The name AthlonXP is chosen with care; the same month AMD introduced the new processor, Microsoft introduced Windows XP.
The headlines are:
The new Palomino core is also used in an Athlon4 mobile processor (for use in labtops) and in a AthlonMP (multi-processor) chip to be used in servers.
Adding the SSE instructions the AthlonXP has become 100% compatible with all the software which have been adapted to the SSE multimedia instructions. This is great for programs like Photoshop and a lot of other applications for production of graphics, video, and music.
Hardware data prefetch is a function inside the processor where a new unit tries to predict which data has to be loaded into the L1 cache. This function increases the CPUs performance with some 5%. Related to this you find a better Translation Look-aside Buffer. It holds information supporting and improving the feed of data to the L1 cache.
The Pentium 4 has 20 stages in each pipeline, whereas the Athlon XP only has 9! The impact of this is that the AthlonXP is a lot speedier than the Pentium 4 at the same clock frequencies. AMD has compared the two processors in terms of the so-called henholder IPC values, which describes the work done during one clock cyclus in a processor.
This way AMD finds that a 1533 MHz AthlonXP is (at least) as fast as Pentium 4 operating at 1800 MHz. Hence it as labelled as an AthlonXP 1800+.
Since AMD still keeps their prices well below Intel's there should be no doubt about the success of the AthlonXPs. They only limitation is the clock frequencies. AMD is not expected to bring any Athlon much above 2 GHz due to the short (but speedy) pipeline. But who needs more than 2 GHz? At present we don't.
Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d
Read more about RAM in module 2e
Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side.
Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.