Having thoroughly examined various overclocking-related properties of the new Sempron 3100+ processor from AMD, we can claim that it’s a real overclocker’s choice. Costing about $120 – and this price is going to go down to $100 in a month – this CPU allows clocking itself by 40% higher above the nominal frequency. Such overclocking doesn’t require any special equipment – you only need an ordinary cooler and mainboard. The only thing you should consider carefully is that the mainboard would allow fixing the AGP/PCI bus frequencies at some point, i.e. clock them independently of the clock generator frequency.
We should note that the Sempron 3100+ processor delivers good performance even without overclocking. Having only 256 kilobytes of L2 cache memory, it is just 1-2% slower than the full-featured Athlon 64 2800+. Of course, the lack of AMD64 technology may disappoint some users, but this technology is not very important today – 64-bit operating systems and applications are not widespread, and the competitor desktop processors hasn’t yet acquired a similar technology yet.
As for the gain you receive by overclocking the Sempron 3100+, we enjoyed a performance growth of about 25% by clocking our sample at 2.52GHz (40% frequency boost). Thanks to that, the overclocked Sempron 3100+ could outperform the Pentium 4 3.4GHz as well as the Athlon 64 3400+ by about 5% in average.
Winding up this review, we want to tell you that Sempron 3100+ models on the new 90nm core are coming up to market soon. Their overclockability may be no worse than that of the 0.13-micron Paris-core sample we have tested today, but we can’t claim it of course without running more tests. So, we will surely return once again to investigating the overclocking potential of new-generation inexpensive processors from AMD.