First Tests of Athlon XP 3200+
Advanced Micro Devices pushed ahead in the megahertz wars with the release this week of the Athlon XP 3200+, and first tests of the new CPU indicate the company retains the crown for best value as well.
In initial tests, two systems based on the 2.2-GHz Athlon XP 3200+ processor easily outran top Pentium 4-based systems on business applications. And each would save you $100 to $400.
For the sweet spot of power and price, though, value-minded shoppers should consider Athlon XP 3000+ systems, which run many apps at much the same pace and would save you an additional $150.
The Polywell earned a scorching PC WorldBench 4 rating of 139, and the Sys was close behind at 134. Those scores are also comparable to the 137 scored by a similarly configured Sys Athlon XP 3000+ PC. However, the two new Athlons widen their siblings' lead over three of the newest 3-GHz P4 systems with Intel's 800-MHz bus, which earned an average of 126 on PC WorldBench 4.
Similarly, the 3200+ PCs tore through AutoCAD tasks, finishing the test about 25 seconds faster than the average of the 3-GHz P4 systems. That's noteworthy because AutoCAD is one of only two
However, the 3200+ systems showed significant improvement over older AMDs only on the Unreal Tournament 2002 game test, where they also matched--or, in the Polywell's case, surpassed--Intel P4s. Intel, however, continued to lead on the Musicmatch test and the Return to Castle Wolfenstein game test.
So if you've decided to buy a PC from Polywell, why would you pay over $400 extra to get a comparable Intel-based P4 system instead of the 3200+ machine we tested?
Good question, unless you are an Intel-only shop or household.
Of course, many people buy Intel-based machines for an understandable reason: AMD still hasn't cracked the product lines of some leading PC vendors. In fact, Hewlett-Packard is currently the only top-tier desktop PC vendor using AMD chips.
Nevertheless, the fortunes of AMD--and of PC shoppers--could take a turn for the better with the