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Product: AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (
Thoroughbred)
Application: Processor
Provided by: BZBoyz
Review by: Scott
Review date: August 26th, 2002

     The AMD Thoroughbred processors have been out for a while now. I've had plenty of time to sit back and read the reviews and to hear people's comments about AMD's latest CPU core. When AMD made the switch from the Palomino to the Thoroughbred core, everyone was expecting the new .13 micron die to bring incredible things to the desktop. Many thought we would see a much needed thermal decrease in operating temperatures as well as huge increases in peroformance. This turned out to be false on both counts. Many people also thought we would finally see a 166MHz FSB. This too turned out to be false. What we did receive from AMD was a new CPU sporting a new core, but with the same extreme heat levels and only a small performance increase. So what happened? Why did AMD release such a disappointment? Basically, all we ended up with was a small performance increase. It was almost as if AMD extended the life of their previous core just to keep up with Intel.

     Because I run a review site, I hear complaints about products first and believe me, people where complaining about the Thoroughbred. It never lived up to expectations and worst of all, was causing trouble for many people. Namely HEAT problems. The trouble is, as clock speeds increase the CPU will become hotter and hotter with each new jump in speed. As the Palomino core was reaching the end of it's abilities, AMD was quickly working on the Thoroughbred to replace it. In theory, each new CPU core will yield a much higher range of clock speeds until it too is maxed out. Right as the Thoroughbred hit the markets, it appeared as if that the core was already maxed out. Just like an overclocked CPU, the Thoroughbred ran extremely hot creating problems for owners. We all know what excess heat does to a CPU, your system will simply shut down to protect itself or the CPU will generate errors and cause blue screens of death.  Well, that's just what the Thoroughbred was doing if you didn't have a high quality cooling system. This isn't normally something we see until AMD has maxed out a core. To see these problems on a brand new core was very disturbing to say the least. How would AMD ever keep up with Intel at this rate? Well, as we know, they didn't keep up with Intel. AMD has been slow to release new CPUs and what they did release was only a small jump in speed so Intel blew right by them.

     Knowing what we know today with the impending release of the Athlon XP 2600+, the 2200+ is the last CPU we will see with the Thoroughbred core as it is today. We also know what we had expected all along, there was in fact something not quite right with the original Thoroughbred core. AMD went back and worked it's magic on the Thoroughbred core and they were able to accomplish some incredible things. They increased performance, cooled the CPU and extended it's expected range in clock speeds. Unfortunately, we will not be able to get our hands on the "new and improved" Thoroughbred until sometime in September 2002. The great thing about a jump to a new core or a reworked core is it drives down the prices of previously released CPUs significantly. That means the current AMD flagship, the 2200+, is going way down in price!

     Because I've been gone most of this summer and have not release a CPU review in such a long time, I decided to pick up a 2200+ to see what it can do. At least it will keep me busy until I get my hands on the new 2600+!

 

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