But enough talk; let’s have a look at the numbers, since this is what really counts when it comes to processors. Looking at general Windows performance, the Sempron 3100+ scored a pretty impressive 146 in SYSmark 2004, this is two points faster than the score we got from a 3000+ Athlon 64 system with similar specifications and 25 points faster than the Sempron 2800+.
Since the Sempron 2800+ was tested with the same amount of memory and the same graphics card and hard drive, we also sourced an nForce 3 motherboard so that the chipsets were also from the same manufacturer. Looking at the PCMark 2004 scores, the one that stands out is the memory performance, which is over 800 points higher on the Sempron 3100+ than the 2800+. The other scores are less impressive and the CPU score wasn’t quite as impressive as I’d expected.
The 3D scores are up, but most of these are dependant on the graphics card rather than the CPU, so I didn’t expect a huge jump here. Nonetheless it does show that the Sempron 3100+ is a better choice for the casual gamer than the 2800+.
It is not easy to sum up the Sempron 3100+ as it is a decent enough CPU and since we have not yet seen what Intel has on offer with its latest Celeron processors, it’s hard to make any kind of comparative judgement. I would however go as far as to say that the Sempron 3100+ is one of the best budget processors to have hit the market.
There are issues, such as the choice of motherboard platform, lower bus speeds and lack of 64bit support, but this is not unexpected as AMD will want there to be a strong enough argument for the more expensive Athlon 64 chips. As long as you’re aware of these limitations the Sempron is a good choice if you don’t need top notch performance.
Oh, that reminds me, I almost forgot to mention the price, which is more than the 2800+ but it is still well under the £100 mark – £86.99, that’ll do nicely.
The Sempron 3100+ is a good alternative for anyone looking for an affordable PC. It may lack some of the Athlon 64’s high-end features, but for a basic PC, the Sempron 3100+ fits the bill perfectly.