The results speak for themselves, the X2 3800+ is an outstanding performer in the right environment. I’ll again point out that the processor I used was an Engineering Sample, so my results are probably toward the higher end of what you should expect. Even so, this processor is an excellent choice for the enthusiast as well as the average user looking for performance on a budget.
With dual core ability, and overclocking well into the 4800+ range, the 3800+ is a great processor at a great price. Having said that, make sure you approach overclocking with caution, use common sense and take your time as a few extra minutes of testing may seem incredibly boring, it means the difference between a stable overclock, and possibly damaging your hardware.
Looking around different forums I’ve noticed most people hitting 2.6 to 2.7GHZ with good cooling, and a few hitting 2.8 to 2.95GHz on extreme cooling. While I can’t vouch for anyone else?s stability or results I will say the 3800+ I have been torturing for a week now is one of the best processors I’ve ever had.
One issue I am seeing on message boards around the web deals with the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader). It seems that people who have removed the IHS report a significant drop in temperatures, which result in much higher overclocks. The consensus among this group seems to be that the IHS seats poorly on the processors cores. Mind you, I am in no way recommending people remove the IHS from their processors, as it is a very risky procedure and one that definitely voids your warranty. I’m waiting to hear back from AMD on this issue, if there actually is one, and hoping to find out if there are plans to improve the IHS or redesign it totally. (Update: AMD does not plan on changing the HIS on any Athlon processors)
All in all, my short period of overclocking has done nothing to change my impression of this CPU. It’s still quite a bit more than the Intel Pentium D 820, but taking into account the overall performance as well using current socket 939 motherboards, and the X2 3800+ is great choice for a budget user or for the hard core enthusiast.