IntroductionAMD Athlon 64 Model 3000+ CPU
When we first clapped eyes on AMD's new Clawhammer processor back in September '03, running at 2GHz, our initial and main lament was with pricing and lack of other models in the range. The pricing aspect was taken care of by AMD just a couple of months afterwards. Then came the 3400+ model which featured the same basic characteristics but ran at 2.2GHz. Inevitably, it cost more than the 3200+ model. Entry to S754 performance still hovered at the £200 level, however, and we still wished that AMD would release slower and cheaper grades of Athlon 64 processors.
Think about it for a second and you'll realise that the Athlon 64 models are inherently expensive to produce. A whopping 193mm² die size ensures that processor-per-wafer ratio isn't going to look too impressive, and a brand-new fabrication line isn't cheap. In short, we don't expect to see true Athlon 64 models hit the £50 mark anytime soon. With Intel's recent price cuts firmly in place AMD also realises, like us, the need to launch cheaper models to OEM partners and the public at large.
The most common way, one would think, is to reduce the clock speed to 1.8GHz, down from the Athlon 64 Model 3200+'s 2GHz, and keep all the other performance-related goodies intact. We were adamant that this would be the case. AMD, however, decided on a different course of action for the Model 3000+. In true AMD style, the CPU's performance rating doesn't necessarily tie in with clock speed changes. Intrigued?, we were. Let's find out a little more about the current baby of the Clawhammer clan.