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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [09.13.04]
Manufactured by: AMD


Rendering Performance

Finally let's finish things off with some more "real world" performance benchmarks as not everyone here is a hardcore gamer. Okay, that's not true, we're pretty much all vidiots, but still some of us like to dabble in this kind of stuff in our downtime

For rendering performance, we are using CineBench, a CPU based rendering platform based on Maxon Cinema's 4D modeling, rendering, and animation program.

Back outside the gaming arena the Mobile Barton is able to once again jump on top of the standings.

Things are pretty tight here, with the Sempron falling just slightly behind due to it's reduced L2 cache.


Ahh, and now here comes the X factor. After reading through all of those benchmarks I'm sure you, like me, were able to draw some reasonable conclusions. At stock speeds the Athlon XP seems to be the overall performance winner, especially in the gaming arena with the Mobile Athlon coming in second ahead of the low end Sempron.

Unfortunately, or fortunately I guess depending on how you look at it, the overclocking X factor is going to throw a monkey wrench into things.

  AthlonXP Mobile Athlon Sempron
Multipliers Available 5x - 11.5x
(on ours - new steppings are locked)
5x - 14x LOCKED @ 10.5x
Our Highest Stable FSB Achieved 232 MHz 244 MHz 169 MHz
Our Highest Stable Overclock 11x228 = 2508 MHz (1.85v) 11x241 = 2651 (1.85v) 10.5x169 = 1774 MHz (1.8v)

In terms of Overlocking headroom the Mobile chip beats out the XP chip and both blow the non-starting Sempron out of the water.

So what was going to be a relatively easy summary has now become a little bit more convoluted thanks to the extreme overclocking ability of the Mobile Athlon chip.

Basically in short we can conclude the following.

- If you're looking to run at straight out of the box stock speeds, then going for the Athlon XP 2500+ should be a no brainer. The XP either beats or almost matches the Mobile chip in every benchmark and can be had at a lower price

- If however you're a tweaker, a freaker, a mad cookie eater, then by all means spend that extra four bones that is burning a hole in your pocket and pick up a Mobile Athlon chip (and as you can see above, we found it for the exact same price as the standard Barton). Even if by some chance you get a dud in the overclocking department you'll still have a chip that can easily run at stock XP speeds all the while requiring MUCH less voltage which will enable you to have a quiet if not super fast gaming system.

- Finally, if you're looking at the Sempron do it only if you absolutely cannot afford that extra ten bucks that it's going to cost you to move up to a Barton based XP processor. Though admittedly marketed at the low end internet/email usage market, AMD 2500+ Performance Rating system just doesn't hold up here. With the return of the low end Duron-esque processor let's hope AMD moves to a new naming system so as not to confuse Joe AOL who picks up a Sempron 2500+ thinking he's getting a great deal picking up the newest AMD chip at a great price to expecting it to perform at par with the regular Athlon XP chip his twelve year old kid made him promise to get.