AMD bang for buck CPU

AMD's new 32-bit Sempron processors have hit the market. Set to compete in the budget sector against Intel's Celeron processor line, the Sempron provides a larger cache memory capacity: 128KB Level 1; 256KB Level 2 - a boon if you want affordable business and multimedia application performance.

Available speeds will be 1.67GHz (2400+), 1.75GHz (2500+), 1.83GHz (2600+) and 2.0GHz (2800+), plus the 1.8GHz (3100+) - the most powerful version thanks to the inclusion of Hyper-Transport and support for DDR400 memory. Of course, users requiring high performance for video encoding and other CPU-intensive tasks should still look at the Athlon 64 range.

Depending on its speed, the Sempron will be available for use in Socket-462, Socket-754, or Socket-939 equipped motherboards.

The Sempron 2800+ we tested is based on the Thoroughbred CPU core and has a 333MHz front side bus. It is a 462-pin processor and fits into any current nForce2 chipset-based motherboards. We tested it with a Leadtek K7 NCR18G Pro motherboard, a 256MB ATI Radeon 9800Pro graphics card, 512MB of PC333 memory and a 40GB Western Digital ATA100 hard drive.

We had no problems running it on this system. It ran very cool and its speed of 2.0GHz was detected automatically. It produced an excellent score of 235 in SYSMark 2001 and 14717 in 3D Mark 2001. Paired with our high-end graphics card, it also proved to be an admirable base for a low-cost gaming platform.

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