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The "darling of home users" is presenting its seventh model with a Palomino core, the Athlon XP 2100+. The Athlon XP 2100+'s effective clock rate, no longer a crucial criterion for the performance of a processor, reaches an astonishing 1733 MHz. It's pretty obvious, though, that the manufacturer has maxed out its performance - at least while using the 0.18 micron manufacturing process. According to unofficial sources, AMD is planning to unveil the Athlon XP 2200+ at 1800 MHz and with a Palomino core in the near future. The reason? Older roadmaps claim that the successor to the Palomino, the 'Thoroughbred,' is long overdue.
The AMD Athlon XP 2100+ at 1733 MHz.
Add to that the fact that, with its Pentium 4/2200, arch enemy Intel is not exactly an overwhelming enemy, and so AMD isn't feeling much pressure to beef up performance. One major issue here is optimizing software for a certain CPU architecture. Intel shows more activities in this respect than AMD, though most benchmarks are still based on older software.