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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Friday, August 12, 2005
AMD Athlon 3000+

1. Introduction

A while ago, CDRinfo had the chance to review the Intel Pentium 4 530 CPU, with a core speed of 3.00GHz. Today we will be reviewing the AMD Athlon 64 3000+ CPU with the "Venice" Core (also knows as E3 stepping) and we will put it under the microscope to see what it can actually do. On top of that, throughout this review we will be comparing the 3000+ to the Intel 530. So, as many of you may have already guessed, this is a face off.

The Venice core AMD Athlon 3000+ uses the same innovative technology as all the Athlon 64 AMD processors such as SOI (Silicon on Insulator) technology allowing faster gate switching, DSL (Dual Stress Liner) technology, an enhancement on the faster switching SS3 technology. Let us have a look at the complete features list according to AMD and move onto the review and the tests.

Enhanced Virus Protection with Windows® XP Service Pack 2
- The AMD Athlon 64 processor features Enhanced Virus Protection, when supported by the operating system, and can help protect against viruses, worms, and other malicious attacks

Cool'n'Quiet™ technology
- Reduce power consumption and system noise

64-bit ready
- AMD64 technology provides full-speed support for x86 code base for uncompromising 32bit performance, ready for 64-bit applications
- 40-bit physical addresses, 48-bit virtual addresses
- Eight new (sixteen total) 64-bit integer registers
- Eight (sixteen total) 128-bit SSE/SSE2/SSE3 registers
- Including support for 3DNow!™ Professional technology and SSE3

HyperTransport™ technology for high speed I/O communication
- One 16-bit link up to 2000MHz
- Up to 8 GB/s HyperTransport™ I/O bandwidth
- Up to 14.4 GB/s total delivered processor-to-system bandwidth

High-bandwidth, low-latency integrated DDR memory controller
- Supports PC3200, PC2700, PC2100 or PC1600 DDR SDRAM
- Unbuffered DIMMs
- 72-bit DDR SDRAM memory (64-bit interface + 8-bit ECC)
- Up to 6.4 GB/s memory bandwidth
- ECC protection enables increased system reliability

A shot of what the CPU looks like, paste free. Notice the letters BP under the Athlon logo, which are the Venice core credentials.

Processor Features & Definitions

Architecture

Basic design of a microprocessor. May include process technology and/or other architectural enhancements.

Cache
(MB/KB)

A temporary storage area for frequently accessed or recently accessed data. Having certain data stored in a cache speeds up the operation of the computer. Cache size is measured in megabytes (MB) or kilobytes (KB).

Clock Speed
(GHz/MHz)

Speed of the processor's internal clock, which dictates how fast the processor can process data. Clock speed is usually measured in GHz (gigahertz, or billions of pulses per second).

Front Side Bus
(GHz/MHz)

The connecting path between the processor and other key components such as the memory controller hub. FSB speed is measured in GHz or MHz.

The Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ specifications...

Here is a table with all the Venice core CPUs and their main specs/differences.

Processor AMD Athlon 64 Venice Core
Model 3800+ 3500+ 3200+ 3000+
Rev E3
Clock Frequency 2400Mhz 2200Mhz 2000Mhz 1800Mhz
System Bus 2000
Voltage Variable
Max Temp 65C
Thermal Power 89W 67W
L1 Cache 128KB
L2 Cache 521KB
CMOS Technology 90nm SOI
Package Profile Socket 939

Below you can see the core (the die as it is called) of the Venice 3000+ :

The CPU socket is the usual 939...

A diagram of the processor architecture for the Athlon 64 CPU.

The retail box contains the CPU and stock box cooler fansink, a typical full aluminium heatsink and 9 blade fan, which came with a pre-applied thin layer of thermal grease.




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