View Full Version : It's about time... AMD's 2400+ and 2600+ are now released

08-21-2002, 11:55 PM
Well they have been released (don't know if this is old new or new news :rolleyes: ) The 2400+ operates at an even 2ghz and the 2600+ operates at 2.13 but you ocers will make that go up :D.

From firingsquad.com:

Athlon XP 2600+ model operates at 2.13GHz, and the Athlon XP 2400+ runs at 2.0GHz, both running on a 133MHz (effectively 266MHz) system bus. Both chips are also based on AMD's "Thoroughbred" core, which is based on AMD's brand new 0.13-micron manufacturing process. However, unlike the original Thoroughbred Athlon XP 2200+, these two chips are based on a radically different processor stepping.
If you recall back when the AXIA "Thunderbird" Athlon processors were all the rage, you probably realize the significance of this immediately: overclocking. You see, as AMD gets more experienced with a manufacturing process, they slowly implement new manufacturing improvements. This allows them to improve their yields. With the older Thoroughbred steppings, getting chips at 1.9GHz was difficult enough let alone 2GHz. Getting good yields on the 2.13GHz part would have been next to impossible. Fortunately AMD's engineers were able to implement a new stepping on Thoroughbred -- just in time for the Athlon's three-year anniversary.

In the case of the Athlon XP 2400+ and 2600+, AMD has added another layer to the Thoroughbred core, bringing the total up to nine layers. In addition, AMD has added additional decoupling capacitors to reduce electromagnetic interference (which is important when your chip is running at speeds of 2GHz and above). Finally, AMD has optimized the circuit paths within the processor.

As a result of these changes, die size has increased slightly: while the original Thoroughbred's die size was 80mm2, the XP 2600+ features an 84mm2 die. Transistor count is also increased to approximately 37.6 million. Despite the increased clock speed, typical thermal power is only 62W, while the maximum is 68.3W (versus 61.7W and 67.9W for the slower-running XP 2200+).

Just the beginning...

Like the old AXIA chips AMD will implement this stepping on its slower Athlon XP chips, but obviously they're going to ship as many of them at 2.0GHz and 2.13GHz as possible. After all, the selling price on these chips is considerably higher than the older Athlon XP parts. Which brings us to our next point, pricing. Officially, AMD is listing the Athlon XP 2600+ at $297 when purchased in 1,000 unit quantities and the Athlon XP 2400+ is priced at $193.

All of this sounds pretty exciting so far huh? But wait, there's one small catch. You can't run out and buy it yet. With today's CPU launches, AMD has announced that it has begun shipping both chips to its customers, Athlon XP 2400+ and Athlon XP 2600+ parts aren't quite available in retail channels just yet. Fortunately, AMD expects system availability in September, so you'll only have to wait a couple of weeks if you want to pick up an Athlon XP 2400+ or 2600+.
As we discussed on the previous page, this new stepping will eventually work its way down to the slower Athlon XP parts (if it hasn't already) for those of you who feel that the Athlon XP 2600+ is a bit too expensive for your budget, but still want the benefits of the new stepping. Just wait a few months for retailers to sell off their current inventory of 80mm2 parts as well as getting newer 84mm2 chips that run at the slower clock speeds. If possible, it's always best to physically see the chip you're going to buy in the store. Since you know our chip was manufactured the 31st week of this year, if you find a week 32 or 33 Athlon XP 2000+ it's logical to speculate that it may be based one of the newer Thoroughbred cores. Newsgroups and message boards can also be good sources of information on processor steppings.

Motherboard Compatibility
For testing we used an Epox EP-8K3A+ KT333 motherboard that was supplied by AMD. The initial BIOS didn't properly recognize the CPU as an Athlon XP 2600+, but it ran fine and we didn't encounter any problems. Since then a new BIOS has been built (8k3a2813.bin) that fully recognizes the Athlon XP 2600+. As far as we're aware, this is all that will be required in any other Athlon motherboard so there shouldn't be any compatibility issues. AMD keeps a list of validated motherboards on its website as additional resource for end users.

With the changes implemented in the new stepping, we were eager to see how high we could crank up our processor. Fortunately the new Thoroughbred chips are just as easy to overclock as the older Thunderbird CPUs so we grabbed a #2 pencil and set out to connect the L1 bridges. A few minutes later and we were armed with an unlocked 2.13GHz processor!
After experimenting with multiple bus/multiplier/voltage combinations, the maximum clock speed we were able to hit with out Athlon XP 2600+ with complete stability was 2304MHz (16.0x144) at 1.825V. We were actually able to get the system to run at just under 2.4GHz, but we just couldn't get 3DMark 2001SE and a few other tests to work reliably regardless of the voltage we used.

Now on to the test...

System Setup

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
AMD Athlon XP 2100+
AMD Athlon XP 1800+

Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz

Epox EP-8K3A+ (KT333)
SiS 648 reference motherboard

256MB CAS2.5 DDR400 SDRAM (for 2.53GHz Pentium 4)

NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600
Driver version Detonator 30.82

30GB IBM Deskstar DTLA 307030 ATA/100 Hard Drive

Windows XP Professional

DirectX 8.1

Desktop Resolution: 1024x768x32

3DMark 2001 Second Edition - 32-bit color, 32-bit textures
Quake 3 Retail - High Quality
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter - Normal (32-bit) The Elephant Atrium demo
Jedi Knight II - High Quality
Comanche 4
SYSmark 2002
Business Winstone 2001
Content Creation Winstone 2002

We decided to use the SiS 648 reference motherboard to represent the Pentium 4 platform as we feel it offers the best combination of price/performance of all the solutions available. So far the only SiS 648 motherboard on the market is the ABIT SR7-8X although the ASUS P4S8X (with optional Serial ATA) should be hitting US shores any day now.


Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page5.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page6.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page7.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page8.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page9.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page10.asp)

Here (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/xp2600/page11.asp)

Pretty friggin close to the p4's now hehe...

Ballistics Report

New core/stepping: With its 0.13-micron core, the Athlon XP 2600+ is cooler and faster than its predecessor, Palomino. In addition, the new manufacturing process will decrease manufacturing costs for AMD, improving efficiency. As a result, don't expect the price war between Intel and AMD to go away anytime soon.

Overclocking: Normally we don't like to mention the overclocking aspects of a chip in our official assessment, but we think it's pretty safe to say that these newer Thoroughbred processors will overclock better than their predecessors. AMD has redesigned the core for more efficient operation at high clock speeds and based on what we've seen their work was a resounding success.

Performance: The Athlon XP 2600+ is one helluva fast chip. It may only be running at 2.13GHz, but as we've seen in today's benchmarks it is more than capable of giving the Pentium 4 2.53GHz a run for its money.

Price: Speaking of which, the Athlon XP 2600+ officially lists for $297. In comparison, Intel officially sells the Pentium 4 2.53GHz to its customers for $637. At that price, you can pick yourself up an Athlon XP 2600+ and a nice KT333 motherboard like the Epox EP-8K3A+ and still won't come anywhere close to matching the price of Intel's tog part.

The scary part is AMD is only asking $193 for the Athlon XP 2400+, and we all know much cheaper street prices are for AMD CPUs. We wouldn't be surprised to see online prices another 20-30% lower once the supply on these chips increases.

Packaging: We're being really nitpicky here, but we always have a "Cons" section in our review so we have to come up with something not to like about the Athlon XP 2600+ and if we had to pick one aspect we don't like it would be the packaging. Not so much that we don't appreciate the Socket A infrastructure, we'd just like to see AMD implement a heat spreader on its newer Thorougbred cores.

At 0.13-micron, the Athlon XP 2600+'s tiny core is even more fragile than its larger 0.18-micron siblings. In addition, the smaller die means the heatsink must work harder to keep the chip cool, as the surface area it has to work with has decreased. Lets not forget the horror stories of Athlon owners with cracked cores. While we've never done this ourselves, we've all seen the horror stories by now. As always, be careful when you're installing the heatsink on your processor, and make sure to use one of AMD's approved heatsinks

All of the previous information was found at www.firingsquad.com

08-21-2002, 11:56 PM
Final Verdict

FiringSquad says:
AMD has yet another hit on their hands with the Athlon XP 2600+. We know it sounds very repetitive in comparison to our other CPU reviews, but it's the truth. While we'd love to see the Athlon XP running on a faster bus with 512K L2 cache, the chip we have today is more than capable of keeping up with, if not surpassing, the latest and greatest from Intel. What makes this even more impressive is the Athlon XP 2600+'s selling price of $297.

With such incredibly performance costing so little, we're astonished that AMD's market share has recently taken a turn south. In a depressed economy a product like the Athlon XP should be selling like hotcakes. Every college student that will be enrolling for school this fall that needs a new computer should give the Athlon XP serious consideration.

If we're giving the Athlon XP 2600+ so much praise, why no Editor's Choice Award? We'll be honest; we were seriously tempted. But as attractively priced as the Athlon XP 2600+ is, we feel the Athlon XP 2400+ is an even better value and thus, it gets the nod. If we were in the market for a new CPU today, it would definitely be pretty hard to pass up.

It's too bad neither of these CPUs is on the market just yet. But when they do hit retail shelves, we have a very strong feeling that they'll sell briskly among the hardware enthusiast community. If AMD could just get their name out to mainstream consumers, we know their chips would sell even faster.

In the meantime, we'll keep our eyes peeled for the Athlon XP 2800+. The XP 2600+ is only a few hours old and rumors have already started about its successor. Will AMD crank up the bus to 333MHz? Stay tuned folks; we're certainly keeping our fingers and toes crossed!

www.firingsquad.com gives the new amd's a score of 97%.

All info can be found at www.firingsquad.com

08-22-2002, 01:38 AM
Great prices on those procs. Maybe it's time to switch to AMD.

08-22-2002, 05:20 AM
It was time... a long time ago Peter...

Man those AMD's makes you wanna touch them...and use them and overclock them and see them kick Intel on the head right under the temple area close by the ear section near the mouth and nasal passages...right?

08-22-2002, 05:37 AM
I've been told that before FLACO, but it never hurts to remind me.

08-22-2002, 07:26 AM
Sowwy man...but its fun to try new things in the computer world..especially when they are cheaper than Intel

08-22-2002, 08:11 AM
A lot cheaper!!

08-22-2002, 09:32 AM
Mmmm.... yes..... http://forums.tweaktown.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=77905#post77905 :D

But they are looking very good just the same. :lips:

08-23-2002, 01:30 AM
It's an exciting time. Stimulate the world economy, buy more chips, overclock chips, buy more chips ...

08-23-2002, 09:25 AM
Aaah ok been talked about. Oh well it was news to me. You can get a 1600+ proc at www.newegg.com for $55 : |.

08-23-2002, 10:32 AM
Yeah, that's in more people's budgets for sure.

08-23-2002, 12:12 PM
My cousins getting one :). He's on a budget but is currently running a 950+ so its a big boost. He just bought a new case (His old one didnt have ANY fans in it :knife:.). He has also pre-ordered a ati 9700 so his comp is going to be pretty nice....

08-23-2002, 09:13 PM
Case with no fans - He better report to Overclockers Anonymous. On a budget but ordered a ATI 9700? He definately has his priorities.