Athlon XP speeds and multipliers

I'm so confused about Athlon XP speeds that I'm actually willing to avoid researching.  I'd rather let you very nice people rule it out for me.

What I've heard:
XP 2600 333FSB - 12.5 multiplier
That would result in 2.075GHz!

How come an XP 2800 is slower than an XP 2600?

Why is there such a huge leap in speed between the 2500 and the 2600?

Why is the 2700 $40 more expensive than the 2600, but only 10MHz faster?

What are the multiplier settings for the XP 3000s (333 and 400)?

Can all 266MHz FSB boards support an Athlon XP 2600 266FSB if the multiplier is set to Auto (if it boots up)?

Finally, I'd like the multiplier settings for all 333FSB Athlons 2600 and up and the multiplier settings for all 400FSB Athlons.

By the way, is the XP 2500 faster than the XP 2400 at all it does?  Does the FSB make that much of a difference?

Thank you very much,
Radomir Jordanovic
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It's not just the clock speed that effects performance, the fsb and on-chip cache also make a difference.  The barton cores have 256kb more cache on the cpu which increases performance.

Multipliers: 2600 (Barton core)333=11.5, 2600 (Thoroughbred) 333=12.5, 2700 333=13, 2800 333 (Barton core)=12.5, 2800 333 (thoroughbred)=13.5, 3000 333=13, 3200 400=11.

Check out or some of the cpu articles at for more detailed info.
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>What I've heard:
>XP 2600 333FSB - 12.5 multiplier
>That would result in 2.075GHz!

You might want to read this one:

The number isn't the clock speed, this is something done by AMD to be compared to Intel processors.
this list is from Albertbeef so give him the credit

Athlon XP 3000+..... (Barton) 2.167GHz .....  13 x 166
Athlon XP 2800+..... (Barton) 2.083GHz ..... 12.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2800+..... (333MHz FSB) 2.25GHz ..... 13.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2700+..... (333MHz FSB) 2.167GHz ..... 13.0 x 166
Athlon XP 2600+..... (333MHz FSB) 2.083GHz ..... 12.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2600+..... 2.13GHz ..... 16 x 133
Athlon XP 2500+..... (Barton) 1.83GHz ..... 11 x 166
Athlon XP 2400+..... 2.00GHz ..... 15 x 133
Athlon XP 2200+..... 1.80GHz ..... 13.5 x 133
Athlon XP 2100+..... 1.73GHz ..... 13 x 133
Athlon XP 2000+..... 1.67GHz ..... 12.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1900+..... 1.60GHz ..... 12 x 133
Athlon XP 1800+..... 1.53GHz ..... 11.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1700+..... 1.47GHz ..... 11 x 133
Athlon XP 1600+..... 1.40GHz ..... 10.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1500+..... 1.33GHz ..... 10 x 133
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
I know the number isn't the clock speed.  However,  I don't understand why some 2800s are faster than 3000s.  So, the 2600 is 2.08GHz and the 2800 is 2.08GHz?  They both have the same FSB.  That makes them both the very same thing...  Would a 2.25GHz 2800 be faster than a 2.167GHz 3000?
>  I don't understand why some 2800s are faster than 3000s.  So, the 2600 is 2.08GHz and the 2800 is 2.08GHz?

The 2600 has a throughbred core and the 2800 that you are stating has a Barton core.  The barton cores are a little slower than the throughbred as you can see.  here is excert fron amd website.
Q: What is the difference between the “Barton” and “Thoroughbred” cores? Is the “Barton” core designed for thin-and-light?
A: The major difference is that the “Barton” core nearly doubles the L2 cache from 256k to 512k for a total of 640K cache.

I think that there is a slight difference in the default voltages of the two also.  The barton core is also being widely used in the in laptops.
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>Would a 2.25GHz 2800 be faster than a 2.167GHz 3000?
At some calculations it will be faster, but for normal everyday use the 3000 will be faster.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Please explain this to me:  What, exactly, is AMD doing?
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
>>What, exactly, is AMD doing?

I've stayed out of this for a while just to see what would be said . . .    And because I'm busy with page editor duties.

I'm sure everybody is wondering where I am, but I'm watching, lol.

As for what AMD is doing -  What an excellent question.  The true answer could only come from AMD, but being very familiar with the company, and it's operations, I have my own opinion.

AMD had (note 'had', past tense) great success when the AthlonXP was first introduced.  Although they gave it one of their controversial 'PR' ratings (they'd done this before, BTW) at the time the XP processors at PR ratings similar to Intel's P4 clock speeds (ie: XP1700+ vs. P4 1700) were vastly outperforming the P4's in virtually every respect.

This hurt intel and turned AMD around.  hardware sites hailed the XP.  Enthusiasts flocked to buy them and recommended them to their friends.  AMD sales increased, their stock jumped and things were good at Camp AMD, very good.

Intel had an answer to this challenge right around the corner -  increasing bus speed.   The increase to 533MHz and subsequent increases in clock speed, core changes and a smaller die process levelled the playing field.  

AMD responded by releasing processors on a 333MHz  bus.  Intel responded by releasing an 800MHz FSB.  Although the increase to 800MHz didn't actually increase the performance dramatically, the increase in clock speed did.

AMD then released the barton core at 333MHz, which added more cache.  They did, however, change PR ratings.  The Bartons were the start of performance 'sags' for AMD.  Although they perform excellently, the barton core processors don't perform at  the level of the P4's at a similar name.  

Now AMD will tell you that their PR rating is not designed by them to compare their processors to a P4...  but they can say whatever they want to.  They know darn well that the average uninformed consumer will equate an AMD 2800+ with an intel P4 2.8.   Less-informed (or perhaps unscrupulous) sales people will also tell the consumer that a 2800+ is AMD's answer to the P4.  

But the truth is that the intel P4, at speeds of 2.6 and above, outperforms Athlon XP's at 2600+ and above.  At least in most benchmarks.  In the entry level market of 2.0GHz to 2.5GHz AMD has the performance advantage.  But above that, regardless of what people want to say or how much I like AMD, the truth is their performance is falling behind.

So . . .  they've continued to 'increase' the PR rating when the clock speed hasn't really increased much.  It's apparant to everyone that they KNOW their new 3200+ doesn't have anywhere near the performance of an intel 3.2Ghz processor, and now they're getting slammed for it.  If it weren't for the promise of 64bit technology in their Athlon64's and Athlon FX's, they'd be in a world of hurt.

AMD has be the farm on the idea that consumers, programmers, designers, etc., will embrace 64-bit architecture -  specifically THEIR 64bit architecture.  I think they might be right, but solely for the reason that theirs is backward compatible with current 32bit apps and o/s.

they still have the PR rating in their Athlon64's.  But they've been more conservative in their ratings this time.  The Athlon64 is currently available as a 3200+ and has CONSIDERABLY faster overall performance than the Athlon XP 3200+.  So in keeping this PR rating, but applying more conservatively, this is a good thing.

The confusing thing for many people is that the Athlon64 3200+ actually runs at a clock speed of only 2.0GHz.  Well no wonder they have to have a PR rating.  If they called it the Athlon 64 2.0GHz would consumers buy it?  No, only VERY well informed consumers would purchase it.  They can't afford to have that happen, thus the PR rating is held onto.

actually my calling it a 'PR' rating is actually a misnomer.  AMD actually refers to it as a 'model' number.

Rules of thumb:

1. Athlon XP's up to 2500+ perform on average as well or better than the Intel's of the same 'model'.  Athlon XP's of 2600+ through 3200+ don't perform as well as the intel offerings of the same model.  

2. Athlon64's so far have the same or better performance than P4's of the same model.

3. Not much of a rule of thumb on the Athlon64 FX yet.  This series are the best of their breed, but that additional chip cost and the additional cost of registered RAM makes it more expensive than P4's, and likely even the P4EE, which isn't a position AMD wants to be in.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
So, what's the reason behind the jump in speed between a 2500 and a 2600?  Competition?  Why doesn't AMD increase the clock speed?  I'm sure there would be motherboards out there that could support higher clock speeds.  This shouldn't be by much, of course.  Couldn't they go up to 2.4GHz?  What's stopping them?

Would an XP 2600 266 perform almost as quickly as an XP 2600 333?

Finally, I'll award 150 points (note the increase) to the best list of 333 and 400FSB CPUs.  Please help me out.  I'm stuck!  Most likely, the XP will go the way of the P3 within a year, but I'll still have my socket A motherboards, and that's too bad for AMD.  As soon as I get my nForce2 working again, I'll be happy to throw money into a faster CPU.  Should I get an XP 2800 333 or 400?  A 3200?  A 3000 333 or 400?  What are the clock speeds for these?

Thank you so much,
Radomir Jordanovic

P.S.  Welcome back to my whirlpool of questions, Beef.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
FYI, here's my recent list of AMD cpu's, their model #, FSB, Clock Speed, Multiplier / Bus Speed Settings.

Athlon XP 3200+   Barton 400..   2.200GHz ..... 11.0 x 200
Athlon XP 3000+   Barton 400..   2.100GHz ..... 10.5 x 200
Athlon XP 3000+   Barton 333..   2.167GHz ..... 13.0 x 166
Athlon XP 2800+   Barton 333..   2.083GHz ..... 12.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2800+   333MHz......   2.250GHz ..... 13.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2700+   333MHz......   2.167GHz ..... 13.0 x 166
Athlon XP 2600+   333MHz......   2.083GHz ..... 12.5 x 166
Athlon XP 2600+   266MHz......   2.13GHz  ..... 16.0 x 133
Athlon XP 2500+   Barton 333..   1.83GHz  ..... 11.0 x 166
Athlon XP 2400+   266MHz......   2.00GHz  ..... 15.0 x 133
Athlon XP 2200+   266MHz......   1.80GHz  ..... 13.5 x 133
Athlon XP 2100+   266MHz......   1.73GHz  ..... 13.0 x 133
Athlon XP 2000+   266MHz......   1.67GHz  ..... 12.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1900+   266MHz......   1.60GHz  ..... 12.0 x 133
Athlon XP 1800+   266MHz......   1.53GHz  ..... 11.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1700+   266MHz......   1.47GHz  ..... 11.0 x 133
Athlon XP 1600+   266MHz......   1.40GHz  ..... 10.5 x 133
Athlon XP 1500+   266MHz......   1.33GHz  ..... 10.0 x 133
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
1.  Why doesn't AMD increase the clock speed?

Not that easy.  The current core of the AthlonXP's is such that it dissipates a lot of heat.  A lot.  Increasing clock speed involves increasing multipliers and/or FSB, and there is a resulting temp. increase when you do that.  They'd have to redesign the core in order to increase the speed more.

Also keep in mind the AthlonXP performs 9 instructions per clock cycle vs. Intel P4's 6 instructions per clock cycle.  As such, they do perform faster than any intel at the same clock speed.  Because intels clock speed increases so much vs. the AMD though, they are performing more instructions, that's why the speed difference.

Dunno how this will come out when it's pasted. . . .  but. . .

The # after the GHz (clock speed) of the AMD cpu's clock speed is it's instructions per second, if you use the rule of 9 instructions per clock cycle.  The number after the intel cpu's clock speed is it's instructions per second, using the same rule.

Now there are other considerations that cause the intel to actually perform faster, mostly the fact that the cpu bus speed is actually faster, (800MHz, 533MHz, 400MHz vs. 400MHz, 333MHz, 266MHz), the instruction set is different, there are different amounts of cache on different processors, etc.

you'll notice at the faster speeds, AMD is fairly close.  But at the lower clock speeds the AMD is vastly superior.  This explains somewhat why AMD uses their 'model #' to compare to intel. . .

Athlon      XP      3200+      Barton 400      2.200GHz      19800            intel      3.200Ghz      19200
Athlon      XP      3000+      Barton 400      2.100GHz      18900            intel      3.066Ghz      18396
Athlon      XP      3000+      Barton 333      2.167GHz      19440            intel      3.000            18000
Athlon      XP      2800+      Barton 333      2.083GHz      18720            intel      2.800Ghz      16800
Athlon      XP      2800+      333MHz......      2.250GHz      20250            intel      2.800Ghz      16800
Athlon      XP      2700+      333MHz......      2.167GHz      19440            intel            
Athlon      XP      2600+      333MHz......      2.083GHz      18720            intel      2.666Ghz      15960
Athlon      XP      2600+      266MHz......      2.13GHz              19170            intel      2.600Ghz      15600
Athlon      XP      2500+      Barton 333      1.83GHz              16470            intel      2.533GHz      15180
Athlon      XP      2400+      266MHz......      2.00GHz              18000            intel      2.400GHz      14400
Athlon      XP      2200+      266MHz......      1.80GHz              16200            intel      2.200GHz      13200
Athlon      XP      2100+      266MHz......      1.73GHz              15570            intel            
Athlon      XP      2000+      266MHz......      1.67GHz              15030            intel      2.000GHz      12000
Athlon      XP      1900+      266MHz......      1.60GHz              14400            intel            
Athlon      XP      1800+      266MHz......      1.53GHz              13770            intel      1.800Ghz      10800
Athlon      XP      1700+      266MHz......      1.47GHz              13230            intel      1.700Ghz      10200
Athlon      XP      1600+      266MHz......      1.40GHz              12600            intel      1.600Ghz      9600
Athlon      XP      1500+      266MHz......      1.33GHz              11970            intel      1.500Ghz      9000

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Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
2.  Would an XP 2600 266 perform almost as quickly as an XP 2600 333?

Well, there's not a huge difference between them in actual clock speed, but because the FSB and memory speed timings are faster on the 333MHz version, it does perform slighly better.  Especially if using 333MHz Dual-Channel DDR, because then you get another 5% increase in memory performance (or so.)
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
3.  Should I get an XP 2800 333 or 400?  

There is no XP 2800+ @ 400MHz.  The only 400MHz cpu's from AMD are the 3200+ and the 3000+ (the 3000+ is also available at 333MHz)

4.  A 3200?  

Too danged expensive for the performance.

5.  A 3000 333 or 400?

The 3000+ @ 333MHz is actually faster than the 400MHz version at some tasks/benchmarks.  So it depends on what you do.  If the price difference is large, the 333MHz version would make more sense considering the performance.

5.  What are the clock speeds for these?

ALL AMD cpu's and their clock speeds are listed in my previous post.  2.100GHz for the 400MHz version and 2.167GHz for the 333MHz version.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
67MHz?  That's it?  In which case would I benefit from the 400MHz FSB if the clock speed is lower?  *Any case is acceptable.  Please go nuts if so desired.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Where you benefit is basically in games and graphics apps.  Both of which are memory intensive and benefit from the increased memory bandwidth.

PCStats has a good article comparing the 3000+ (333) and the 3000+ (400) here:

Check it out, you'll notice the memory-specific benchmarks show much more noticible improvement with the 400Mhz version.  Their conclusions are basically the same as mine:  For gaming and graphics work the 400MHz version is the way to go.  For office/internet stuff -  You can get away with the slower MHz versions.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
In my experience, the places the 333MHz shows as faster are in pure cpu calculations.  Sisoft cpu bench mark, I believe showed the 333MHz version faster, but I could be mistaken.  I know I saw a couple of benchmarks that confirmed this.  For most people, though, the 400MHz will be marginally faster.  
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
I figured that the 400 would be faster because of the increased bandwidth; is 67MHz really going to make a difference?

XP 2600:
The 50MHz difference compares to the XP3000's case, right?  Why wouldn't it?
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
XP 2600 does to a point, as well.  Except there's more of a performance increase in the two different 2600's.

The reason is that the 2600 (333) is a full 25% faster FSB than 2600 (266), whereas the 3000 (400) is only 20% faster FSB than the 3000 (333).
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Does 67MHz really make a difference?  Seriously, that bothers me.  Can't AMD have a 2.167GHz 400FSB CPU?  

Must I overclock if I get that?-Yes

CPUs with low multipliers overclock better, presumably.  Does that mean that a 3200 overclocks well?  Also, I think a 3200 on an nForce2 board will perform way better than the 3000 400.  That's because, wherever I read it, I read that a CPU with a multiplier of 11 or faster runs best on the nForce2 chipset.  What on Earth is the multiplier of the 3000 400?  I got something like 10.8.  Please post the multipliers for all 333 and 400s!  I'm going nuts!
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Could a 2800 be faster than a 3200?  Or would it be slower because its faster brother, the Barton core one, is faster than it yet runs at a lower clock speed and is more like the 3200 because of the core?
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
no, the 2800 isn't going to be faster than the 3200, except for a purely cpu/arithmetical calculation/instruction, which your computer rarely (if ever) does.

The addition of an extra 256Kb of on-die cache in the Bartons also improves the performance a great deal in the Barton product, that's one of the reasons they have a higher PR rating at lower clock speeds.

And, again, the increase in memory bandwidth/performance by running the memory fsb at 400MHz adds an extra measure of performance.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Couldn't AMD have kept the high clock speed and increased the cache?  How does that not make sense?
can we get a ding ding round 2
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Gotta remember, doing things like adding more L2 cache causes the chip to run a little warmer.  There are thermal considerations here, among other design considerations, that cause them to have the clock speed lower than we may necessarily want it.

Sure, it'd be great if AMD would create an AthlonXP running say 200 x 15 multiplier,  for a true 3000MHz clock speed, and have it blow intel out of the water . . .   but it's not that simple.  The core design of the cpu itself has limits on how high they can usually push the clock speed.  Both Intels P4 and AMD's XP's seem to be at the limit now.

That's why intels answer to counter the launch of AMD's Athlon64's was the P4 'EE' edition, which is simply a P4 3.2Ghz with an additional 1Mb of cache added on die.  It's the same clock speed, but has much better performance than either existing P4's or the Athlon64 3200+.   They kept it at 3.2GHz because that seems to be the limit of the processor, (without overclocking) but they knew adding more cache would increase the performance considerably, and they were right.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
So, can the 3200 be overclocked?  It has a very low multiplier, and that could be raised to something like 11.5 or 12... or 12.5, right?

An XP 1800 has a multiplier of 11, It can be raised.  Also, the 1800 is considered the best overclocking chip available from AMD (at least of the XP line).
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
* ...of 11.  It can...
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
overclocking my multiplier is usually more difficult than by fsb, but can be done.  Overclocking by FSB with the 3200+ isn't as successful as with other cpu's because the bus speed is already so high... ...

Yes, the XP 1800+ is a great overclocker, that's why I have one.  But remember, it's easier to overclock it because of it's lower FSB (it's designed to be 133MHZ / 266mhZ FSB).
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
What if I get PC-3500 or 3700 ram?  That could definitely handle the pressure.  Do you mean the FSB is too high for the CPU?  The chipset?  The divider?  Well, that last one makes no sense.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
What I mean is that because the 400MHz FSB cpu's are already at a higher FSB, they are more difficult to overclock.  They're already making the most of their silicon...

On the other hand, lets say you wanted to overclock it by, say 25%, and have the cooling to do it (I have had mine o/c'd by more than 40%, fyi) that means 500MHz cpu fsb, or a 250MHz bus...  how many mobo bios can select 250MHz bus speed?  Lots of them simply don't go past 200MHz...

And yes, PC3500 or PC3700 RAM would be beneficial if trying to overclock a 3200+
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
My board, the K7N-2 Delta (before it died), could go to 233 and 400 (DDR800) for the memory.  Could I get PC-4200 ram and overclock it to 800?  Would that be nuts?
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
I doubt you'd ever get your memory settings that high.  Besides, the best performance comes running your memory and cpu asyncronously, meaning at the same speed.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Right.  I can't help but think of that...  You said that I could get such a high memory speed that I could make up for the asynchronous clocking at one point...  I can't accomplish that as of yet.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
I don't think anyone can.  It would have to be an extreme difference, and memory specifications are barely keeping up with cpu FSB.  Jedec only recently adopted (officially) the PC3200 spec, quite a while after AMD release 400MHz FSB and intel released their 800MHz FSB...   and PC3500 and PC3700 and greater haven't been adopted as specs by jedec yet.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
What if I were to set some sort of ratio, like 1:8?  100MHz FSB and 800MHz ram clock.

How come Intel can run a 400MHz FSB with DDR200?  Or an 800MHz FSB with DDR400?  Isn't that an asynchronous clock speed?
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
not gonna happen, an 800MHz RAM clock...  generally good RAM can be overclocked 10 - 30%, depending on what you get and the voltage you apply . . .  but you'll never get it to double ;-)

intels FSB is quad-pumped on their cpus, not double pumped like AMD's.  The bus speed is still syncronous because of this.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
So what can I expect from Jedec as far as DDR500 goes?  Anything at all?  
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
nothing at this time.  jedec only recently adopted the pc3200 spec, and that was (imo) from pressure from both intel and amd to bring the pc3200 spec to the masses for official support of dual-channel ddr400 ram.  They'd made chipsets that supported it, but there was, as of yet, no standard adopted.

One of the reasons was that PC3200 and PC4300 were approved as the preliminary spec for DDR-II, not DDR-I (which is what we currently think of as DDR).  the DDR-I specification, which we currently use, was initially intended to 'top out' at PC2700.  With the pressure from industry giants, and with Samsung making the first commercially available DDR400 modules, jedec committee's got together and created the PC3200 DDR-I specification.

Jedec has been working on standards for PC4300, which wll now most likely be the first in the DDR-II specification of memory. PC4300 is 533MHz memory bus, BTW, for a maximum throughput in single channel of 4.3Gb/sec.  Current single Channel PC3200 is 3.2Gb/s, so it's a significantly faster standard whenever it's adopted and people start making and marketing it.  with Dual Channel, that means increasing todays maximum adopted spec of 6.4Gb/s to 8.6Gb/s.

Whether or not 433MHz, 466MHz or 500MHz DDR will be adopted as the PC3500, PC3700 or PC4000 specs I cannot say.  Jedec has adopted specs not initially intended to before, and if history repeats itself could happen again.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
BTW, not to complain, (I like helping out and educating people) but getting into RAM education doesn't have much to do with AthlonXP Speeds and multipliers that the original Q. is about,

So if you've got what you need on the speeds and multipliers, and have more memory questions, how about closing this one out and opening a new one on RAM so more people have the chance to view and participate.

Just an idea, anyway.

Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
LucF:  Regarding your comment here: "The number isn't the clock speed, this is something done by AMD to be compared to Intel processors."

The funny thing is although everybody on the planet knows the model rating is to identify the performance of the processor (and help regular joe's compare it to intel, and thus sell more amd's)  AMD claims it isn't used to compare to intel, lol.

For instance, the first XP ,  the 1500+, was called the 1500+ not to compare it to the P4 1.5, but it was called that because even at 1333MHz clock speed it was faster than their previous processor, the Athlon 1.4

So they claim it's a comparison to themselves . . .   but you and me and everybody else knows it's to allow consumers to compare to all the other PC cpu manufacturers . . .  at least, the others than count, meaning intel.

Whatever ;-)
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Yes.  I'll open a question about ram.  Isn't 533MHz ram actually PC-4200?  Let's hold that back.  I am now going to sit  back and appreciate the overall value of math as I count my toes.  They're itchy because I have dry air in my house.  Thanks for the help.
>They're itchy because I have dry air in my house.  Thanks for the help.

wish i would have quit reading before that.

"Athlon     XP     2800+     Barton 333     2.083GHz     18720          intel     2.800Ghz     16800
Athlon     XP     2800+     333MHz......     2.250GHz     20250          intel     2.800Ghz     16800"

I'm assuming that the second listing there of the XP 2800+ is thoroughbred line.  According to that post, this processor has the most instructions per socond, even besting the 3200+ 400FSB.  I have the Asus A7N8X-Deluxe (pcb 2.0, bios 1008-D)) and currently running the XP 2000+ (1.67MHz).  I'd like to upgrade the processor and get the most bang for my buck.  It also appears that for some reason this asus board only has support for 400MHz RAM in one (of 3) slots...but I'm not sure about that.  I get conflicting compatibility information.

My goal is to get best performance for 3D gaming.  I don't mind dropping the extra ca$h for a 400FSB chip but I'm not sure if I'd have to upgrade the momory to be compatible (current: Nanya Technologies SN#: T5DS16M8AT-6K).  I'm assuming this is PC2100, but really can't remember.. Nanya techs web site is no help.

Now for my question:  

If you wanted to upgrade this config for best gaming performance, what processor (and memory if necessary) would you run out and buy?

MB: A7N8X-Deluxe (PCB 2.0, latest bios 1008)
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (266Mhz)
Memory: 2x 512MB DDR (not sure which PC2x00 type)
VIdeo: GeForce4 Ti 4600 SE (128MB)
Correction:  CPU AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz)
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
accit, you'll get much better response to your question if you 'Ask a question' instead of posting a comment.  As it is, only those who've seen this question will be responding, and you'll likely miss out on lots of excellent responses.  

One thing I'll say -  due to the barton cores increase in cache, you'll get much better performance out of it than the other 2800+ processor.

As for my response, which may be the only one you'll get.. .. ..  Your best performance for gaming would be to go to one of the 400MHz AMD's and upgrade your memory accordingly.  According to the 3200+ is available from $115, the 3000+ from $109.  For the extra $6, I think the decision is a no-brainer.

You CAN use your existing memory, but running asyncronously (you can run your memory and cpu at different speeds on your board) if you can't afford to upgrade the memory yet...  when you can, get two good quality PC3200 (or PC3500 even) 512Mb DIMMs.

Then save your pennies to someday upgrade to a better-quality DX9 video card.  For now your card still does great framerates, it's a good quality card and better than many DX9 cards available now, but without the DX9 instruction set you will find incompatible games soon.  ATI9800Pro - 256bit - 128Mb is probably the best bang-for-the-buck card right now, imho.

But like I said, start with the processor, then the RAM, then your video card when you can.  That configuration will do you well for sometime to come still.
Just adding a little to albertabeef's comments.  

If you decide to get the 400 mhz fsb then I would upgrade your RAM to make it snyc with the FSB. Snycing the RAM and the FSB is the best way to get a good increase in preformance.  However, you should either get faster memory and run it in sync with the FSB and get your latency settings as low as possible.  Or get low latency RAM like most of the current high end Corsair RAM.  So you can set your latency settings to run as fast as possible.  This won't give you a huge increase in preformance, but it will increase preformance some.  You will want GOOD QUALITY RAM as not all RAM is created equal.

just my 2 cents.  

What is with the feedback in the user profiles?  I must have missed something since I have not been answering questions for a little while.
radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Hi!  Welcome back to my question.  I was so excited about my newly found knowledge that I got from this question that I scoured the net for more about Athlons.  There's plenty of good stuff.

I'd use an AthlonXP Mobile processor.  The multiplier is unlocked and the voltage is so low that you can go nuts.  The settings are 1.45V, multiplier of 15, and FSB is 133MHz, effectively 266MHz DDR.  Take the voltage up to 1.6V or so, the multiplier to 12, and the FSB to 200MHz to get the CPU up to 2.4GHz, which is, by clock speed, faster than an XP 3200.  This can be done with almost every XP 2600 M processor.

Or you can leave it at 2GHz and have it run at 10C higher than room temperature under load, according to pretty much every user review.
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