Karbosguide.com - Module 3e.08c

The AMD AthlonXP


The contents:

  • The AthlonXP
  • The Sledgehammer

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  • The Palomino core

    AthlonXP is the new top-processor from AMD based on the Palomino core. It was introduced late in 2001.

    The name AthlonXP is chosen with care; the same month AMD introduced the new processor, Microsoft introduced Windows XP.

    The headlines are:

  • New design with 20% less energy consumption.
  • 0.18 micron technology using copper.
  • SSE instructions (is in Intel's processors)
  • Hardware auto data prefetch unit.
  • The number of L1 TLBs (Translation Look-aside Buffer) has been increased from 32 to 40.
  • Thermical diode integrated, warning against over-heating.
  • Chip made of a new organic materiale ved better termal qualities.
  • 1333, 1400, 1467 and 1533 MHz
  • Ny names based on a Pentium 4 rating (1500+, 1600+, 1700+ and 1800+).

    The new Palomino core is also used in an Athlon4 mobile processor (for use in labtops) and in a AthlonMP (multi-processor) chip to be used in servers.

    The new features

    The new AthlonXP is not very different from the Tbird processor. But there is a handfull of very nice little improvements.

    Adding the SSE instructions the AthlonXP has become 100% compatible with all the software which have been adapted to the SSE multimedia instructions. This is great for programs like Photoshop and a lot of other applications for production of graphics, video, and music.

    Hardware data prefetch is a function inside the processor where a new unit tries to predict which data has to be loaded into the L1 cache. This function increases the CPUs performance with some 5%. Related to this you find a better Translation Look-aside Buffer. It holds information supporting and improving the feed of data to the L1 cache.

    De new model names

    Athlon XP is competing with Intels top-processor Pentium 4. Operating at clock frequencies below 2 GHz, the Athlon XP has a great advantage in the shorter pipeline.

    The Pentium 4 has 20 stages in each pipeline, whereas the Athlon XP only has 9! The impact of this is that the AthlonXP is a lot speedier than the Pentium 4 at the same clock frequencies. AMD has compared the two processors in terms of the so-called henholder IPC values, which describes the work done during one clock cyclus in a processor.

    This way AMD finds that a 1533 MHz AthlonXP is (at least) as fast as Pentium 4 operating at 1800 MHz. Hence it as labelled as an AthlonXP 1800+.

    Since AMD still keeps their prices well below Intel's there should be no doubt about the success of the AthlonXPs. They only limitation is the clock frequencies. AMD is not expected to bring any Athlon much above 2 GHz due to the short (but speedy) pipeline. But who needs more than 2 GHz? At present we don't.


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    Learn more

    Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d

    Read more about RAM in module 2e

    Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side.

    Read module 5b about AGP and module 5c about Firewire.

    Read module 7a about monitors, and 7b on graphics card.

    Read module 7c about sound cards, and 7d on digital sound and music.

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