Duron 950 to Athlon XP 1.7+ in the test: AMD processor Roundup

Duron 950 to Athlon XP 1.7+ in the test: AMD processor Roundup


Duron Athlon Duron Athlon XP Code name Spitfire Thunderbird Morgan Palomino Manufacturing (µm) 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.18 transistors 25 million 37 million 25.18 million 37.5 million die-size 100 mm² 120 mm² 106mm² 128mm² CPU socket SocketA SocketA SocketA SocketAClock rates 600 - 950MHz 0.7 - 1.4GHz 1 - 1.2GHz 1.33 - 1.66GHz Front-Side-Bus 100MHz 100/133MHz 100MHz 100/133MHz L1 cache 128KB 128KB 128KB 128KB L2 cache 64KB 256KB 64KB 256KB VCore 1.6V 1.75V 1.75V 1.75V Instruction sets 3DNow !, MMX 3DNow !, MMX 3DNow !, MMX, SSE1 3DNow !, MMX, SSE1 HW data prefetching no no yes yes Temperature diode no no yes yes

At first glance, the fundamental differences between the new models and their predecessors are not that serious. Not surprisingly, AMD has not introduced a new architecture with the Athlon XP or the new Duron. Rather, old structures were further improved. The manufacturing process also remained the same for both the Morgan and the Palomino. Production is still carried out using 0.18 µm copper process technology in Fab30, the wafer factory in Dresden. Only the introduction of Throughbred in the first quarter of this year will bring about changes. According to current information, there will be no new functions. By using the 0.13 µm manufacturing technology, on the one hand the size of the processor core (DIE size) is likely to decrease a bit, on the other hand it reduces the power consumption of the processor and thus the heat generation, as well as the core voltage. Higher clock rates are possible.

AMD Athlon Thunderbird
AMD Athlon XP 1500+

One of the most noticeable innovations, which also contributes significantly to the performance increase of the new processors, is likely to be theSupport from 3DNow! Professional in addition to the well-known 3DNow! and be MMX. At 3DNow! Professional is an extension of 3DNow! S with 52 commands that were introduced at Intel together with the Pentium III under the name ISSE (Intel SIMD Streaming Extension) or SSE1. Since the integration of SSE1 commands in applications or games was generally better than with 3DNow! was or is largely the case, an increase in performance can already be expected from this. 3DNow! Professional also includes 19 additional commands to improve fixed-point calculations for voice or video encryption as well as 5 digital signal processing commands (DSP commands) to improve soft modem, soft ADSL, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and MP3 applications, which are already in the Enhanced 3DNow! of the Athlon were included. To incorporate the new commands, AMD increased the number of transistors in the Morgan and Palomino core slightly compared to its direct predecessor. While only 180,000 new transistors have been added to the Duron, the Palomino has even added 500,000. In addition to the new commands, the Athlon XP and the Duron have also received a larger 'Translation Lookaside Buffer'. More on this in the technology section. The hardware data prefetching that is now available, which is also used in the Intel Pentium III and Pentium 4, and the internal temperature diode are discussed in more detail in the technology section.

AMD Duron with Spitefire core
AMD Duron with Morgan core

In general it can be said that the integration of the new technologies increases the size of the processor -Core is observable, which is readily visible to the naked eyebecomes visible.

New and old Duron from above
New and old Duron from below

A direct comparison shows that the Morgan was drawn out in comparison to the Spitfire. The distribution of the resistors has also changed slightly, as have the L-bridges leading to the outside, the number of which has now increased to 12. To remove the multiplier lock, however, the L1 bridges are still crucial. Something similar can be seen when comparing Thunderbird/Palomino. In addition to the characteristics of the Duron, all resistors have moved to the bottom of the processor.

New and old Athlon from above
New and old Athlon from below

Another obvious change when looking at the Athlon and the Athlon XP is likely to be the color of the processor housing. The reason for this coloring is a new case production. While the Athlon and all Duron processors use a CPGA (Ceramic Pin Grid Array), i.e. a ceramic housing, the Athlon XP is manufactured in an OPGA (Organic Pin Grid Array), an organic housing. This material has been used by the competition (Intel Pentium III Copermine, Intel Pentium 4) for a long time, is particularly heat-resistant and is characterized by greater elasticity. In addition, it is significantly lighter than the older ceramic solution. The picture should be purely in terms of colorhowever, soon change from brown to green, because AMD has verified new manufacturers of the case.

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