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AMD Athlon XP/2600+

AMD has sprung a surprise by launching two new Athlon XP processors ahead of schedule. How does the flagship 2600+ CPU fare against Intel's Pentium 4 competition?
Written by Kai Schmerer, Contributor
To the surprise of many observers, AMD recently announced new Athlon XP processors that were originally planned for the fourth quarter. AMD also raised the clock speeds of the new chips more than the previous naming convention would suggest. Before, an increase of 100 in the processor’s model number meant a 66MHz increase in clock speed. Therefore, the new Athlon models, with clock speeds of 2GHz and 2.13GHz (compared to the 2200+’s 1.8GHz), should have had the model numbers 2500+ and 2700+ respectively. The fact that AMD is actually calling these chips the 2400+ and 2600+ is down to the latest architectural improvement to Intel’s Pentium 4, which is now available with a faster 533MHz frontside bus (FSB). In combination with faster PC1066 Rambus memory, this gives a CPU-memory bandwidth of 4.2GB/second for the latest Pentium 4 chips, and clearly boosts performance. AMD will surely have carried out internal throughput measurements on its new processors and arrived at a more conservative estimate of their power.

AMD’s new flagship Athlon XP/2600+ has a clock speed of 2.13GHz.

New Athlon XP models
Like the existing Athlon XP/2200+, the new AMD chips are made using a 0.13 micron fabrication process. As a result, the AMD processors need less voltage and dissipate less power. For the top 2.13GHz model (Athlon XP/2600+), AMD claims a maximum thermal energy dissipation of 68.3Watts and a typical power requirement of 62Watts. Thanks to improved production technology (revision B), the new 2.13GHz CPU needs hardly any more power than the 1.8GHz Athlon XP/2200+. AMD has specified 85 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature for the 84mm2-sized chip.

0.13-micron Athlon XP models
CPU model CPUID Voltage (V) Clock speed (MHz) Max. power dissipation (W) Typical power dissipation (W)

Athlon XP/2600+ 681 1.65 2133 68.3 62.0
Athlon XP/2400+ 681 1.65 2000 68.3 62.0
Athlon XP/2400+ 681 1.6 2000 65.3 59.3
Athlon XP/2200+ 681 1.6 1800 62.8 57.0
Athlon XP/2200+ 680 1.65 1800 67.9 61.7
Athlon XP/2000+ 681 1.6 1667 61.3 55.7

The new Athlon XP with less power requirement have a CPUID of 681. The older models, by comparison, had a CPUID of 680.
In order to accommodate AMD’s new processors, the motherboard must make a new voltage supply available. In most cases, a BIOS update will be necessary. Information on the boards that can support the new Athlons is available on the motherboard vendors’ support sites or on AMD’s Web site.