Introducing the Modeling System

We've already mentioned one of the Athlon XP models, the 1800+ but here is a full breakdown of the clock speeds and the corresponding model numbers for AMD's Athlon XP line:

AMD Athlon XP Product Line
CPU Name
FSB Frequency
Clock Multiplier
Clock Speed
Athlon XP 1800+
133MHz
11.5x
1.53GHz
Athlon XP 1700+
133MHz
11.0x
1.47GHz
Athlon XP 1600+
133MHz
10.5x
1.40GHz
Athlon XP 1500+
133MHz
10.0x
1.33GHz

The first thing you should notice is that AMD is being very conservative with these ratings. We know from our Pentium 4 2.0GHz review that the Thunderbird based Athlon 1.4GHz processor was quite competitive with the Pentium 4 2.0; you can pretty much expect a 1.53GHz Athlon XP to perform even better yet it only features a model number of 1800+.

AMD doesn't arbitrarily select model numbers according to how they feel performance stacks up to the competition, rather they use a collection of 14 widely used independent benchmarking applications and games (including SYSMark 2001, but more on that later) and determine the rating based on overall performance in those benchmarks.

In order to explain in simple but catchy terms why the Athlon XP is able to operate at a lower clock frequency yet obtain these high model numbers, AMD has coined the term "QuantiSpeed Architecture." In reality there is nothing new about the Athlon XP's "QuantiSpeed Architecture"; it's merely a way of saying that the Athlon XP can do more work in a single clock (higher IPC) than the Pentium 4.

The Athlon XPs also feature updated pricing:

AMD Athlon XP Product Line - Pricing in US Dollars
CPU
Price in OEM Quantities
Athlon XP 1800+
$252
Athlon XP 1700+
$190
Athlon XP 1600+
$160
Athlon XP 1500+
$130

As you'll notice, the lowest grade is still priced above the fastest Athlon available today. This may mark a return to a somewhat more reasonable pricing structure for AMD since previously, AMD's "value" processors were priced barely any cheaper than their mainstream/performance segment processors.

Index Behind the Name
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  • AFPL - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

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