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AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Processor Performance

Check out this review to see how AMD’s latest socket 754 processor – the Athlon64 3400+ – performs versus the Athlon64 3200+ and the Athlon64 FX-51. At 2.2GHz, the 3400+ throws down some awesome performance numbers. Be sure to check it out!

[review_ad]Introduction


The 64-bit revolution will not be televised… the revolution will not be televised… but it will be benchmarked to death, right? Of course! I’m going to contribute a little to that death-by-benchmarking fate with a quick look at the latest Socket 754 processor from AMD — the Athlon64 3400+. So what’s up with this new processor? It’s nothing surprising like the Athlon64 3000+, which interestingly got its L2 cache chopped to 512KB. It’s just the normal slight speed bump, from 2.0GHz (3200+) to 2.2GHz. Everything else is the same as the Athlon64 3200+, like the inclusion of 1MB of L2 cache, single-channel integrated memory controller, etc.

If you want a really technical article, this isn’t it (for technical information related to AMD64 technology, go here). I’m just going to show you several common benchmarks, comparing the Athlon 64 3400+ to the Athlon 64 3200+ and the Athlon 64 FX-51. It’s quite obvious that the 3400+ will outperform the 3200+ (hopefully by 10% or more), but how will it compare to the FX-51? Considering that both the FX-51 and the 3400+ are clocked at 2.2GHz, this should be interesting to see them go head to head. Read on to see which one wins this little bout and by how much.

Quick Processor Comparison

Processor Operating Frequency L1 Cache L2 Cache Integrated Memory Controller Socket Retail Price
Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0 GHz 64KB + 64KB 1024KB 72-bit Socket 754 $279.99
Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2 GHz 64KB + 64KB 1024KB 72-bit Socket 754 $418.00
Athlon 64 FX-51 2.2 GHz 64KB + 64KB 1024KB 144-bit Socket 940 $745.00

Benchmarks


Scott recently benchmarked his new Athlon 64 FX-51 system, so I’m using his numbers to compare to recent benchmarks I did with the 3200+ and 3400+. Refer to the table above if you want to quickly see the difference among these three processors. Also, note that all testing was done on an nForce3 platform (ASUS SK8N in Scott’s case with the FX-51 and Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith in my case with the 3200+ and 3400+). Here’s a quick look at pertinent test system info.

NOTE: Scott did something a little unusual when running his benchmarks. He actually kept his e-mail application and several browser windows open during the benchmarks (yes, on purpose). The performance hit in the benchmarks from this is negligible (not even 1%). So please keep that in mind as you compare scores.

  Athlon 64 System Athlon 64 FX-51 System
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3400+/3200+ AMD Athlon 64 FX-51
Motherboard: Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith (nForce3) Asus SK8N (nForce3)
Memory: 2 x 256MB XMS3500 Corsair DDR 2 x Corsair TWINX1024RE-3200LL (Total 2GB)
Video Card: Leadtek GeForce FX 5950 Ultra NVIDIA 5950U Reference Board
Hard Drive: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 200GB 8MB Buffer 2 x WD 36GB Raptors (RAID 0)
OS: Windows XP Professional SP1 Windows XP Professional SP1

For testing, we used the following benchmarks: Futuremark’s PCMark2002, SiSoftware Sandra 2004, Futuremark’s 3DMark2001SE, AquaMark3 and Unreal Tournament 2003. Here are the results.

PCMark2002

CPU
Processor / System
Score
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 7128
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 6505
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 6990
Memory
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 8965
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 8812
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 11239
HDD
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 1220
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 1214
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 1367

SiSoftware Sandra 2004 – CPU

Dhrystone
Processor / System
Score
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 9203
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 8343
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 9133
Whetstone
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3475
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3152
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 3454
Float
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 4508
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 4082
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 4503

SiSoftware Sandra 2004 – CPU Multimedia

Integer
Processor / System
Score
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 16460
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 14922
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 16335
Float
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 21710
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 19675
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 21544

SiSoftware Sandra 2004 – Memory Bandwidth

Integer Buffered
Processor / System
Score
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3076
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3066
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 5526
Float Buffered
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3075
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 3067
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 5426

For the system benchmarks, with the exception of memory benchmarks, we see that the 3400+ performs about 10% better than the 3200+, which makes sense considering that it is 10% faster. While the 3400+ scores about 2% better than the 3200+ in the PCMark test, Sandra Memory Bandwidth scores are about the same.

When compared to the FX-51 processor, the 3400+ really shines, putting up slightly better scores in every test except in the memory benchmarks. The FX-51′s superior memory performance can be attributed to its 144-bit memory controller (the 3200+ and 3400+ feature a 72-bit memory controller).

3DMark2001SE (Build 330)

1024×768 – NoAA / NoAF
Processor / System
3DMarks
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 19277
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 18827
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 19336
1024×768 – 4xAA / 8xAF
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 13455
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 13180
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 13846
1280×1024 – 4xAA / 8xAF
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 10357
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 10137
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 10606

AquaMark3 – Default Benchmark

GFX
Processor / System
Score
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 5857
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 5854
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 6154
CPU
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 9543
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 9107
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 9868

Unreal Tournament 2003 – Inferno

1024×768 – NoAA / NoAF
Processor / System
FPS
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 192.99
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 192.53
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 204.06
1280×1024 – 4xAA / 8xAF
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 65.93
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 65.95
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 67.29

Unreal Tournament 2003 – Antalus

1024×768 – NoAA / NoAF
Processor / System
FPS
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 229.52
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 221.89
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 230.21
1280×1024 – 4xAA / 8xAF
Athlon64 3400+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 83.74
Athlon64 3200+ on Chaintech ZNF3-150 83.76
Athlon64 FX-51 on ASUS SK8N 85.90

The FX-51 dominates all of the gaming benchmarks. Overall, the 3400+ puts up slightly higher numbers than the 3200+, but it’s only by about 2% in 3DMark2001SE.

Overclocking Results

Well, I was plenty happy with the 3400+’s scores, especially considering how it essentially went toe-to-toe with the much more expensive FX-51 in every benchmark except memory related ones, but I decided to see if I could overclock it a little. I tried a FSB (front side bus) of 220MHz at first, but not surprisingly, that was pushing something in my system too hard. I gradually lowered down to 210MHz FSB, where I was finally happy with the stability. A FSB of 210 results in a operating frequency of 2.31GHz, not much higher than the default 2.2GHz I know, but what the heck. Here are some of the test results at 2.31GHz.

PCMark2002

CPU
CPU Speed
Score
Default – 2.2GHz, 200FSB 7128
OC’d – 2.31GHz, 210FSB 7459
Memory
Default – 2.2GHz, 200FSB 8965
OC’d – 2.31GHz, 210FSB 9370

3DMark2001SE (Build 330)

1024×768 – NoAA / NoAF
CPU Speed
3DMarks
Default – 2.2GHz, 200FSB 19277
OC’d – 2.31GHz, 210FSB 19700
1024×768 – 4xAA / 8xAF
Default – 2.2GHz, 200FSB 13455
OC’d – 2.31GHz, 210FSB 13711

The 5% processor overclock resulted in about a 5% performance increase in PCMark2002 but only a 2% boost in 3DMark2001SE. Not bad and not too surprising really.

Conclusion


After seeing how well the 3400+ performs compared to the FX-51, I really can’t wait to see what AMD comes out with next. The FX-51 is still the top performing processor overall, but for about $330 less you can get most of the FX-51′s performance out of the 3400+ (with the major exception being memory performance). If you really don’t need the greater memory bandwidth but can’t do without topnotch performance, then I wholeheartedly recommend the 3400+ if you can afford it (priced at about $418.00 according to Pricegrabber).

If you’re like me, that $418 is a little (actually a lot) hard to swallow. At $279.99, the 3200+ is good investment if you just want to get your feet wet in the 64-bit revolution. The 3000+ can be had for $50-60 less even, but you only get 512KB of L2 cache.

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