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AMD Sempron 3100+ Processor
By CPU-zilla
Category : CPU
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 28th July, 2004


The Different AMD Sempron Flavors

Although the AMD Sempron processor is based on the Athlon 64 architecture, AMD has actually disabled its 64-bit processing capabilities. Those who had hoped to get a budget 64-bit capable processor would be disappointed about this. However, one should know that the Sempron is never built for superb performance and it will not have the horsepower to give you good 64-bit computing capabilities. Its smaller 256KB Level 2 cache may limit its capabilities though it's actually now four times larger than the older Duron processor. Thus, one can expect this value processor to have some pretty good performance as it's on-par with the previous generations of 'Thunderbird', 'Palomino' and 'Thoroughbred' cores - at least with its L2 cache.

The AMD Sempron processor will come in two different flavors, one for Socket-754 motherboards and a couple for Socket-A motherboards. This means that Socket-754 is not dead and will actually have an additional processor added to the family. Socket-A will get a new lease of life and this is rather good news for current users of Socket-A motherboards. The table below is a full list of AMD Sempron processors available at launch.

Comparison of Various Desktop AMD Sempron Processors
Model Number Frequency Multiplier Front Side Bus Socket Form Factor L2 Cache
3100+ 1.8GHz 9x - Socket-754 256KB
2800+ 2.0GHz 12x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
2600+ 1.833GHz 11x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
2500+ 1.75GHz 10.5x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
2400+ 1.667GHz 10x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
2300+ * 1.583GHz 9.5x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
2200+ * 1.5GHz 9x 333MHz Socket-A 256KB
* intended for emerging markets only and not for global availability.

The Socket-A parts are actually based on the slower 333MHz FSB and this means that older chipsets, such as VIA's KT333, would be able to support the new AMD Sempron. We think this is extremely good news for upgraders and we're actually quite excited at the prospects of reviving some of our older systems with the AMD Sempron. Though we're not expecting fantastic performance, they can still serve as pretty decent systems for general purpose computing, perhaps with some moderate gaming using a mid-range graphics card.

There are a total of six AMD Sempron processors introduced for the Socket-A platform. However, two of the lower speed versions would be set aside for emerging markets and they are probably not available globally. If you are thinking of getting a low speed part for overclocking, then you should target the 2400+ processor. If you push the front side bus speed to 200MHz (easily achievable with an nForce2 Ultra 400 motherboard), you can hit a very comfortable clock speed at 2GHz - which is the intended clock speed for 2800+. Suppose we assume all AMD Sempron processors to have exceptional yield, 2400+ parts would just be as good as 2800+ and we don't think we need to describe the wonders you can do in the overclocking department. Talk about good cost savings here. Perhaps Sempron was meant to suggest "always overclockable"?

On the mobile side, AMD will launch the Sempron processors for notebooks. Higher power consumption processors will be set aside for full-featured notebooks while two low power processors (which means more costly) will be available for thin and light notebooks. Here's a comparison chart of various Mobile Sempron processors :-

Comparison of Various Mobile AMD Sempron Processors
Model Number Frequency Multiplier Socket Form Factor L2 Cache Thermal Design Power
3000+ 1.8GHz 9x 754-pin lidless µPGA 128KB 62W
2800+ 1.6GHz 8x 754-pin lidless µPGA 256KB 62W
2800+ * 1.6GHz 8x 754-pin lidless µPGA 256KB 25W
2600+ 1.6GHz 8x 754-pin lidless µPGA 128KB 62W
2600+ * 1.6GHz 8x 754-pin lidless µPGA 128KB 25W
* Low power processor parts for thin and light notebooks.


The Mobile AMD Sempron processor with its 754-pin lidless µPGA packaging.

As you can see above, not all Mobile Sempron processors will have the same amount of Level 2 cache. If you're getting a notebook, keep the above chart in mind if the L2 cache size is of an important consideration for you. However, unlike its desktop counterpart, the Mobile Sempron processor will come with the NX Bit (No eXecute Bit) feature which provides enhanced virus protection in Windows XP Service Pack 2. This feature has been touted to be an important processor enhancement which Intel has yet to offer in any of their desktop or mobile processor parts.

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