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The Final Word
While we wouldn’t go so far as to say that the newer Barton core has completely revitalized the Athlon MP family, it has indeed brought some much needed life to this platform. With a full 512k of on-die cache, the Athlon MP 2800+ can deliver a performance boost anywhere from 2-15% over the previous high-end Athlon MP 2600+ processor. Software that is highly clock speed dependant won’t show big performance increases, but as our benchmarks show, applications like 3D rendering, digital content creation, and scientific software do see visible performance boosts with the additional L2 cache.
The new Athlon MP 2800+ is certainly not as technologically advanced as AMD’s new Opteron series of processors. The Opteron’s on-die memory controller and 64-bit compatability will allow the Opteron to have a much longer lifespan over the Athlon MP. Still, as the price of an Athlon MP 2800+ and Opteron 240 processor are roughly the same, many are wondering if the Opteron is really worth all the hassle. After all, Opteron motherboards are pretty tough to find nowadays, and the higher speed Opterons are still extremely expensive.
Simply put, for today’s workstation applications, the Opteron is severely lacking in price/performance ratio. In many of our tests, the Athlon MP 2800+ performed on-par, or better than the Opteron 242 model, which at this point in time costs nearly $500 more per processor compared to the MP 2800+. If 4GB+ memory capacities or 64-bit processing isn’t your thing, the Athlon MP 2800+ certainly represents can deliver fantastic performance for the price.
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