It’s been nearly a year since AMD moved their flagship CPU’s away from socket A and on to the Athlon 64 architecture, however in this time the Socket A chips have continued to sell well for consumers looking for a great performing CPU at bargain prices. For this reason AMD are re-aligning their low end products and with the phasing out of the Duron and the AthonXP they have introduced a new budget processor, the Sempron.

The Sempron is basically an AthlonXP “Thoroughbred” chip re-badged, this means that it has slightly lower performance than the Athlon XP Barton (Caused mainly by the lesser cache on the Sempron - 256k level 2 cache vs. 512k on the Barton). The model numbers also vary slightly from the Thoroughbred cores of old. AMD have based their Sempron model numbers on the performance of the chip in several benchmarks when compared to other Sempron processors. These benchmarks include Sysmark 2004 and Content Creation Winstone.

The Sempron comes in 3 varieties, on the desktop there are Socket A and Socket 754 models. On the Mobile side there are Sempron’s based on Socket 754. Our Sempron review sample is a Socket A 2800+ clocked at 2Ghz where as a Thoroughbred Athlon XP was 2800+ clocked at 2.2ghz. The Sempron FSB is running at 166MHz (333 MHz effective) as the Thoroughbred also did and really, that’s all you need to know about the CPU.


The Thoroughbred was by no means a bad chip and really – in its time it was the top of the range AthlonXP so for the price conscious user this could prove to be their ideal chip. AMD are marketing the chip for general desktop usage rather than performance computing however we are going to look at performance on a wide range of application types and see how it compares to its direct competitor – the 2.8 GHz Celeron D.

Sempron Quick Facts:
AMD Sempron™ Processors 2400+, 2500+, 2600+, and 2800+

Manufactured: Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany
Process Technology: 130 nanometer technology
Packaging: Socket A:2400+, 2500+, 2600+, and 2800+
Types of Memory: PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 DDR unbuffered memory
FSB: 333
Cache Sizes: 256K (exclusive) L2 cache; 128KB L1 cache
Voltage & Heat Dissipation: 62W
Die Size: 84 mm2
Transistors: approximately 37.5 million
Frequency: 2800+ 2.0GHz, 2600+ 1.833 GHz, 2500+ 1.750 GHz, 2400+ 1.667 GHz



Next: Testing