AMD's Athlon 64 3800+ "Venice" processor

Better living through canal systems

NOW THAT THE INITIAL WAVE of dual-core CPU previews is over, we have some time to focus on a new processor that you can actually purchase today. I'm talking, of course, about the new revision E versions of the Athlon 64, and more specifically about the new core code-named "Venice" that has been (ahem) making waves of late. The Venice core brings with it a number of enhancements—including SSE3 support, a revised memory controller, and a clear, cream-like substance—in order to achieve even better clock-for-clock performance than previous versions of the Athlon 64. Also, through a magical amalgamation of techie terms like "90nm SOI" and "strained silicon," the Venice core delivers one especially elusive quality: heart-stopping overclocking potential.

We have on the bench the 3800+ model of the Venice Athlon 64, and we've compared it against everything from its direct predecessor, the Athlon 64 "Newcastle" 3800+, to the highfalutin' new dual-core processors from Intel and AMD. We've also attempted to overclock the thing into oblivion. Hop into our gondola and come take a brief tour of Venice with us.

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