A Fanless Duron 1133

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That was essentially what one of you told Joe.

Actually, I thought it rather good given its deliberately limited goals: which were

  1. How much cooler is AthlonMP? and
  2. How much faster is AthlonMP MHz for MHz than a TBird?

The answer to either question is “Not much.”

Now this is not the last you’ll hear about this CPU; I should be getting it later today to bang around a bit: 1.5Ghz+ DDR and all that.

But I’m not expecting any miracles either.

A Gentle Slope

When Palomino was first introduced, people were having a hell of a time getting TBirds past 1.2Ghz, so the expected jump to 1.5Ghz or better looked significant back then.

Over the past six months, AMD decided to walk rather than jump. It made incremental improvements, so instead of hitting 1.2Ghz with a TBird, you can hit 1.5Ghz. That in itself removed much of the Palomino’s advantage.

The AthlonMP just isn’t a whole lot better than a TBird in single-processor operations. (In tandem, it does seem to do somewhat better than two TBirds on a 760MP board, but again, nothing earthshaking).

Not even AMD ever promised that. It’s a little better, but that’s it.

If you want to see comparisons between an Athlon and AthlonMP right now, take a look here.

At the end of that piece, the following conclusion is drawn.

“The performance increase from Athlon with Thunderbird core to Athlon with Palomino core is with 2-8% not quite what we would have liked to see. It is one reason more why users who want to run Athlon in single configuration should wait until the official Athlon processors with Palomino core for single-CPU operation become available, rather than spend too much money on an AthlonMP now.”

We agree.

But Doesn’t It Run a Lot Faster?

Based on just a few reports so far, apparently not. With one exception, people are reporting numbers around 1.5Ghz. Obviously, I’m going to gun it once I get it and see how I do, but I’m not expecting any big jump. If I get it, of course I’ll tell you, but . . . .

Is It Really A Palomino?

Depends on how you define a Palomino. If you define it as “just like the desktop Palominos that will be coming out in a few months,” we have some doubts about that.

There are some disquieting discrepancies between the Athlon 4 mobile chip and the AthlonMP. For instance, the mobile chip runs at a maximum 1.4V at 1Ghz. The AthlonMP at 1000Mhz runs at 1.75V. The Athlon mobile is rated to use far less power at 1Ghz than the AthlonMP at that speed.

If they’re the same thing, why the differences? There’s also other discrepancies.

These are doubts, not conclusions. It may well turn out that the mobile chips are additionally modified Palominos, and the desktop Palomino will look and act more like the AthlonMP. We just don’t know at this point.

Will the desktop Palominos look more like the mobile chips, or the AthlonMP? Until we get an answer to that, I would not buy this assuming I’m just getting a desktop Palomino ahead of time for a few more bucks.

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