For some comparison numbers, on top of simply comparing the Sempron 3400+ and Athlon 64 X2 4200+, we had also retested an Intel Pentium D 820 and then the DDR contender was an older Athlon 64 3000+. All hardware and software components were maintained the same throughout testing except for the motherboard, and the system memory with the DDR1/DDR2 setups. The motherboard used in conjunction with the AMD Athlon 64 3000+ was the ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 while for the new processors was the AM2NF4G-SATA2, which is virtually a replica of the 939NF4G-SATA2 but instead it boasts a Socket AM2 and DDR2 interface. The motherboard used with the Intel Pentium D LGA-775 was an Abit AW8, which uses Intel's 955X Glenwood and ICH7R.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (1.80GHz)
AMD Sempron 3400+ (1.80GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.20GHz)
|Motherboard:||Abit AW8 (i955X + ICH7R)
ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 (nForce 410)
ASRock AM2NF4G-SATA2 (nForce 410)
|Memory:||2 x 512MB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-667 (5-5-5-15)
2 x 512MB OCZ Gold DDR-400 (3-4-3-8)
|Graphics Card:||NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT 256MB|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB SATA2|
|Optical Drives:||Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM|
|Power Supply:||Sytrin Nextherm 460W|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 5|
|Linux Kernel:||2.6.16-1.2122_FC5 SMP (x86_64)|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8762|
The benchmarks used today to monitor the computing performance of these processors were Enemy Territory, Doom 3, LAME compilation, LAME encoding, Blue Sail Software Opstone, and FreeBench. All processors in these tests today had ran at stock speeds, and no extra tweaking had occured to keep a valid comparison. We will be delivering RAMspeed benchmarks shortly in an upcoming article as we specifically look at AMD's DDR2 memory performance at various frequencies and latencies.
When it comes to the Linux compatibility with the AM2 processors, we have not run into any downfalls with the processors themselves but some of the newer AM2-optimized Chipsets may posses their own set of troubles, which we will discuss shortly. The Linux 2.6.17 kernel had included support for the ATI SB600 Southbridge, and other Chipsets should fair well under Linux when using newer distributions with the latest kernel. We shared a few more details on this matter in our AMD Socket AM2 Family Preview. The ASRock AM2NF4G-SATA2 had not possessed any new Linux compatibility issues beyond what was found with the 939NF4G-SATA2 as they both use the already common NVIDIA nForce 410 and GeForce 6100. On the next page is the /proc/cpuinfo output for both the AM2 Sempron 3400+ and AM2 Athlon 64 X2 4200+.