A Look Back At The AMD Athlon Processor Series

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The Test Systems

AMD Socket 462

AMD Socket 462 Test System

It was tough to get an AMD Socket 462 motherboard for testing as several of the motherboards must have been damaged in a recent move and were not posting.  I ended up using the Tyan S2495 Trinity KT400 motherboard that features the ever popular VIA KT400 chipset. Back in the day, VIA made the best chipsets for the Athlon XP series and the Tyan S2495 was a feature packed motherboard.  If you look closely in the picture above you will notice that it had a pair of LEDs, so one could monitor post codes and even had Serial ATA thanks to the Silicon Image Sil3112 SATA RAID Controller.  I used a 10,000RPM Western Digital WD1500 Raptor hard drive to bring new life to this old motherboard.  A Corsair 620W power supply provided stable power and the Corsair XMS Pro PC-3200 XL memory kit meant we could run 2-2-2-5 1T timings on the pair of 512MB memory modules. A tried and true Thermaltake Silent Boost heat sink kept the Athlon XP processors nice and cool and a noisy NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 reference video card put the ones and zeros on the monitor.

AMD Socket 754

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The Socket 754 based AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor was tested out on the Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-150 nForce3 motherboard. Chaintech is no longer produces desktop motherboards, so even using this motherboard was a blast from the past. All of the same hardware that was used on the Socket 462 platforms were again used on this one other than the heat sink and a fresh install of Windows XP with NVIDIA nForce 3 5.11 WHQL Certified drivers.

AMD Socket 939

AMD Socket 939 Test System

The AMD Socket 939 system was run on a DFI Lan Party nF4 SLI-D motherboard, which was one of the most popular enthusiast boards back in the day. A Corsair 620W power supply provided stable power and the Corsair XMS Pro PC-3200 XL memory kit meant we could run 2-2-2-5 1T timings on the pair of 512MB memory modules. A BFG Technologies GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card was used as well as a Zalman heat sink to keep thing nice and cool. NVIDIA nForce 6.86 drivers were used for the motherboard as well as ForceWare Release Version 162.18 video card drivers.

AMD Socket AM2

AMD Socket AM2 Test System

The Socket AM2 platform used the NF590 SLI-M2R/G, which is my favorite nForce 590 SLI motherboard and it was one of the first to use digital power management.  All of the same hardware was used as on the Socket 939 system, but we changed out the memory to a Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400C4 1GB memory kit as this board uses DDR2 memory modules.  The memory timings were set to 4-4-4-12 and away benchmarking went. NVIDIA nForce 9.35 drivers were used for the motherboard as well as ForceWare Release Version 162.18 video card drivers.

Now that we know what the test systems were let’s look at the performance numbers!

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