With the launch of the Athlon 64 3400+, AMD is now able to tackle at three new market segments, but has had trouble convincing consumers when there really are no 64-bit desktop OS available on retail shelves. The key selling points on the Athlon 64 right now are the enhanced 1Mb of L2 cache and the imbedded memory controller that allows for greatly improved memory performance.

A few years ago when you would ask a typical computer enthusiast
what kind of processor they used in their own personal system, for the most
part you’d hear the proclamation of three letters, AMD. The first company
to break the 1Ghz barrier, AMD had a cult like following with a loyal fan
base
that swore by the company’s processors, and usually 3DFX video cards. However,
2003 was a very tough year for AMD primarily because it seemed that with everything
AMD released, Intel came out with something just a little bit faster only
weeks later. The addition dual channel memory chipsets for the Intel Pentium
4 marked the end of AMD based processors in many enthusiast’s rigs, basically
just because the new Intel chipsets combined with the 800Mhz bus the Pentium
4 was running outperformed AMD’s last K7 processor, the Barton, in almost
every test thrown at it.

Things may have been a little better for AMD if it had released
the Athlon 64 in late 2002 as was originally expected, but as you all know
the K8 desktop chips instead were launched in September of 2003. So how have
AMD’s 64-bit chips done in a 32-bit market? Pretty well actually… AMD has
been selling a lot of new systems with their 3200+ Athlon 64 processor to
performance oriented consumers and have managed to take the spotlight off
Intel for the time being. AMD even released a new processor right before Christmas
dubbed the Athlon 64 3000+, a processor that actually outperforms the Athlon
XP 3200+ and only costs $ 215, something that has been raising many eyebrows
in the industry over the past few weeks.

With the launch of the 3400+, AMD is now able to tackle at three new market segments, but AMD has had trouble convincing consumers
they need a 64-bit processor when there really are no 64-bit desktop operating
systems available on retail shelves. The key selling points on the Athlon
64 right now is not only the enhanced 1Mb of L2 cache the chip carries, but
also the imbedded memory controller that allows for greatly improved memory
performance. These two features have already made waves of enthusiasts embrace
AMD’s 64-bit ready cause and purchase Athlon 64 processors, but AMD still
has a lot of marketing work to do with the general public.

With that said, let’s take a look at their latest version of
the Athlon 64, the Athlon 64 3400+ processor. How does it stack up to Intel’s
latest consumer friendly processor, the 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4? Let’s take a look.

Specifications:

Specifications
Athlon 64 3400+
L1 Cache Size
128KB
L2 Cache Size
1MB
CPU Core Frequency
2.2Ghz
Processor to System Bandwidth
9.6 GB/s
Integrated Northbdrige
Yes
CPU to Memory Controller
2.2Ghz
Infrastructure
Socket 754
Process Technology
130nm
Transistor count
105.9 million
Die Size
193mm^2
Nominal Voltage
1.50 V
Max Thermal Power
89 W
Max Icc
57.8 A