AMD Athlon X2 3800+

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
AMD Athlon X2 3800+
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Cheap, strong performance for its price

Cons

  • Nothing of note

Bottom Line

The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ has a big future as the budget model in the X2 range. The performance is better than the vast majority of single-core chips we've seen, especially when it comes to multitasking.

Would you buy this?

AMD has a new dual-core processor to add to its X2 collection - the Athlon 64 X2 3800+,which is the fourth X2 chip to hit the market.

The 3800+ has a different core from the previous X2 processors, and this means there is only 512KB of Level 2 cache. It runs at a clock speed of 2GHz and uses the 939-pin socket that most Athlon 64 CPUs use.

We rigged up the 3800+ in a PC using an Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard with an nForce 4 chipset, 1GB of PC3200 DDR RAM and a 256MB Connect 3D Radeon X850 XT PE graphics card. This rig previously had an Athlon 64 X2 4600+ chip in it and we were interested to see how the two compared.

We also wanted to compare it to the system we use to rate every other PC and notebook we review, the WorldBench 5 baseline system. With 1GB of DDR RAM, a 2.2GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 CPU with 1MB of Level 2 cache and a 256MB GeForce FX 5950 Ultra graphics card, we wanted to pit the single-core chip against the dual setup. The overall WorldBench 5 score of 108 is 10 points down on the score achieved by the 4600+ but eight per cent faster than the WorldBench 5 baseline score. What we were more intrigued by, though, was the breakdown of scores in the 12 different applications used in the WorldBench 5 test suite.

Predictably, the 3800+ was behind the 4600+ in all areas, although it was very close in the Office XP, Nero Express 6.0 and Adobe Premiere 6.5 tests, the latter being an application AMD told us that we'd notice a big improvement in. Our focus was on the Windows Media Encoder 9.0 and Mozilla 1.4 combined multitasking test, where the 3800+ was behind the 4600+ but well ahead of the baseline system, proving that two cores really are better than one.

The 3800+ also displayed dramatically better performance than the Athlon 64 FX-51 in WinZip 8.1, a compression utility, Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5 and, most notably, Nero Express 6.0, halving the time to complete a set of tasks.

In terms of gaming, we saw the 3800+'s performance drop off by some 10 to 20 per cent in the Doom 3 and Halo graphics tests in comparison with the 4600+.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?