At The Last Second: AMD's Trump Card - The Athlon XP 2600+

New Guidelines For CPU Coolers: No Cheap Models

A new CPU cooler for Athlon XP 2200+ with high contact pressure, approved by AMD.

Effective cooling for the processor is an important topic when you make the switch from Athlon XP with the Palomino core to the Athlon XP with the Thoroughbred core ("A" and "B" versions). Although the new Athlon XP has a marginally lower power intake, a higher performance CPU cooler is required nevertheless.

This can be explained by the following: because the CPU surface is 40% smaller, there is automatically less surface area available for heat dissipation. This begs the question of why AMD still doesn't use a heat spreader, as do the Intel Pentium 4 and the AMD "Hammer."

For OEM manufacturers and those who buy new Athlon XP processors, the updated guidelines from AMD (valid since June 10, 2002) are:

Only CPU coolers equipped with a copper plate (or adequate heat transfer capabilities) as the contact surface to the CPU die may be used. Or, to put it another way: if you want to upgrade your PC with an Athlon XP based on the T-bred, you can safely throw out your old aluminum cooler. Otherwise, if your Athlon XP (the new model) dies a thermal death when used together with a cheap cooler, AMD is not giving you any guarantees.

A countersunk copper contact on a CPU cooler.

A CPU cooler from Taisol.