Closer Look: AMD Athlon 64 4000+
A transition of top-end members of the Athlon 64 family to 90nm tech process was expected to coincide with the release of the Athlon 64 4000+, but this never happened. AMD has decided to implement the new tech process in middle-range products first, and the new Athlon 64 4000+ is still based on the old 130nm core. The 2.4GHz frequency of the Athlon 64 3800+ was considered a limit for AMD’s CPUs manufactured with 130nm+SOI technology, so the higher rating of the Athlon 64 4000+ was arrived at by other performance-improving ways. In other words, the clock rate of the Athlon 64 4000+ and of the 3800+ is absolutely the same – 2.4GHz, while the higher rating is the result of a larger L2 cache (1MB against the Athlon 64 3800+’s 512KB). I’d say AMD returned to where it had started: the L2 cache of the new processor has the same size as in the first Athlon 64 processors in the Socket 754 package.
As a result, AMD had to refuse using the cheaper NewCastle core with a smaller die size for the Athlon 64 4000+. AMD has been very proud of this core when the transition to the Socket 939 platform was made, but the 4000+ model, like the Athlon 64 FX-53, is based on the well-known ClawHammer core. The arrival of a Socket 939 Athlon 64 with 1 megabyte of L2 cache doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be junior member of the family equipped the same amount of cache memory. The use of such a large cache in the Athlon 64 4000+ must have been an emergency measure: AMD can’t yet achieve an acceptable yield of chips capable of working at 2.6GHz with neither of its tech processes – older 130nm or new 90nm. Thus, we’ve got a topmost Athlon 64 for the Socket 939 platform that has a twice larger L2 cache than any of its kin. I suppose, however, that such processors will be replaced by another Athlon 64 4000+, on the 90nm Winchester core, with a smaller L2 cache but higher clock rate. The question is how quickly AMD will be mastering the new tech process.
The formal characteristics of the Athlon 64 4000+ processor look as follows:
- Packaging: Socket 939;
- Clock rate: 2.4GHz;
- Memory controller: dual-channel with support of PC1600, PC2100, PC2700, and PC3200 DDR SDRAM;
- HyperTransport: one bus with a frequency of 1GHz (with DDR effect);
- Core: ClawHammer, manufactured with 130nm SOI technology;
- L1 cache size: 128KB (64KB for code and data each);
- L2 cache: 1MB, exclusive;
- Transistor count: 105.9 million;
- Core area: 193 sq. mm;
- Nominal voltage: 1.5v;
- Thermal design power: 89W.
Here’s what diagnostics utilities are reporting about this processor:
Thus, the Athlon 64 4000+ is an exact copy of the Athlon 64 FX-53, which is out of production since today. In other words, the Athlon 64 4000+ is a remarked Athlon 64 FX-53 and differs from the previous model, the Athlon 64 3800+, with its larger L2 cache only.