As we look toward the introductions on September 23rd, some things are starting to become clearer about Athlon64. Announcements from AMD and word-of-mouth all point to the performance of Athlon64 and Opteron being very close if not identical. We also are hearing rumors from the Inquirer and elsewhere that the 754-pin Athlon64 will likely be introduced initially at 2.0GHz, with a revised (and more realistic) Performance Rating that will place it somewhere around 3200+, which is the current highest PR of the top Barton. However, no one has really done much in answering how the Athlon64 will perform compared to current Athlon and Pentium 4 CPUs. While the delay of Microsoft’s 64-bit Windows XP still will not allow us to test 64-bit Athlon64 performance, we do have the tools at hand to give a good idea of what to expect from 32-bit Athlon64 performance when it is introduced in the next few weeks.

When Anand Shimpi first tested Opteron in April, there were only server-based boards available for testing. The single-CPU nVidia nForce3, which has real AGP 8X and Enthusiast-level overclocking options, would not be released for a couple of months. With nForce3 for Opteron now available in the market, and the expectation of a 2.0GHz Athlon64 introduction, we went back to our nVidia nForce3 reference board with an Opteron capable of running 200FSB to see where Athlon64 might land.

With the AGP/PCI lock and FSB overclocking of the nForce3, we were able to reach a stable 2.0Ghz (222x9) at default voltage with our 1.8 Opteron, even though we were running 2GB (512MBx4) of Dual-Channel ECC memory. With full support of AGP 8X, we were also able to use our standard ATI Radeon 9800 PRO for benchmarking.

With the nForce 3 running Opteron at 2.0Ghz with a Radeon 9800 PRO, we had the platform to give our readers a decent preview of Athlon64 performance. So how will Athlon64 likely compare to the best Pentium 4 CPU’s and current Barton processors?

nVidia nForce3 Chipset


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  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Oh little Dvinnen I petty you for your ignorance

    AMD Opteron Socket 940 at 2.0GHz (9x222) 444FSB

    The opteron has the equivalent to a MEM-controller between MEM and CPU. And it is quote running at "AMD Opteron Socket 940 at 2.0GHz (9x222) 444FSB". So be that the mem will run at 444 Mhz or 222 "Dobbel-pumped" Mhz

    So even the anandtech 'beeps' don't know the architecture of the CPU... Although FSB is a wrong id of it.

    Mvh Mjello

    The fool is not the one who is deceived. But the one who wants to be deceived...

    By the way. The hypertransport-link is for peripherals.. Not memory

    Not that I really care enough to answer you little dwuuip but I am in a rare mood
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    one more (hopefully constructive) suggestion - how about commentary on the benchmarks next to the appropriate graphs so we can see the #'s while we read the comments. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    quick suggestion for you guys - how come the graphs are labeled with motherboard names? shouldn't they be labeled with CPU names since this is a CPU comparison. Just skimming the article and looking at the graphs I had no idea what was being compared. If need be, put the chipset in parenthesis next to the CPU name & speed.

    excellent article though! athlon64 looks very imrpessive
  • Icewind - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Wow, so far AMD looks like there on the right track, but its going to be interesting to see how Intel fires back at that with Prescott and Tejas, not to mention the change to PCI Express and what not. Next year is gonna be insane thats for sure. For now, im enjoying my 2.8.@3.2 ASUS P4C800-E, 1 Gig corsair rig and its screams. Im in looking into a 9800pro or 9800XT for my video card and im set for a good long year. Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Yeah, fire hazard, that's why a 3.2P4 uses 82w of power just to sit there, and the 3200+ XP uses 62.

    Dell won't touch AMD due to Intel forcing them to.

    Intel has billions to spend on R&D, and look where it's gotten them, the loser Itanium.

    And with P4 clock speeds like a 140mhz would make the world of difference on the 54% it is behind.

    Why use 4x512MB? Don't we all need 2Gb of ram to function best?

    You're right, due to the P4 freq binge AMD did introduce its + ratings. Isn't amazing that a processor running slower memory and 1060 mhz less can still be faster?

    Funny, 20 out of 20 of my AMD systems don't have quirks in them, must be a stupid Windows user.
  • dvinnen - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    <<<and with 22 Mhz OC to the memory.>>>

    Wow. Did you even read the artical or know anything about The K8 line? There is no FSB to oc so you can't oc the memory that way. It gets it's external clock (aka:fsb) from the hypertransport line. So they oced the hypertransport to get the speed from there 1.8 opteron to 2.0, the shiping shipped of A64. OCing the fsb on K8 dosen't do anyithing but increase the clock becuase the HT line is about as saturated as a AGPx8 line.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link


    A lot of pepole play games on Linux, Q3 on Linux is actually a bit faster on my system then in w2k.

    But that's not the point. The point is to see how much there is to gain from having a 64bit OS vs. 32bit. I bet id will compile, and release, a 64bit Q3 client for linux sometimes soon. Hope there will be one for UT2003 too.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    A sad day I must say.

    Not because AMD beat Intel's best (3.2 Ghz)but because AMD only beat intels second best (3.0 Ghz)and with 22 Mhz OC to the memory.

    Anandtech is no more than a marketing machine. It's not worthy of our attention.

    It is a biased benchmark which twists reality in order to make AMD 64 look better.

    Now I must say that I would like this to be a total succes for AMD however I don't like being lied to. And that's what anandtech and AMD is doing in this review. It looks as if AMD is in to deep and might just go under because of their financial problems.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Why not use 4x512MB memory for the P4 setup, since Anandtech's own setups have shown its best, and also, why a 3200+ Barton and 3.0GHz P4, that's not an equal comparison.

    Also, the layout seemed awful, there was a page just before the end with about 1/3 a page of text.

    And it did seem like there was a lot os ass kissin gin the article as well.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link


    So many lies out of your mouth.

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