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The Die Has Been Cast: Pentium 4/2533 vs. Athlon XP 2100+

Only Few 850E Boards Available Right Now

A motherboard from the market leader: Asus P4T533-E with the Intel 850E chipset was used as a test platform.

Currently, motherboard manufacturers are holding back with their offerings of 850E boards. To be more exact, during the testing period, only boards from Asus and Iwill were made available to us. It seems that other board makers have not quite decided on their strategy. However, the guarantee for trouble free operation of this combination will be up to the board makers alone.

By reducing the number of layers from 6 to 4, the production of 850E boards can be more cost-effective. Basically, the costs are identical to the manufacture of boards for AMD Athlon that are based on Socket 462. The 4-layer motherboards can be recognized by the shifted position of the RIMM memory slots.

Response From AMD: Waiting For Thoroughbred

It won't be long anymore. On the left Athlon XP with 'Palomino' core, on the right the upcoming 'Thoroughbred' core.

It won't be long until AMD will be launching the Athlon XP 2200+, which will be based on the new Thoroughbred core. The new .13 micron process of Thoroughbred allows higher clock rates, less voltage and less power dissipation. Other than that, Tbred will be using the same specs as its predecessor Palomino. The L2-cache will remain at 256 kB and the front side bus will stay 266 MHz. Rumor says that those numbers won't change until the AMD Claw Hammer comes out at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.