CPU: AMD's new Athlon XP CPU line :: Performance

10-18-2001 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Doc Overclock

AMD and Intel have taken different approaches to internal processor architecture, and as a result of this, work per clock cycle (IPC) is different for competing processors running the same applications and benchmarks. The result is that frequency (MHz or GHz) alone no longer determines a processors performance. It is now important to look at the combination of IPC and operating frequency to evaluate the latest processors actual performance capabilities.

AMD Test system

  • Motherboard: Shuttle AK31 A
  • CPUs: 1700+/1800+AMD Athlon XP
  • Chipset: VIA KT266A
  • Cooling: Swiftech
  • Memory: 256MB PC 2100 CAS 2 DDR DIMM (Thermaltake)
  • Video: Video: MSI Ge-Force 3
  • CD: Sony 52X IDE ATA33
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 40GB UDMA100
  • Sound: Onboard AC'97 2-channel Audio CODEC
  • Network: Intel Ether Express 10/100
  • Case: Neon By Colorcase
  • Monitor: NEC MultiSync 95
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows ME Millennium Edition

Intel Test system

  • Motherboard: MSI (MS-6523LE) Pro2 LE
  • CPUs: Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz
  • Chipset: Intel i850
  • Cooling: Swiftech
  • Memory: 256MB PC 800 RAMBUS RDRAM (Generic)
  • Video: Video: MSI Ge-Force 3
  • CD: MSI 52X IDE ATA33
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 40GB UDMA100
  • Sound: Creative Live 5.1 Drive
  • Network: Intel Ether Express 10/100
  • Controller: Promise ATA100 controller
  • Case: Colorcase Mirror
  • Monitor: NEC MultiSync 95
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows ME Millennium Edition

Performance Results using Windows ME

Pentium 4 1.7GHZ 3D Scores 1800+ 3D Scores 1700+ 3D Scores
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge

Spec View Perfect 6.1.2(Open GL Test) Intel P4 AMD XP 1800+
AWadvs-04 Weighted Geometric Mean 50.12 18.96
DRV-07 Weighted Geometric Mean 15.90 4.553
DX-06 Weighted Geometric Mean 28.21 4.465
Light-04 Weighted Geometric Mean 9.568 1.217
MedMCAD-01 Weighted Geometric Mean 26.21 7.171
ProCDRS-03 Weighted Geometric Mean 14.22 5.779
higher scores are better

Performance Results using Windows XP

Spec View Perfect 6.1.2(Open GL Test) Intel P4 1.7 AMD XP 1800+
AWadvs-04 Weighted Geometric Mean 58.11 60.30
DRV-07 Weighted Geometric Mean 18.01 18.60
DX-06 Weighted Geometric Mean 32.02 25.17
Light-04 Weighted Geometric Mean 9.910 7.623
MedMCAD-01 Weighted Geometric Mean 26.54 27.30
ProCDRS-03 Weighted Geometric Mean 14.22 14.13
higher scores are better

As you can see from the test results the Athlon XP can hold its own against even higher MHz CPUís such as the Intel 1.7GHz Pentium 4 even though its actual MHz is lower. This is why AMD is calling their new XP line of processors the 1600+, 1700+ and 1800+ due to the real world results that can be obtained using these CPUs and the GHz that they can compete with.

I was surprised that the results came out this way; all the Athlon lovers in the forums are going to love this little beauty. Pound for pound it beat the Intel giant down in the tests run under Windows XP. In testing with ME there were some issues that made the XP fall behind but when run in the Windows XP environment the XP is unstoppable. I want to thank Chris from AMD Zone for his input into these tests and for lending a hand to a fellow writer, thanks man.

This CPU should prove to be quite a bugger for Intelís marketing especially in the desktop market where in the price war will be getting hotter all the time. This proves however that MHz-GHz alone can no longer be the measure of how well a CPU performs and the XP can wear the name 1800+ without worry even though it is actually a 1.53GHz CPU.