Old Nag, New Multiplier

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That is, if this XBit Labs article is correct.

Briefly, this is the story:

1) Current TBreds can’t consistently get it up much past 2GHz.

2) AMD has revised the chip, but won’t be able to get it out until October (earlier reports of cooler TBreds are probably coming from engineering samples of this new revision).

3) Go to 166MHz FSB, and you have a decent excuse to take the “old” TBreds and up the PR a few hundred points on them, including perhaps any lower-speed Nags AMD might release when they run out of Palominos.

4) This means AMD will get more money than they would otherwise from CPUs running at exactly the same speed.

What’s Good For AMD and the Joes Isn’t Necessarily Good For You

Is this Oz, or not? Depends on whom you are.

If you’re an OEM or someone buying from one, it’s a reasonably legitimate move. The CPU will do better at the higher speed.

If you’re an overclocker, though, this is not good at all. Essentially, AMD is doing for you what you would have done anyway: increase the FSB and lower the multiplier.

The problem with these “new” chips is that they’re the old ones with changed multipliers. Instead of getting an “old” 2200+ running at 13.5 X 133, you’ll get a “new” 2400+ running at either 10.5 X 166 (or perhaps 11 X 166). Whatever the FSB, if you’re overclocking, you’ll still end up with the same MHzage.

A Wiser Course of Action

If you’re an overclocker, you certainly don’t want old Nags with new multipliers. At the very least, you want the revised TBred.

Actually, unless you like buying CPUs every couple months, you wait until January.

At that point, you’ll be able to intelligently exercise one of three options:

  • Buy a very early Hammer system.
  • Buy a Barton.
  • Buy what will be by then an optimal Northwood system.

    By then, you’ll know what the three options will get you for your money, and I think an awful lot of people are going to choose option 2.

    Any Barton will certainly include any revision to the TBred, plus double the cache. Provided your mobo supports it, that will be the easy, cheap upgrade for those of you with socket A systems.

    It’s the fallback position for anybody who can’t bring themselves to buy a Hammer or PIV system in early 2003. For the frugal, it’s probably the best alternative: buy a Barton in early 2003, and figure on a major upgrade to .09 micron technology in 2004.


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