Things haven’t been so peachy for AMD as of late; Hammer was officially moved back to next year, the 0.13-micron Thoroughbred-A core didn’t scale as well initially as AMD had hoped and facing increasing pressure from Intel, AMD was forced to “paper launch” (launch without beginning volume shipments) the Athlon XP 2600+ and 2400+ in August.
Compare this to the launch of the Athlon XP and its clock bumped successors and you’ll see that things aren’t as bright for AMD as they once were. This is partially because Intel has finally made the Pentium 4 a worthy competitor, with the Northwood core scaling extremely well. Another contributor to AMD’s recent tough times is the strong internal focus on Hammer, but with the CPU around 4 – 6 months away it is impossible to ignore the Athlon XP.
Even though the Athlon XP 2400+ and 2600+ (launched on August 21st) are just now appearing in retail channels, AMD is going ahead with the announcement of their Athlon XP 2700+ and 2800+ processors. The processors won’t be widely available for another couple of months, clearly not something to get excited about.
As you’ll probably hear all over the web, there’s nothing but displeasure from the community about AMD’s strategy behind paper launching the Athlon XP. Coming from the company that stuck it to Intel when they were paper launching Pentium IIIs, it’s pretty disappointing to see the exact opposite happening here today.
With that said, today we’re here to bring you a performance evaluation of the paper-launched Athlon XP 2800+ running on a chipset that was launched 3 months ago and still isn’t available in retail. Let’s just say this trend isn’t something we’re too happy about, and neither should you.