Pill didn't mention that there is a performance difference. The Slot A cartridge style Athlons run their lvl 2 cache at 1/3 the cpu clock speed. This is because the cache is on the cartridge and not on the actual die of the chip. The socket Athlons (Thunderbirds) have the lvl 2 cache on chip running at full chip clock speed.
i.e. A Slot Athlon 1ghz runs its lvl 2 cache at 333mhz
A Socket Athlon 1ghz run its lvl 2 cache at 1000mhz
If you dig through the archives here at Toms your sure to find some benchmarks comparing the two platforms. BTW, Pill is correct in that the socket is dead. All future releases will be in socket form.
The 1100MHz Athlon is DEFINATELY screaming Socket at you - performance increases up to 30% in some cases - it's the SOCKET you want... oh and agriffin - i think u meant to say that ...that the SLOT is dead. not socket lol.
I have a slot-A Thunderbird. They do exist. Performance is the same as the socket. You should get the socket though. I got the slot-a version because I couldn't wait for the socket-a motherboards. Take a look at this article I noticed this morning about buying an Athlon now.
Slot A Athlon Thunderbird == new, but if you can get a socket one, its better for future upgradibility, support, etc. Slot A Tbird is there for convenience mostly
Socket A Athlon Thunderbird == Today's standard, best all around purchase
Socket A & Slot A Tbird *should* have the same performance, but if you are buying a new mobo as well, you should go for socket. Only buy a Slot Tbird if you already have a Slot mobo and desperately want to keep it...
The slot A and sock A are almost the same, but different. They each have about 400 pins and the electrical signals are almost identical, except physically re-arranged into socket and slot formats. In fact, both use the same chipsets, like the VIA KT133/KX133 or old AMD750.
AMD produces all new Athlon Thunderbirds and Durons in socket format, and as others have said they're better because the level 2 cache runs at full speed. The older Athlon's cache in the slot A format ran at either a half or a third.
Also, the brand new Athlons with the 2x133MHz FSB only come in socket format. So if you ever want to get an Athlon SMP system going or using DDR memory, better get a socket board with an AMD760 chipset.
A limited number of Athlon Thunderbirds were produced in slot form but they aren't sold anymore and they were only intended as a demo-sorta-thing.