AMD Athlon 750

by Anand Lal Shimpi on November 29, 1999 1:16 AM EST

Performance Expectations & Compatibility

Business applications will take the largest performance hit as they depend on fast L2 caches, which is why the Celeron with a 128KB full speed L2 cache is capable of performing so well in business applications. Fortunately, business applications don't require too much power in order for them to run more than responsively so the performance hit won't make you cringe every time you fire up an office application. The Athlon 750 will still be faster than the Athlon 700, but not by a huge degree in business applications.

The slower L2 cache of the Athlon 750 versus the Athlon 700 (300MHz vs. 350MHz) will go relatively unnoticed by gamers since most games are heavily FPU dependent and not adversely effected by a 17% slower L2 cache in the case of the 750 vs. 700 comparison.

Professional level applications such as 3D rendering and imaging programs will proceed with a small performance hit, but the higher clock speed of the 750MHz Athlon will keep the negative effects of the slower 300MHz L2 cache from surfacing.

As we discovered in our overclocking tests, changing the L2 cache divider on the Athlon to 1/3 didn't affect the performance of the Athlon too badly at all. Because of those results we expected that the 1/2.5 divider wouldn't adversely affect the overall performance of the Athlon 750 to any noticeable degree. This is primarily because of the fact that the Athlon already has a very large 128KB L1 cache that operates at the full clock speed of the Athlon's core.

As far as compatibility goes, the Athlon 750 should work perfectly fine in all of the currently available Slot-A motherboards. AMD used the Gigabyte GA-7IX as the motherboard in the Athlon 750 Evaluation System they sent out, which takes the place of their reference Fester motherboard that they had previously used. At most, you'll require a BIOS update in order to support the Athlon 750 on your current motherboard.

In spite of the clock speed increase, the Athlon 750 should require less power than the Athlon 700 because of the die shrink. This may ease up the power supply requirements of the Athlon, but it is still recommended that you pay a visit to AMD's Recommended Power Supply list before purchasing a PSU for your Athlon system.

Issue #2 Content Creation Performance - Win98
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