This era of cut-throat competition between AMD Athlon XP and Intel Pentium 4 has little by little come to an end. The production technologies used by Intel and AMD today allow speeding up the existing processor architectures with much effort applied. The core clock rates potential has been almost exhausted and both processor developers will have to move to new manufacturing technologies as well as improve their current processor architectures. We have already talked about it multiple times on our site: Intel will start using 0.09micron production technology and producing Prescott based processors, while AMD will shift to 0.13micron SOI process (and then to 0.09micron SOI) and begins to make processors from Athlon 64 family. the today’s fastest Pentium 4 processor on Northwood core will be Pentium 4 3.2GHz, and the top-end model in the Athlon XP family will become a new solution rated as 3200+. This way, both processor giants will reach the upper limit of today’s technology at a certain parity, and will start a new round of competition on almost equal terms.
However, Intel and AMD used to increase and are increasing their CPU speeds unevenly. That is why sometimes, Athlon XP could appear the fastest processor, and sometimes the leadership would be taken by Pentium 4: depending on the clock frequencies of the top models in the CPU family in each particular moment of time. As for the situation, which has been taking place until today, the top processor models from both manufacturers were Intel Pentium 3 3.0GHz and AMD Athlon XP 3000+, i.e. both companies could make only one more step forward before they would reach the top of the today’s technology. The first one to pull themselves together and do the final dash appeared AMD: Athlon XP 3200+ was announced today, on May 13. Intel decided to sustain a little pause. This manufacturer will introduce its Pentium 4 3.2GHz in June. This way, for almost about a month AMD can consider themselves an industry leader as the rating number of their new processor exceeds the frequency of the Intel ‘s top solution. However, this formal leadership if not that important: the company doesn’t get its major profit from selling top processor models. So, AMD can only be happy with moral satisfaction having launched a new Athlon XP 3200+.
NVIDIA managed to slightly overshadow the launching of the new Athlon XP 3200+ processor having launched their new GeForce FX 5900 Ultra graphics accelerator yesterday. However, it would be unfair to be so much carried away by the new graphics product that the new AMD solution remained unnoticed. Although the new AMD Athlon XP processor is based on the already familiar Barton core, there are some new features in it besides the higher working frequency that are worth taking a closer look at. Athlon XP 3200+ uses a faster 400MHz processor bus, which is AMD’s response to Intel’s recent Pentium 4 800MHz QPB launch.