AMD Athlon 64 3800+ and FX-53: The First 939 CPUsby Derek Wilson on June 1, 2004 12:30 AM EST
- Posted in
We will be comparing four new processor speeds against the numbers we have already collected over the past few months. Two speed grades will be Athlon 64 (512kB L2 cache parts), and the other two will be FX parts (1MB L2 cache parts). One of the FX parts isn't actually being launched yet, but will be the future FX-55 part. Very fortunately, the FX processors are completely multiplier unlocked, so all I had to do to test FX-55 speeds was to crank up the voltage and multiplier on our FX-53 to 1.55V and 26. Worked like a charm, aside from the issues I experienced across the board.
|Performance Test Configuration|
AMD Athlon XP 3000+
|RAM:||2 x 512Mb OCZ 3500 Platinum Ltd
2 x 512Mb OCZ 3200 EL ECC Registered 2:3:3
2 x 512Mb Mushkin ECC Registered High Performance 2:3:2
|Hard Drives||Seagate 120GB 7200 RPM (8MB Buffer)|
|Video AGP & IDE Bus Master Drivers||VIA Hyperion 4.51 (12/02/03)
Intel Chipset Drivers
|Video Card(s):||Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 PRO 128MB (AGP 8X)|
|Video Drivers:||ATI Catalyst 4.1|
|Operating System(s):||Windows XP Professional SP1|
|Motherboards:||Intel D875PBZ (Intel 875P Chipset)
FIC K8-800T (VIA K8T800 Chipset)
ASUS SK8V (VIA K8T800 Chipset)
MSI MS-6702E (VIA K8T800 Pro Chipset)
* the FX-55 part has not yet been released, but is on AMD's roadmaps.
In setting up the memory on our 939 pin MSI board, we made sure to disable 2T timing in favor of 1T, as memory bandwidth is greatly increased by doing so (and thus performance is impacted to a significant degree). Memory timings on the two unbuffered memory platforms were 2:2:2:6 using the OCZ RAM.
Testing these processors was a very difficult task, as I had a large number of stability issues. Winstone was run so many times just to get through the benchmark. We covered all the bases we knew how to cover, using a PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 510, a ThermalTake Venus 12 and 2 120mm case fans (on an open system) to make sure we had stable voltage supplies and adequate cooling. Nothing really seemed to make a difference until we noticed that the 3500+ and FX-55 benchmarks were "easier" to run. This seemed to indicate that the motherboard wasn't supplying enough voltage to the CPU, as the increased voltage added stability to the FX-55 and the 3500+ was just an underclock. This theory wasn't explored completely, as Computex beckons. To be fair, our own Wesley Fink tested a system that was completely and utterly stable from underclocks to overclocks and everything in between using the exact same versions of components across the board. The conclusion we have come to is that we had a "motherboard issue", though we wish we could be more specific. The important thing is that we got all the benchmarks done, and based on Wesley's experience and the time between now and availability, we don't expect there to be any of these kinds of issues. Of course, we'll definitely keep abreast of the situation.