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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [03.27.02]
Manufactured By: AMD
Price: $420 @ 1000 Units

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Where is Winstone?

Normally we do ZD Winstone tests, but I find that to be rather redundant, since they use pretty much the same applications as SYSmark 2002 (in most cases older versions at that). I also find Winstone to be quite flaky, often producing unrepeatable results. We may or may not end up getting the latest version of Content Creation 2002... Stay tuned to see...

Now you can say it:

"Why did AMD even bother making this CPU?"

The Answer:

"Because they can".

Because people buying a new PC or upgrading who want to say they have the fastest AthlonXP CPU will pay a lot of money for one.  Do you REALLY need the extra 60 MHz the new CPU will give you? Obviously not.  Will you need it in the future? I doubt it.

At $420 (and that's the wholesale price!) I simply cannot recommend buying this CPU over say, an AthlonXP 1900+ or even 1800+.  Even if you want the ultimate in performance, the worst time to upgrade your CPU is at the end of one's life cycle.  The 2100+ is indeed the end of the road for Palomino, with the 0.13 micron Thoroughbred expected any week now.  Save your pennies, because as soon as Tbred is unleashed, there will be an extreme price war between AMD and Intel, with the Palominos likely dropping like flies.  Be sure to keep an eye on our CPU Price Index, which is updated every single week with the latest lowest retail prices.

On a side note, I find it worth mentioning that the 2100+ gets extremely hot.  Way hotter than even the 2000+! For testing, I had the 2000 and 2100 installed under a Thermaltake Volcano 7+ (to be reviewed very soon).  The V7+ is a huge, full copper heatsink with tiny fins.  It has a variable 80mm fan, spinning at either 3000, 4800, or 6000 RPM.

The 2000+ ran perfectly fine on the nice quiet "Medium" setting of 4800 RPM.  3000 wasn't enough to keep it cool, but that is more for the P4 (the V7+ can be installed on either Socket 478 or Socket A).  When on the 2100, however, there was no way 4800 could keep the CPU cool enough... At the medium setting, the CPU would overheat and WindowsXP would crash.  CPU temperature reached upwards of 60 degrees Celsius! High speed kept things cool; down to the mid-40's.  This is just one of the practicality issues I have with these AthlonXP CPU's.

Yes, 0.18 is finally done, and I for one am happy.  Come on AMD, win me back with Tbred!

The Final Word

Just wait for the next Athlon, likely a "2200+", based on the new 0.13 micron fab process.  This will be a MUCH better buy, and as shown with the Northwood P4's released in February, there will be a ton of new room for overclocking.