iXBT-Labs heeft een review gemaakt van de AMD Thunderbird. Dit is de snelste x86 processor op het moment verkrijgbaar. Het geteste exemplaar is een Thunderbird 800. Hij moest het in de tests opnemen tegen een Athlon 800 en een Pentium III 800EB. Over de uitkomst kunnen we kort zijn, op 1 test na was de Thunderbird overal het snelst. Overklokken wilde echter niet lukken omdat er gelijk stabiliteits problemen optraden met de EV6 bus. Hier volgt de conclusie:
Unfortunately, we have to state that Thunderbird is nothing special in terms of the core architecture, as well as in terms of marketing and performance. Although AMD didn't aim at conquering Olympus with its new CPU: it was just a logical continuation of the Athlon family.
Thunderbird doesn't feature any innovations. AMD engineers simply changed the size, the location and the frequency of the L2 cache. That's why we saw very insignificant performance growth (or even none) compared to the old Athlon. As we have already said the processor architecture remained unchanged, even the L2 cache bus wasn't enhanced, which finally told on the performance and prevented L2 cache from showing its best.
As far as AMD's future plans are concerned, they aren't going to modify this bus up to the launching of Mustang, which will feature large on-die L2 cache. So, the only thing, which may help Athlon systems to perform better in the near future, is the use of DDR SDRAM memory, which seems to be not so far away already. The launching of the first Athlon chipset supporting DDR SDRAM, AMD 760, is planned for autumn. Well, can't wait to see it!
And in the meanwhile the question about Pentium III vs Athlon will still remain unanswered and only the personal likes and dislikes will influence the users' choice.