In the last several weeks, AMD has quietly introduced several Athlon 64 processors in the new 90nm die-shrink. The new Socket 939 3000+, 3200+, and 3500+ are based on the new Winchester core. They are also the first Athlon 64 processors to become available at speeds below 3500+ in Socket 939. This is very important, since the biggest news is the fact that the price of entry for a Socket 939 processor is now less than $200. Of course, a successful die-shrink and lower costs are interrelated, and in this case, the model seems to be working as we would expect.

Nothing has really changed on the outside, but if you can find a 3000+ or 3200+ in Socket 939, you can be confident that it is the new 90nm version. Since 3500+ is produced in both 90nm and 130nm versions, you will need to ask if it is a 90nm part. Most resellers that have the new 90nm Athlon 64 have been prominently advertising them.

The latest version 1.24 of CPU-Z can be downloaded at Version 1.24 correctly identifies the die-shrink (.09), the core (Winchester), and the Revision (DH8-D0). Earlier versions of CPU-Z don't recognize the new processors, so make certain that you are using Version 1.24 or later.

A late 3800+ is identified, for comparison, as a NewCastle core, .13 process, and Revision DH7-CG.

There has been a lot of speculation about how important this die-shrink is to AMD. Most of this has revolved around the higher yield and lower cost of production for the smaller chip. Since Intel has already moved to .09, analysts believed AMD needed the yields and lower cost of the .09 shrink to effectively compete with Intel on a cost basis.

There are also potential advantages to the end-user from the die-shrink. These include lower power consumption, cooler processor operation, and greater headroom for higher overclocking. It is these advantages that will interest most of you. We will take a closer look in this review at whether these advantages are realized.



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  • gchen77 - Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - link

    Can someone please explain the effects of raising vcore?
    I'm a relatively newbie to overclocking but I remember in the past (with Athlon XPs) raising vcore was almost certain death unless you had water cooling or your pc running in a freezer :)
  • jer - Wednesday, December 8, 2004 - link

    Wesley Fink,

    could u make a screenshot of the Memory tab in CPU-Z of the 90nm A64 3000+ cpu ??

    thx so much
  • Goomzz - Saturday, December 4, 2004 - link

    Just got my winchester 3000+ and my MSI K8N MSI Neo2 Plat. Since it's an x-mas gift can put it together until then. Putting it with Corsair XMS DDR 400 memory. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Reply
  • Goomzz - Saturday, December 4, 2004 - link

  • romano25 - Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - link

    I dont get it...
    1)IS 3500 64 voltage 1.5 Volts?
    2)Looks like the decreased the CPu multiplier on 3500 coz by default it is 11? Why? Does it affect ur performance?
  • romano25 - Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - link

  • bobbozzo - Monday, November 22, 2004 - link

    #82: it's been answered: get a board (MSI) that allows the Memory & FSB to run at an adjustable ratio, so the memory can run slower than the FSB. Reply
  • scius - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Cheaper Ram Altnernatives:
    A few other readers have mentioned this, but it seems there hasn't been much of an answer (though a few worthy attempts, notably that the 3200+ is probably a better choice).

    The Question: What ram would let us run at the highest FSB for the least $.

    Obviously you can just buy the faster stuff (DDR500, or whatever), but there must be sticks that, with looser timings(small cost), can let your processor scream(huge gains) while staying relatively stable.

    Anyway, I haven't found any articles about it, but if anyone has, or has some personal experience here, i'm sure we're all eager to hear it.
  • VoodooGamez - Thursday, November 4, 2004 - link

    Great article Wesley! Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - link

    great article anand!

    The 90nm process sounds like a great improvement (especially for oc).

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