The Three Musketeers: Athlon Platforms For 133 MHz FSB


It's no less than 2 months ago when AMD officially announced Athlon processors that run at a processor bus clock of 133 MHz. Previous versions communicated with the system at a clock of 100 MHz, which offers a data bandwidth of 64 bit / 8 Byte x 100 MHz x 2 = 1600 MB/s, due to the fact that Athlon's processor bus is 'double-pumped', which is why this bus is commonly referred to as a 200 MHz bus.

The 'new' Athlon, which can be recognized by the 'C' in its name, communicates with the system at a 'double-pumped' 133 MHz, improving the interface bandwidth to 2100 MB/s. Since October 30, 2000 we have published benchmark data of systems with the new 133 MHz FSB Athlons on numerous occasions, making it a well-known fact that Athlon-systems are definitely benefiting from the higher bus clock.

Waiting For Santa

Unfortunately those Athlon-C processors have hardly been made available to the public yet. The most important reason for this annoying delay was the lack of availability and reliability of chipsets that would support the new version of the AMD-processor. Initially the only chipset supporting 133 MHz processor bus clock was AMD's very own 760 chipset. This chipset does not only provide the 133 MHz bus, but also the support of DDR-SDRAM, a memory type that also offers 2100 MB/s peak bandwidth, making it the perfect partner for the 133 MHz-Athlon processors. Unfortunately AMD ran into some motherboard design problems with this chipset, which is why there's still no official AMD760-platform with support of 133 MHz processor bus available in the market.

We provided an extensive review of the new Athlon-version plus AMD's 760 chipset in our article "DDR-SDRAM Has Finally Arrived ".