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AMD have really got the right mix of ideas in this CPU, not only was it one of the first 64-bit CPUs on the market (a long time before Intel had a 64-bit CPU) it is also a major leap from the old SocketA CPUs.
Well whats changed? The CPU is now hidden under a heatspreader, much like the Pentium4. This gives added protection when installing the CPU into the socket and makes applying the thermal interface material (TIM) a lot easier. The socket arrangement is now alot better then old Socket A. Sockets 754, 939 and 940 all are the same size and have the same retention bracket making the Heatsink Fan (HSF) universal for the whole AMD range now.
However its what is going on inside the CPU is what has made it such a ground breaking model. 64-bit is the next step now for the computer market giving access to larger amounts of RAM and Storage (both of which have fallen in price dramatically). 64-bit should also give better performance for Video Editing, CAD and Gaming. Even when using a 32-bit operating system and software!
There is a problem with 64-bit and that is that the Software manufacturers haven't taken it up as fast as they could have done. This means that 64-bit software and drivers are hard to come by, Microsoft only released its 64-bit version of XP recently! However this isn't a reason not to buy a 64-bit CPU as it will give you future-proof technology for when the time comes to use it.
AMD have also added some more instructions to the CPU which makes it faster at processing some information, like the SSE2 and SSE3 instructions for intensive work.
More advantages over the Intel range is that the AMD runs much cooler than the Pentium4 and also requires a lot less power which should help your electricity bill. This also means that the processor is a cracking overclocker, I have had my processor at 2.8GHz with a £20 HSF and not a problem in sight.
The AMD3200+ version is the best bang for buck costing around £110 most places, it is easily a match for a 3.4GHz Pentium4. Considering its a 1.2GHz gap between the rivals you can see which is better made and design. AMD are now about 2 years ahead of Intel on design and for the first time ever in September more AMD CPUs were sold in retail than Intel CPUs, making it an excellent time to buy this CPU.
"This means that 64-bit software and drivers are hard to come by,".....Tell me about it!!!.....I went about two weeks without any sound as I couldn't get a driver.....Sorted now though, and I agree.....It's a great CPU....Ken :O)
crutchley_am 30.11.2005 15:44
Frankly, well done. Most people's first reviews are very short and lacking in information, which yours isn't. The only thing I think you missed is the loss in speed when you run 32b programs on 64b processor, but that's only if you wanted the highest ratings. Keep up the good work!
PJflora 30.11.2005 15:39
good review but you should try looking at other reviews to see what you need to score higher. Try rating the people who rate you.