As you must be aware, AMD has launched a new range of CPUs named AMD
Athlon 64. It has been quite some time since it was launched. Finally
today we are going to review this new CPU.
These CPUs are based on a new technology developed by AMD. It is called AMD64.
What this exactly means is that this CPU is capable of supporting 32 bit as well as 64 bit Operating Systems and softwares.
This has never been done before.Earlier processors used to support wither 32 bit or 64 bit applications.
One’s running both has never been done. At this stage 64 bit
applications are not available as compared to the 32 bit ones. Whichever
are available are all professional ones,which are of very less use to
home or small office users.
Eventually there will be many softwares but it will take time.
If not today but one day, the current 32 bit architecture is gonna
become a bottleneck for forthcoming softwares.So if you give it a
thought,you will realise that the transition to 64 bit computing is
going to be inevitable.
So bottomline is that i think 64 bit computing is the next big thing to
come.The sooner this technology becomes affordable to the home user,the
better it is.
AMD seems to be doing exactly this.
Let’s ge down to the main topic wihtout wasting much time.
Lets have a look at the package,
When i recieved the box,i was so angry to see the stupid Distributor’s
sticker on the middle of the box.These idiots dont even know where to
stick that thing.
Anyways,the packaging is same as the earlier ones,same as the Athlon XP
range.THe shape and size remains same but the design on the box has
changed so has the colour scheme.
The new black+brown combination looks really smart.
Ok enough of this, let’s see another view.
I should mention one thing here that even though the package looks
pretty same as the earlier CPUs but the plastic is very hard.It is
tough to cut it.A little more effort is needed to open it.
Now let’s have a look at the actual chip,the processor.
It is very good to see that AMD has started providing Heat Spreader on
it’s new chips.Now you dont have to worry about damaging the core.Along
with this there comes another disadvantage though,no more unlocking
business by pencil trick,conductive paints,shorting the bridges…..
Most of these are essentially required for overclocking which is not the main intention of buying a computer.
So it doesnt matter much for majority of the users.
In the following picture you will find all the details related to the CPU,
You will see that the Core name is Newcastle instead of Clawhammer.This
is beacuse this CPU comes with 512 KB of L2 cache instead of 1 MB that
is available on the 3200+ and above models.
Here are the details specifications,
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Specifications
- 2.0 GHZ core clock speed
- 128 KB L1 Cache
- 512 MB L2 Cache
- 130 Nm Manufacturing technology
- Vcore = 1.55 Volts
- Single Channel Memory Controller On die.
- 754 pin Socket comaptible
Now let’s have a look at the back side of the chip,
Here you can see the 754 pins on the back side of the CPU.
You must have observed that this Chip looks very similar to the P4
ones.There is lot of difference though.The CPU is bigger and heavier.
This could be beacuse of the mind boggling 100+ million transistors cramped in the core.
Handling the chip and fitting the heatsink feels much more safe now as the core is well covered and protected.
Now lets move to the next important thing,Heatsink+Fan.
AMD started providing Copper+Aluminium based Heatsinks with their
higher end Athlon XP range.Namely, 3000+,3200+,2800+[Barton],etc.
The 3000+ & 3200+ ones came with a copper base plate.This is also
found in the Athlon 64 3000+ Heatsink.THere is a difference though,the
size of the heatsink is bigger,it is heavier and more efficient.For the
first time i have seen a very very good quality stock fan from AMD.AMD
provided a 5000rpm fan as stock!!!!!
Even Intel doesnt provide one.Good Job AMD,Well Done.
This all results in better,silent cooling for this new chip,a welcome improvement.
Now coming to the Retention mechanism,there are changes her too.Frankly
speaking, the mechanism is quite confusing if you see it at the first
time.You cannot make out immediately how to fix it.I think here you
will need to refer the installation chart.
with a better tightening mechanism.This ensures safer and stronger
THe following picture might throw some light on it,
One thing is for sure,no one can complain about heating issues regarding issues.
To put it simply,AMD has covered all the core areas that were lagging
in the earlier products.Something that Intel had,Better cooling,safer
and easier installation.
You dont have to worry anymore regarding the open core CPUs,risky heatsink installation method…..
Let me tell something about the Thermal Pad,one small thing that is so important but so much neglected.
As you can see the thermal pad looks pretty ordinary drom the
picture.Just like the ones AMD used to provide earlier but wait,AMD
improved this too!!!!
Even thoughit looks and feels the same,the thermal transfer it does is amazing,excellent.
I just used it for testing but then i removed it and aplied my good old
silicon+oil based thermal paste which doesnt solidify due to the heat.
I recommend sticking with the original one as it is very very good.
AMD implemented a special technolog called ‘Cool & Quiet’.in this range of CPU’s
What this technology actually is that the CPU usage is monitored and
accordingly the clock speed is adjusted thus decreasing heat
output.THis helps in elongating the life of the CPU.Now as the clock
speed is less,the heat output is reduced too which results in the
lowering of Fan rpm which is temperature controlled,which reduces the
Basically it is a good concept to use the available resources
smartly.Mind you that such technology has never been seen in any CPU
till now.A welcome addition.
Now enough of this product reviewing,lets get down to the real business,Benchmarking !!
- Test Machine-AMD Athlon 64 3000+
- Asus K8V Motherboard
- 1024 MB Transcend PC3200 DDR Ram
- ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB Graphics card
- 80 GB Seagate Barracuda Hard Disk Drive
- Windows XP Professional OS
- Windows XP Service Pack 1 installed
- ATI Catalyst 4.2
- DirectX 9.0B
- 3DMark 2001
- Aquamark 3
- Unreal Tournament Benchmark
Let’s see what the scores are like,
Please note that since these CPUs are made keeping high end gamin in
mind, i will be considering only gaming related benchmarks
her. Scientific benchmarks are excluded here.
This benchmark was run at 1024 X 768 resolution
No Anti Aliasing
Very impressive score here i think.It should be noted that the score
displayed by 3DMark 2001 is not only dependent on the Graphics card
alone,system performance is equally important.
The new version from Futuremark, testing the DX9 performance of the new DX9 Graphics cards.
On comparing scores of 3DMark 2001 & 2003, there is a vast difference between them.
A score of anything above 2500 points should be considered pretty decent.
This is also a gaming benchmark testing the DX9 performance of the
graphics cards.Please note that Aquamark 3 favours Intel P4 heavily and
has special support for Hyper THreading technology.
A score of 43,000 + is a very very good score.This just proves the
point that the Athlon 64 is equally good in 32 bit mode.It really
shines in gaming.
Unreal Tournament 2003
Let’s see how it performs in real game benchmarks. For this i chose Unreal Tournament 2003.
Let’s see what we have in store,
THe performance in UT 2003 is also very impressive.
From all the above results it is crystal clear that the Athlon 64
performance flawlessly in 32 bit.To compliment it,it performs
exceptionally well in games.
All you hardcore gamers,watch out.If you are planning an upgrade,this is it.
When you consider that the kid itself performs so well,imagine how well the big boys will perform.
What more is there left to say? The figures speak for
themselves.I am impressed with this Chip.Excellent product no doubt.Now
consider the price factor and it feels even better. Priced moderately in the range of 12,200-13,000/- it surely is a way
better deal than Intel P4 3.0GHz[HT],3.2GHz[HT] or even for that matter
3.06 GHz[HT,533 FSB]. Overall a very good product with loads of features and decent pricing.