Conclusion: The Athlon XP 2100+ Outclasses The Pentium 4/2200
The unveiling of the Athlon XP 2100+ propels the Palomino core to its penultimate level - according to unofficial comments, AMD will present the Athlon XP 2200+ in a matter of only a few weeks. The presently fastest Athlon XP runs at 1733 MHz, while the Athlon XP 2200+ runs at a clock speed of 1800 MHz .
They are manufactured using the 0.18 micron process; the Athlon XP with Thoroughbred core, slated to be launched in the second quarter of this year, will be the first Athlon to be based on 0.13 micrometer-wide strip conductors. AMD will definitely have to apply the new technology if it wants to reach higher clock speeds. Still, the 'Thoroughbred' is merely a Palomino that has been somewhat reduced in size; new features will not be added.
Our test results show that AMD won't have to worry any time soon, even if its arch enemy Intel keeps turning up the megahertz-dial. The reason? Even at its considerably lower clock speed, the AMD Athlon outstrips its competitor Intel when used with your everyday applications. The benchmark results present a clear picture.
The Athlon XP 2100+ was outperformed by the P4/2200 only when it came to 'office performance'. In some disciplines not based on optimized software, the Athlon XP 2100+ even reached the level of a Pentium 4 at 2.4 GHz, which will not be introduced until early April. Don't forget that only using a Rambus platform will enable the Intel Pentium 4 to perform to the max.
This stands in stark contrast to Intel officially turning its back on serial memory technology and its embracing of DDR SDRAM. The monopoly has clearly been influenced by the market in this aspect. AMD paints a different picture, though. The Athlon XP works better with DDR RAM and can reach considerably higher clock speeds after the die shrink - at least in theory.