And now, the conclusion…

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After all the testing is complete and all the numbers have been thoroughly crunched through, we can now evaluate the AMD Athlon XP 3000+ processor as a whole. AMD is dependent on the success of this product until their next retail chip hits the market in September.

The Barton core processors showed a moderate but strong gain in performance. Being as the 3000+ is actually running at the same frequency as the 2700+, and that we saw some very noticeable increases in benchmark results means that AMD is taking the right route with the addition of L2 cache. There is simply no denying that more cache = better performance until we reach an echelon. As we can see from the preliminary specifications of the Hammer-based processors like the Athlon 64 and the Opterons, moving up to 1 MB of cache or even 2 MB of cache will be the common grounds Intel and AMD will take in order to move forward in the processor world.

Also, being as my short overclocking results showed that the Barton core can scale up at least another 350 MHz or so means that the Barton can extend into the year and keep AMD alive in the OEM and DIY markets. In fact, AMD has already announced their plans for an Athlon XP 3200+ due out in late spring or early summer.

If you are wondering if your motherboard can support the new Barton core processors, AMD has a list that you can reference here. That list is the “official” list that has been tested by AMD. As always, unofficial support is usually very strong and in this case looks to be good. All of the nForce2 boards I have here including the Leadtek, MSI, Abit, Asus, Epox and Chaintech ran the Athlon XP 3000+, but with the occasional incorrect CPUID on POST. The strong majority of the KT400 boards I’ve tested also worked and the folks at VIA say that any KT400 board will work with the proper bios update.

Now that we have seen that the Barton is for real and can live up to its promises to tackle the best from Intel’s arsenal, AMD needs to continue to push. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, the Athlon 64, AMD’s desktop Hammer-based processor has already been pushed back until September. This means that the Barton will be the one holding the reins until then as AMD’s flagship desktop platform, even though Barton wasn’t initially intended to be around for that long. The scenario that AMD finds itself in now will definitely make the next 8-10 months a very interesting period.

If you are looking for prices on the Athlon XP 3000+ or any other AMD processor, be sure to have a look at our service.

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