by April 3, 2003 0 comments



The new Athlon XP 3000+ is based on a new core called Barton, which has 512 KB L2 cache memory. The 2800+ is based on the Thoroughbred-B core with 256 KB L2 cache. Interestingly, the 3000+ runs at 2.167 GHz, while the 2800+ runs faster at 2.25 GHz. But the larger cache gives the 3000+ a slight edge over the 2800+. The 2800+ also has a Barton core version with 512 KB L2 cache and operates at 2.083 GHz.

We tested them both on an ASUS A7N8X board with NVIDIA nForce2 chipset. We used 512 MB of 400 MHz DDR RAM running at 333 MHz, a Seagate 7200 RPM hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9700 AGP 8x card with 128 MB
DDR.

We compared the processors with a P4 3.06 GHz processor on an Intel D850MV board with 512 MB of PC-1066
RDRM.

There was a neck-to-neck competition between the P4 and 3000+, and the 2800+ was not too far behind either. In applications like Photoshop and Soundforge, the 3000+ performed slightly better than the P4, as shown by CCW 2001.

The P4 led in Quake III Arena with 351.3 fps, but in Serious Sam, it lagged behind the 3000+ by a narrow margin. In 3D Mark 2001, a benchmark for Direct X performance, the 3000+ fared better although the difference was not very significant.

In MP3 encoding we encoded a 212 MB wav file to MP3, and the P4 was able to encode it 2 secs faster than the 3000+, which is not a big difference. In DivX encoding, where we encoded a 107 MB MPEG2 file to DivX avi, the P4 was 26 secs faster than the 3000+, which is significant. 

Snapshot

AMD Athlon XP 3000+ Processor
Price Rs 35,868 (+ 3 yr warranty on box pack)
Key
specs
: 512 KB L2 cache
AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Processor
Price Rs 23,820 (+ 3 yr warranty on box pack)
Key
specs
: Greater clock speed than 3000+
Contact : AMD Far East, Delhi
Tel : 26238620
E-mail : rahul.singh@amd.com

The 2800+ also performed well in all the tests with its performance marginally lower than the 3000+. It even defeated the 3000+ in MP3 and DivX, encoding. But this difference of 1-2 secs is not much.

Both the Athlon processors operate at lower clock frequencies than the P4; yet their performance is more or less the same as that of P4. This confirms that clock speed is not the only criterion for performance. The 3000+ also has lower clock frequency than the 2800+ and yet performs better than the 2800+ due to its larger L2 cache.

Content
Creation
Winstone 2001
Winstone
Units
Quake III
Arena
(640*480*16)

fps

Serious
Sam
(640*480*16)

fps

3D
Mark 2001
(640*480*16)

3Dmarks

MP3
Encoding

Secs

DIVX
Encoding

Secs

P4 3.06 105.2 351.3 146 17484 54 106
Athlon
XP 3000+
115.6 307.4 169.5 17963 56 132
Athlon
XP 2800+
114.3 301.1 163.5 17336 54 131

The Bottom Line Since the performance of the three processors was almost at par, you need to also look at the price and availability of the processors and other PC components, like motherboard and RAM. Currently the 3000+ costs 50% more than the 2800+ and yet gives only a marginal performance improvement. The P4 3.06, on the other hand, cost Rs 38,400 when we reviewed it in January 2003, which is even more expensive than the 3000+. 

Anoop Mangla

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