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Testbed and Methods

With a complete set for modeling the performance of the upcoming Socket A systems with 400MHz bus at our disposal, we couldn’t help playing with it a little bit. Therefore, we decided to take a closer look at the performance heights the upcoming Athlon XP 3000+ and 3200+ processors with 400MHz bus will be able to achieve. For this purpose we took the already described above ABIT NF7 2.0 mainboard, which works perfectly well with AMD Athlon XP (Barton) processors at 200MHz FSB frequency, and the Corsair TWINX512-3200LL memory modules set.

As for the Barton based CPUs, which could work at 2.1GHz and 2.2GHz, there were no problems here. The matter is that contemporary Athlon XP on Barton core can get easily overclocked up to 2.2GHz, as we have already discovered in our article called “AMD Athlon XP 3000+, 2800+ and 2500+ on Barton Core”. Moreover, it is true not only for the fastest Barton processor rated as 3000+, but also for the slower ones rated as 2500+ and 2800+. No wonder, really. The working frequency of the fastest model with 333MHz bus is just a little lower than 2.2GHz: it equals 2.17GHz. Therefore, you can easily make this CPU work at 2.2GHz by increasing its Voce a tiny bit.

For example, we used the regular Athlon XP 3000+ on Barton core with 333MHz bus in our tests. We made it work at 2.2GHz with 400MHz bus in no time at all. We didn’t even have to raise its Vcore!

As a result, we managed to investigate the performance of the upcoming Athlon XP processors with 400MHz bus, namely, Athlon XP 3200+ working at 2.2GHz and Athlon XP 3000+ working at 2.1GHz. To make this test session of some practical value for you, guys, we also included the results for the regular Athlon XP 3000+ working at 2.17GHz and supporting 333MHz bus, as well as competing products from Intel, namely, Pentium 4 3.0GHz with 800MHz bus and Pentium 4 3.06GHz with 533MHz bus.

As a result, our testbeds looked as follows:

CPUs

Athlon XP 3200+
(Barton @ 2.2GHz, 400MHz PSB)

Athlon XP 3000+
(Barton @ 2.1GHz, 400MHz PSB)

Athlon XP 3000+
(333MHz PSB)

Pentium 4 3.06
(533MHz FSB)

Pentium 4 3.0
(800MHz FSB)

Mainboards

ABIT NF7 2.0 (NVIDIA nForce2)

ASUS P4C800 (i875P)

Memory

Corsair TWINX512-3200LL (2 x 256MB DDR400 SDRAM)

Graphics card

ATI RADEON 9700 Pro

HDD

Seagate Barracuda ATA IV, 80GB

Notes:

  • Athlon XP 3200+ and 3000+ with 400MHz bus are the future Barton based processors, which are expected to come out before the summer. We obtained the results for them by testing the overclocked Athlon XP on Barton core nominally supporting 333MHz bus.
  • The timings for DDR333 SDRAM (in systems with Athlon XP 3000+ and 333MHz bus and Pentium 4 3.06GHz) were set to 2-2-2-5.
  • The timings for DDR400 SDRAM in Athlon XP system were set to 2-2-2-6, and in Pentium 4 system – to 2-3-3-6. we used less aggressive timings with i875P chipset because of its peculiar memory controller.

We ran all tests in MS Windows XP SP1 operation system.

 
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