Skip to main content

Barton's Here: Athlon XP 3000+ vs. P4 3.06 GHz

An End User's Question: How Many L2 Caches Does The Athlon Have?

As it stands now, two different CPUs are available in the store with the XP 2800+ label, although there is no indication of an L2 cache from AMD. It is therefore not clear which CPU is being ordered.

Only the oblong shape of the CPU die clues you in to the fact that you've got a Barton Athlon. The "FSB speed of 333 MHz" alone is not enough, especially considering the additional confusion AMD has created with the readjustment of the model numbering.

Overclocking To 2500 MHz - How It Works

Basis for overclocking: board with socket 462 and a modern Athlon XP.

We were forced to consider the subject of overclocking because AMD was not able to send us all three processors immediately for testing. Rather, the lab technicians had to unlock the only Athlon XP 3000+ in order to get the benchmark results for the "new" XP 2800+ and the XP 2500+.

Just to recap and as way of explanation: in principle, all Athlon XP CPUs based on the Thoroughbred core (from 1700+ on) are unlocked when they leave the factory. You can tell this from the fact that the L1 bridges on the CPU are closed. By comparison, the Palomino and the old Thunderbird (also Duron's Spitfire and Morgan) had to be unlocked using the pencil method or the masking technique by closing the L1 bridges, as our own Uwe Scheffel first demonstrated. We have a downloadable MPEG video on the subject, Second THG Video: Unlocking The Athlon XP/MP .

These tools are needed to unlock the translation table: tweezers and screwdriver.