Final Words

Sempron, at a glance, surpasses its goal to be a powerful budget processor. Cheaper than the current fastest Intel Celeron, both flavors of Sempron that we tested here outperform the competition in almost every test.

We have long awaited the arrival of a budget chip based on the K8 architecture, and now we have one that nearly matches the performance of similarly clocked Athlon 64 chips. As clock speed ramps on Sempron and x86-64 becomes a bigger deal, we may see some separation in the ranks, but, until then, the Sempron 3100+ is a solid choice for anyone looking for a budget AMD setup with better performance and upgrade-ability than the Socket A platform.

The K7 Sempron, however, is a bit of an enigma. As time goes on and the Tbred Athlon XP processors on which Socket A Semprons are based become totally unavailable, we will see the value of Sempron rise. It just doesn't make sense to buy any of these Sempron processors when equivalent or better performing Athlon XP processors can be had for a lower price. It seems clear that Socket A Sempron will eventually be targeted at the extreme budget line of computing with the Sempron 2200+ clocked at 1.5GHz and priced about where we can find 1.2GHz Duron processors. We are actually looking forward to testing some extreme budget systems based on these processors. Performance (especially memory intensive performance) should actually look much better than Durons or early Athlons at the same speed with 4 times the L2 cache and a 333MHz FSB.

The only thing that we found really distasteful was the performance rating of these chips. When marketing with clock speeds, chip makers can't avoid the problem of higher clocked budget chips misleading the not-so-savvy buyer, but when creating an independent rating system, care should be taken to look out for the buyer. As complicated as Intel's rating system is, we find it more desirable when considering issues such as these. We do understand if AMD still feels that they need to beef up their appearance to Joe Average, but we don't have to like it.

We do also wish that there was a way to tell from the name of the processor if it is a Socket A, Socket 754, or (eventually) Socket 939 Sempron. Currently, if a consumer doesn't already know, the only way to tell is to look it up.

What's the bottom line? If you don't want x86-64, but you want the performance and motherboard selection of a K8, the Sempron 3100+ is a very nice choice. At this time, we'll have to reserve judgment on the Socket A Sempron until its cheaper siblings arrive in our labs. For now, the Sempron 2800+ is not a choice that we recommend anyone to make while the Tbred AXP 2600+ is available. The Sempron 2200+ paired with a very barebones board will help bring extraordinarily cheap computing to anyone who wants it, and we look forward to seeing how much of an improvement it is to the current Duron and Athlon offerings at the 1.5GHz clock speed.

Price/Performance Analysis
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  • abrogard - Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - link


    I think there's something should sweep through the internet: Clearly labelling the country of origin of your site! It's not clear which country we are in, often, and therefore what money we're talking.
    Followed by clearly dating the page.
    abrogard@yahoo.com
    :)
    Reply
  • cleanjew - Friday, January 14, 2005 - link

    Hi, can someone tell me if it would be a good idea to buy a computer running an amd sepron 3000+, i would be using it to run mid range games, and i would like to use internet and productivity software at a fast speed. Do you also think it would be faster than a celeron and comparable to a p4?

    Thanks

    If you want you could email me at jewish-mexican@charter.net
    Reply
  • trexpesto - Saturday, August 21, 2004 - link

    I just got a Shuttle AN35N and retail TBred 2700+ for ~119 incl. shipping and tax, on sale at outpost. Reply
  • Sparrow - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    But in the test he say's that the extra 83 MHz make the difference !!!
    Jens
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    I am guessing Anandtech was using the Barton based 2600+, you know the one with 1.92GHZ/333FSB. Reply
  • Sparrow - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    ???? If a Sempron 2800+ is a Thoroughbred (166*12) and the xp 2600+ is a Thoroughbred (166*12.5) why can the Sempron be faster in some test's ? an error or are there some changes in memory speed ????? !!!!!!
    Jens
    Reply
  • MAME - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    awesome AMD, just awesome

    this chip is very nice
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    Hey Trogdor, notice I can post here now too:)

    Anyway, just to sum up I would like to see these processor as well.

    Athlon XP-M Barton @ 2.3,2.4,2.5 using 200x11.5, 200x12, 200x12.5

    Celeron Northwood-128
    2.4,2.5,2.6,2.7,2.8

    Celeron Prescott-256
    2.4,2.53,2.66,2.8

    Duron Applebred
    1.4,1.8

    Pentium 4 Northwood, Prescott
    2.8 with FSB800
    Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    oh LOL:) Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    Woah, KF... that was a whole lot of stuff to post, quite a bit of it rather unrelated. You must have even more free time than me! ;)

    Zebo, you apparently missed the point completely: "The overlapping Athlon FX, Athlon 64, and now Sempron names is going to really cause confusion among the *less-informed* public." The less-informed public doesn't include anyone reading hardware sites or OC forums. Yeah, Sempron is the value system meant to compete with Celeron, but both AMD and Intel are happy to sell lots of slower, "crippled" chips to the uninformed buyers. The 2.8 GHz Celeron chips were absolutely terrible performers - about as fast as a P4 1.8 or 2.0 - but Intel was more than happy to dupe people into purchasing those with their high clockspeed. The Celeron D is better, but the tactic remains the same. AMD is now joining them, calling lesser processors "3100+" and "2800+" and leaving it to the salespeople.

    You don't think there are going to be plenty of salespeople pushing these systems with claims like "the Sempron 2800+ is basically just as fast as a 2.8 GHz chip, and the only difference between it and the Athlon 64 2800+ is the lack of 64-bit support, which really isn't needed anyway"? In sales, it's a lot more important to get a sale than to get a big sale. They'll shoot for the big sales if possible, but when someone wants a cheap system, they'll talk up the Sempron (and/or Celeron) as though it's just as good as a more expensive Athlon64/Pentium4.

    That's what I meant when I said it's creating confusion, and that the confusion is likely to be an intended consequence. Car manufacturers do the same thing: you don't want an informed purchaser coming in to buy a car! You want the salesman to have the advantage, so that they can get the buyer into *any* Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc. and keep them from going to a different store.

    Most PC shos (and car dealerships) make a set amount of money off of a sale, because the hard drives, case, monitor, RAM, etc. all have markups. So if someone buys a computer, the shop makes at least $100. $100 on a $500 computer is a good return. If they buy a $1000 computer, they might make $150 to $200. Granted, on the "luxury" computer systems that cost over $2000, they'll make a killing, but those are hardly ever sold.
    Reply

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