This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Athlon 64 3400+
The Athlon 64 3400+ processor is one of, if not the fastest processor we have tested at Amdmb.com. Its only rival is the Athlon 64 FX-51, which is going to be nearly twice the price of the 3400+. Initial pricing estimates are around $440 at online retailers, putting at the usual price for recently introduced high-end processors. As of this writing though, the Athlon 64 3200+ processor is priced at $415 or so, putting it only $25 cheaper than the 200 MHz faster 3400+. If those prices remain, and you are going to spend the money, just get the 3400+. I don’t think the 3200+ processor price will stay at that level for much longer, however.
Athlon 64 3000+
This is the real beauty of the review, in my opinion. Though it didn’t win a single benchmark, it didn’t lose by much. In most tests, the 3200+ and the 3000+ were nearly identical in score. Running at the same clock speed, but having half the L2 cache, the Athlon 64 3000+ looks to be a great deal coming in for around $240 compared to the $400+ of the 3200+.
Why did AMD silently release this processor into the market? One reason we already mentioned was that perhaps these are 3200+ processors that failed the L2 cache quality tests coming out the fab.
The more likely hypothesis, and in my opinion is the most important, is that the Athlon 64 3000+ threatens to cut into 3200+ sales by performance and price. We now know that the addition of 512 KB L2 cache (1MB total) on the Athlon 64 3200+ processor doesn’t do much except increase the price charged for the processor. Had AMD removed that extra 512 KB L2 cache to begin with (hence saving the die space), you would probably see Athlon 64 products that are cheaper with little sacrifice to current performance.
AMD has also just debunked their product performance ratings. Sure, a 3000+ may be ranked slower than a 3200+, but the differences between the 3000+ and 3200+ are no where similar to magnitude of difference between the 3200+ and 3400+. Athlon 64 3150+ would probably be more accurate. 😉
Either way, the buyers of the Athlon 64 3000+ processor are going to get a much better deal than those who have or will buy the Athlon 64 3200+ CPUs. Sorry to anger any buyers out there.
The launch of the Athlon 64 3400+ processor is another feather in AMD’s hat. The 3400+ is a great performer and tops our list for gaming and application processor. It’s the best CPU you can get without spending the big bucks on the Athlon FX-51. Intel will have to get up to speed again to catch up to what AMD is pumping out, though I think they won’t be far behind with a processor announcement of their own.
But the real story is and will remain the Athlon 64 3000+ processor that is the first 64-bit processor to offer value and performance for the 64-bit applications (when they show up) for the cost-conscience consumer.