by June 15, 2001 0 comments



It’s interesting to follow the way AMD and Intel are hiking up their processor clock speeds. While the latest Intel offering is a P4 clocked at 1.7 GHz, AMD recently introduced its fastest processor, the Thunderbird 1.33 GHz. The new processor is also referred to as an Athlon-C processor because it has a 133 MHz dual-pumped FSB and such processors have a ‘c’ at the end of their serial number. There are no architectural changes to the original Thunderbird core otherwise, and this new processor is nothing but the same old thing running at a higher clock speed. 

We received a pre-configured machine from AMD that had some of the best hardware available in the market today. The processor, of course, was a 1.33 GHz Thunderbird. It had 256 MB of DDR-SDRAM–dual-pumped
SDRAM.

Handling the video was a mean Leadtek Winfast GeForce2 Ultra with 64 MB of onboard memory, and last but not the least, the system came with a fast IBM hard drive with ATA-100 support. This kind of a configuration leaves very little room for improvement, and beat almost everything else we benchmarked in PCQ Labs. Now, that is some achievement considering the kind of hardware we’ve seen here.

Snapshot

Features: 133 MHz FSB, 128 kB L1 and 256 KB L2 cache, 37 million transistors 
Pros: Highest clocked Athlon, very good performance 
Cons: None
Contact: Aditya Infotech. 
Tel: 011-6223810 
Fax: 6227979. Khemka Centre, 2-5 Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019. www.adityagroup.com 
E-mail: kavita_modi@adityagroup.com
 
 

We recently updated our benchmark suite. Instead of using Business Winstone 99 and High-End Winstone 99, that require two separate OS installations (Windows 98 and NT) we have shifted to the newer version called Business Winstone 2001 and Content Creation 2001, both of which can run on Windows 98. Between themselves, these two benchmarks test system performance for both productivity and professional applications. 3D performance is tested using 3D Winbench 2000, 3Dmark99 Max, and good old Quake III Arena. 

The results that the Thunderbird 1.33 GHz gave speak for themselves–Winstone 2001: 50.3; CC Winstone 2001: 54.2; 3DMark99 Max (CPU 3Dmarks): 21690; 3D Winbench 2000 (fps): 157; Quake III Arena (1024x768x32-bit): 130.8. These are amongst the highest results we’ve ever recorded.

As usual, we raise the question as to who would require such processing capabilities. Many other processors can satisfy most needs of most people. However, a professional minority will benefit from such a processor. Even most 3D games are today not limited by the processor, but by the video card used. For gaming, bundling a GeForce2 with an 800MHz PIII, Duron or Thunderbird makes more sense than a simple GeForce with a 1.33 GHz CPU. So, before rushing out to the market, be sure you will actually use this processor’s capabilities. 

Anuj Jain at PCQ Labs

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