Since the Socket 754 mainboards now cost around $150, it appears that an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ based system can really be regarded as a High-End mass platform. Well, we are going to look at our today’s hero from this particular viewpoint.
Closer Look: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
First of all let me point out that Athlon 64 processor is exactly that particular 64bit processor for desktop systems, which AMD was going to introduce from the very beginning. Later on, when Intel announced faster Pentium 4 processors and provided them with a faster 800MHz bus and Hyper-Threading technology support, AMD had to quickly re-position a one-way Opteron processor for the desktop market having hidden it behind the Athlon 64 FX trade mark. However, the server origin of Athlon 64 FX will prevent this solution from spreading really widely and getting less expensive so far. So, it is exactly Athlon 64 that is intended to really promote the 64bit architecture into the market.
So far AMD has released only one processor model from the new Athlon 64 family with the 3200+ performance rating. This CPU works at the actual 2GHz frequency, which is 200MHz lower than Athlon 64 FX-51 supports. Later on AMD will also release a faster modification of its Athlon 64 CPU with 3400+ performance rating and 2.2GHz actual core clock frequency. However, this can hardly be expected to happen soon. Why so, you will understand later on.