The Chips

The Athlon MP 2100+ looks identical to the Athlon XP 2100+ we reviewed back in March. Our samples did not have the new green-dyed processor substrate but eventually all Socket-A CPUs will be colored green.

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The only physical difference between the Athlon MP 2100+ and the Athlon XP 2100+ is that the L1 bridges are not laser cut which makes unlocking the chip much easier. As you can tell from our Price Guides, the Athlon MP processors do sell for almost a $100 premium over their XP counterparts. You're paying extra for the added validation and testing that goes into every Athlon MP processor that ships; whether that is worth the $100 premium is another discussion entirely.

From the Intel camp we have the Xeon running at 2.4GHz. The 2.4GHz Xeon is a 0.13-micron part that is unfortunately restricted to the 400MHz FSB since there are no 533MHz FSB platforms that are officially available for the Xeon just yet. The Xeon core is Northwood derived, with a 512KB on-die L2 cache that helps tremendously in transactional server situations. For more information on the Xeon architecture you can read our original review here.

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Intel has also introduced the Xeon MP processor with support for greater than 2-way MP configurations. The Xeon MP processors only have a 256KB on-die L2 cache but they also have an on-die L3 cache. The on-die L3 cache is available in 512KB and 1MB sizes; these processors weren't available to us at the time of testing so we weren't able to include them in the review. We will try to do a piece on them in the future however as the effects of the on-die L3 cache should be interesting, especially in the world of transactional database servers.

Index The Test
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