Today AMD launches its latest Athlon XP processor. The 2200+ is based on a 0.13-micron design and is the fastest desktop processor the company has launched so far.

The waferthin 0.13-micron design used to produce Athlon XP chips has several benefits over AMD's earlier 0.18-micron design. It allows the production of smaller chips that consume less power. The chip's die can also be shrunk, allowing AMD to produce more chips on each wafer and resulting in lower unit costs.

The 0.13-micron processor design will gradually replace the existing 0.18-micron core in processors running at lower clock speeds as existing stocks of those chips are sold. "We don't want to cannibalise our Palomino business," an AMD source said.

To see if the 2200+ really can deliver, PC Advisor tested several PCs using this processor to see how it performed in our WorldBench tests. The 2200+ has a clock speed of 1.8GHz. Though this ought to translate into a system that runs a touch faster than the 2100+, which sports a 1.733GHz processor, it didn't seem to boost performance at all.

PC Advisor tests gave the 2200+ PC a score in the low 120s. This is no better than we'd expect from even an Athlon XP 2000+. But it still comes in way ahead of rival Intel's Pentium 4, both in terms of price and performance. AMD's new chip also appears to have improved video editing support, an area where the Athlon had appeared to trail the P4.

For more detail of our reviewed systems click here.