Athlon64 3400+: Part 2

by Wesley Fink on January 12, 2004 2:59 PM EST

The 3400+ was announced on January 6th - just in time for CES. On launch day, Anand published a detailed analysis of the 3400+. Since that article, readers have been asking if AnandTech could do a follow-up, benchmarking the Athlon64 series using our standard motherboard benchmarks on the top motherboards for the Athlon64, Athlon64FX, and Pentium 4. That is the purpose of this Part 2 follow-up, which tests the top CPU's from Intel and AMD on the top-performing motherboards that we have tested for each platform.

The top-line Athlon64 FX51 is designed for Socket 940, dual-channel Registered memory; it has 1Mb of on-chip cache, and runs at 2.2 GHz. The 3400+ runs at the same 2.2GHz speed and also has 1Mb of cache, but it fits Socket 754 and works with single-channel unbuffered DDR memory - the memory most users already own. With the speed and cache-size of the 3400+ and FX51 being the same, it is natural to ask how the 2 processors compare in performance using the best-performing hardware that we have tested at AnandTech. As you suggested, we also put the 3.2GHz P4EE and the standard Pentium 4 3.2GHz through our standard benchmarks on an Asus P4C800-E to see how the best from Intel compares with the Athlon64 line.

The 3400+ becomes the 3rd member of the Socket 754 family, which now contains 3000+, 3200+, and 3400+ processors. Like the other Socket 754 Athlon64 chips, the 3400+ is built on an organic substrate with the full heat-spreader that has been used on all the Athlon64 family. One more Socket 754 speed bump is expected later this year before the move from .13 to .09 manufacturing process.

While the Socket 754 and the Socket 940 require different boards and function in different ways, they are exactly the same size, and all of the Athlon64 family chips are physically larger than current P4 chips.

Above, you can see the differences in the 2500+ Barton/Athlon XP, Socket 754 Athlon64, and the Socket 940 Athlon64 FX/Opteron. While the Athlon64 socket is smaller than the older Socket A, it is still larger than Intel's Socket 478.

A few on-line shops jumped the gun by advertising the 3400+ before it was launched on January 6th. The good news is that the price of the 3400+ is about the same as the price of the 3200+ before the launch of the 3400+. With the 3400+ around $430 and the 3000+ around $220, the 3200+ has now settled in the middle at about the $300 price point.

Basic Features: Athlon64 Processors
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  • atlr - Thursday, January 22, 2004 - link

    Anyone seen any performance comparisons of 32-bit versus 64-bit versions of software and o/s on the A64?
  • milehigh - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - link

    I'd like to 2nd #13's reply to include some older CPU's in these reviews. I've got a Barton 2500+ and seeing how it stacks up can help in not only help in upgrade decisions but I think it can help illustrate just how much faster these new CPU's are...

  • KingofFah - Thursday, January 15, 2004 - link

    I would be careful with most 350's, but, like #15 said, most FSP's (no matter which brand is relabeled on it) are marked much lower than what they are capable of doing. THG did a psu round up a while back showing that the FSP-300 was really capable of being completely stable at 390W consumption and the 350 (of which I am a owner) was capable being completely stable at 454W. I have not seen a review of the FSP-400 yet, but I am sure it follows the same trend as its predecessors. Most PSU's run very little over (or even under if it is a cheap one) their specified values, but Sparkle goes well over them.
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    As for dropping Quake 3, how about checking out this, first:

    I've read (from X-bit Labs) that the optimized DLLs boost Athlon XP/64 performance by 13 to 18 percent. Wow!


    One last word of caution, though, is that if the DLLs in question are binary compiled as opposed to interpreted code, then id software's Jon Carmack says they are more open for cheats. In addition, there is the fact that a binary compiled DLL is already said to boost performance by up to 20%. Not sure about all this, but here's a last link if you want:
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    #15, as the review states, they could not get system stability with a 350W quality power supply and the 3400+. Maybe you have a better PS than their 350W, but I wouldn't count on that.

    There are those that claim the Prescott will be a flame-thrower. Maybe. What we know for sure, though, is that the 3400+ has raised the bar in power requirements. Looks like 450W PS will become the norm in the next year....
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    You can't go wrong with a 350 watt FSP-350PN power supply, from either Sparkle or Forton Power Source, with it's 12cm fan. Works fine for my system I built with a 3200+ and gf4 4600, soon to be 9800 ATI card.
  • rms - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    Congrats on the great article. Please STOP USING QUAKE3-BASED GAMES AS A CPU BENCHMARK. It doesn't recognize athlons as SSE-enabled, and is worthless for cross-platform comparisons.

  • clv101 - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    What I'd really like to see in reviews like this are some slower systems - I'm fed up with seeing graphs showing 6 cpu with only a few % performance difference.

    I'd like the see the A64 3400+ and P4 3.2 benchmarked against a XP 2500+, a 2.4GHz P4 and my old 1.33GHz TBird. That would be useful to see.

    Seeing that the A64 3400+ is a little bit faster than a A64 3200+ is no good to anyone!
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    PrinceGaz -

    You are correct, but I had to return the initial 655TX and just received the shipping version of the P4S800D-E the day we left for CES. So I did not have the board available for the full roundup.

    I did run the P4EE through the 655TX to check benchmarks and it is faster by a small amount in almost every benchmark. However, it does not change any of the positioning or conclusions.

    #10 - I could not find the list either, since it looks like AMD has stopped the PS list for the Athlon64 and replaced it with "Athlon64 Power Supply recommendations" which are just general guidelines. The best source of info on compatible PS then, will likely be Power Supply reviews by AnandTech and others.
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - link

    Its nice to have a clear comparison of how the A64 and A64FX compare with the top P4's including the P4EE.

    One question though, shouldn't an article which "tests the top CPU's from Intel and AMD on the top-performing motherboards that we have tested for each platform" use an SiS 655TX rather than Intel 875P mobo for the Intel chips when your own review last month found the 655TX to be faster than the 875P in every single test?

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