AMD recently announced a new version of the Athlon 64 processor core. This new version, code-named "Orleans", extends the Athlon 64 range with a number of new functions, including SSE3 support, an updated memory controller and a 90 nm SOI process (silicon on insulator).
Despite the fact that these new processors, which are based on the core of Orleans, differ significantly from previous revisions, AMD has decided to play it quietly. The Orleans was introduced similar to the Venice. The Venice was developed to slowly remove the older Winchester processors, which were also designed for a 90 nm process.
This makes things a little more complicated when buying an Athlon64, as numerous revisions of the same processors are now available. In addition, all have the same model names as 3000+, 3200+, 3500+ and 3800+. It is therefore very important to check which revision you are buying. Luckily, every online retailer that is worth buying says which version you are buying. And we can tell you that there will be no confusion when buying an Orleans core processor for a few good reasons.
There was little that physically identified a Venice core processor from a Winchester core processor other than the product ID etched into the heatspreader. This initially made it difficult to purchase the superior overclocking part (Venice) and required attention to detail. While the processors from Venice and Winchester were developed for the AMD 939 pin platform, this is not the case with Orleans! Rather, the Orleans core processors are now known as Athlon 64 AM2 processors, which of course were developed for the newer AM2 platform and have 940 pins.
As many of you are probably aware, the transition to the AM2 platform for AMD is already well underway, and despite the lack of performance benefits, it looks smooth. Buying a new AM2 processor is as easy as visiting your local computer store or jumping online where it is available from all major retailers. Motherboards are also available, with excellent quality solutions for just $ 110 (last week we reviewed ASUS 'phenomenal entry into the AM2 enthusiast market).
It's no secret that there is great demand for products that overclock well. Many of the most popular motherboards have received such attention in the past due to their overclocking capabilities. Even certain processors from AMD and Intel have become articles due to their overclocking capabilities. Another perfect example of the popularity of overclocking is the memory market. Several companies are currently competing to manufacture the most overclockable memory modules.
Still, I did a lot of testing with the new processors that were developed for the AM2 platform. Combined with the amazing ASUS M2N32-SLI deluxe motherboard, the Athlon 64 3800+ could reach incredible frequencies. Next up was the cheaper Athlon 64 3000+ that we're testing today. Without wasting too much time in dreamland, I turned on my web browser, went to a local supplier, and quickly made the purchase, which was only $ 90.