Conclusion: We know what you’re probably thinking, “why the lower score for the 333MHz Athlon XP 2600+ (in comparison to the 266MHz CPU) if it performs faster and costs the same?” The answer is simple – the price of the processor hasn’t changed in nearly three months! When the chip was originally launched, Intel’s 2.53GHz Pentium 4 was priced at over $600, now that chip is officially priced at $243!
Summary: I'd better plant a stake in the ground here and say that we were able to overclock the 2600+ from its stock 2.13GHz speed to 2.33GHz without too much drama. (I wish I'd had time to benchmark it overclocked, but I just haven't yet.) AMD has given itself some headroom on the Thoroughbred core, and that's put the Athlon XP back into the game. If the rumors of a coming move to a 333MHz bus are true, Intel may have a fight on its hands again.
Excerpt: This all changed this year as Intel’s Pentium 4 processors based on the Northwood core and an upgrade cache to 512 Kb finally was able to topple the AMD Athlon processor as the king of the benchmarks. Intel was quickly releasing faster and faster processors; now currently up to 2.53 GHz in speed. The fastest Athlon running a 1.8 GHz was a close competitor, but was falling behind quicker than most would have thought possible.
Conclusion: AMD has yet another hit on their hands with the Athlon XP 2600+. We know it sounds very repetitive in comparison to our other CPU reviews, but it's the truth. While we'd love to see the Athlon XP running on a faster bus with 512K L2 cache, the chip we have today is more than capable of keeping up with, if not surpassing, the latest and greatest from Intel. What makes this even more impressive is the Athlon XP 2600+'s selling price of $297.
Conclusion: The new Athlon XP 2600+ is indeed a powerful achievement by AMD. The Athlon XP now scorches past the 2GHz mark with their new 0.13µm Thoroughbred core and if AMD continues to refine their manufacturing process, they might still be able to make a few more leaps in its frequency to match their competitor. Released today, the Athlon XP 2600+ processor is priced at US$297 in 1,000-unit quantities.