How Good Are AMD's Bundled Coolers For The Athlon XP ?

Before the Athlon XPs with Barton cores were even launched, we started getting a deluge of e-mails from readers wanting to know how effective the coolers that ship with boxed Athlon XPs actually are. And yet another outpouring of e-mail basically read: "I've got an Athlon XP 2400+ and want to upgrade to an Athlon XP 2700+. Do I need a new, more powerful cooler?"

Let's first take a look at the maximum thermal-power readings of high-end Athlon XPs with Thoroughbred A, B and Barton cores (source: AMD Data Sheets Processor Model 8 and Model 10):

Model Core Frequency FSB L2 Cache Core Max Thermal Power DIE Size Max specific Thermal Power Max DIE Temp
2200+ 1800 MHz 266 MHz 256 kB TB-A 67.9 W 0.80cm² 84.88W/cm² 85 °C
2600+ 2133 MHz 266 MHz 256 kB TB-B 68.3 W 0.84cm² 81.31W/cm² 85 °C
2700+ 2167 MHz 333 MHz 256 kB TB-B 68.3 W 0.84cm² 81.31W/cm² 85 °C
3000+ 2167 MHz 333 MHz 512 kB Barton 74.3 W 1.01cm² 73.56W/cm² 85 °C
2400+ 2000 MHz 266 MHz 256 kB TB-B 68.3 W 0.84cm² 81.31W/cm² 85 °C

The Athlon XP 3000+ with a Barton core has the highest maximum thermal power: 74.3 watts. But since its die is 20 percent larger than high-end models with Thoroughbred B cores, such as those you'll find in the Athlon XP 2600+ and 2700+, its maximum specific thermal power is almost eight watts (or some ten percent) less at 73.56 watts/cm².

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