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AMD Athlon64 3200+ 32/64-bit Processor Review

AMD Athlon64 3200+ 32/64-bit Processor Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: Tired of being an "Intel clone," AMD's goal became to set market trends, instead of just following the lead of chipzilla.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Sep 23 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Athlon64 3200+

New Thermal Solutions for the Athlon64

With the release of the Athlon64 3200+ we are finally saying good by to the venerable Socket 462/A platform. AthlonXP 3200's and Athlon64 3200's may only differ in name slightly, but the physical changes are enormous. To accommodate the nearly 106 million transistors packed into a 193mm2 die on the Athlon 64 3200+ processor, and the roughly 80W heat output, AMD have migrated to an entirely new cooling platform.

Gone are the difficult to engage spring clips that could rip out the very catches they were supposed to clip into along the side of the socket. Gone are the problems with nearby electrolytic capacitors blocking us from installing large heatsinks. Gone are the problems with chipped silicon cores because the heatsink was installed at an angle improperly. Gone are the 4-second nuclear meltdowns of an Athlon's core thanks to a heatsink that was only riding on the silicon's very edge. Gone is the need for shims, the best of which kept the core from being chipped, and the worst of which shorted out ceramic capacitors, or actually elevated the heatsink above the silicon a few mils. Gone are worries of Arctic Silver's conductive thermal compound voiding an AthlonXP's warranty, or worse, shorting out the processor. Gone are the problems of excessively stiff heatsink mounting clips or mechanisms that applied so much force the processor actually cracked and split in two. Gone is the frustration of having spent $70 on a high performance copper heatsink that uses the four mounting holes in the PCB to attach itself when your brand new motherboard no longer comes with them.

Yup. Gone is Socket A, and all of its problems with it!

The Athlon64 produces upwards of an 80W heat load, and to maintain operational temperatures at a reasonable noise level, AMD have had to rethink things. Larger heatsinks tend to be more efficient because of larger surface areas, and it also helps to use 70mm fans.

The catch is that along with a larger heatsink, weight becomes an issue. Keeping that metal mass over the processor stable used to fall to the socket itself, and to combat the frightening thought of a chunk of metal rattling around in case, AMD now use a retention frame.

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Contents of Article: AMD Athlon64 3200+
 Pg 1.  AMD Athlon64 3200+ 32/64-bit Processor Review
 Pg 2.  105.9 Million Transistors
 Pg 3.  Understanding SOI
 Pg 4.  The limitations of 32-bit
 Pg 5.  Internal Memory Controller and HyperTransport
 Pg 6.  Chipsets for the Athlon 64 processor
 Pg 7.  VIA K8M800, AMD 8000 chipsets
 Pg 8.  Nvidia Nforce3 Pro150, SIS 755
 Pg 9.  ALI 1687 chipset
 Pg 10.  — New Thermal Solutions for the Athlon64
 Pg 11.  Socket 754/940 Heatsink Frame
 Pg 12.  Overclocking, it's all new now
 Pg 13.  System Spec's and Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: Super Pi, POVRay
 Pg 15.  Benchmarks: ScienceMark2.0, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 16.  Benchmarks: PCMark 2002, 3DMark2001SE
 Pg 17.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3, Quake III Arena
 Pg 18.  Benchmarks: UT2003, Conclusions

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