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The Slot-A, and the SocketA,
version of the AMD Athlon or Duron, are VERY good overclockable.
I got my AMD Athlon 500 running at 700 Mhz and my AMD
Duron 600 running at ... 900 Mhz !! That is pretty cool for
a sub $150 CPU !
Now I know, by the time you read
this, it's old news,...
For the Slot-A AMD Athlon overclocking we used a so called "Gold-Finger"
device. A little piece of PCB hooked up to the (hidden) gold-finger
connector of the AMD Athlon. Which works great.
Overclocking the SocketA
AMD Athlon or Duron does not require a "Gold-Finger"-device.
The trick is cheaper but definitly harder to execute. Or better:
it's a more precise excersise.
may harm your CPU, hardware and even wreck the data stored on your
harddrive, so please read the disclaimer!
The start ...
This project I started out with reading some usefull
overclocking tips at several overclocking-webpages like:
Athlon: using Afterburner
I first started by ordering the OutsideLoop
Afterburner. Alternatives are: FreeSpeed
These devices are often called "Gold-Finger"-devices, which
make overklokken very easy.
Next step was installing proper temperature monitoring
The software that came with the Asus
K7M mainboard was sufficient, but later I started playing with the
nicer MB Monitor
(it supports a lot of mainboards, check it out !).
The Afterburner came with simple instructions on how to take the Athlon
a part (bey bey waranty)... Just some things they migth have mentioned:
The AMD Athlon 500 Mhz
default runs at 1.60 Volts...
Next step: mount the Afterburner on the Athlon and put the Athlon back
in it's mainboard slot. The first thing I tried was running at 500 Mhz
with a VCore of 1.60 Volts.
These are the settings: FREQ = 4 (both dials) VCORE = 5
Since this worked perfectly, time to go further: FREQ = 7 (both dials)
VCORE = 7 (650 Mhz)
I first tried VCORE = 6 (1.65 Volts) but this did not work at all... a
1.70 Volts VCore did the job perfectly,...
My next step was going for 700 Mhz: FREQ = 8 (both dials) and VCORE =
8 (since VCORE = 7 did not boot at all), here are the results (after running
the Unreal Tournament Intro for 4 hours):
Clock: 700 Mhz
Temperatur: 38 degrees Celcius (open tower) and 45 degrees Celcius (tower
This is what it looks like:
Here you have a look into my PC,...
I placed an additional fan to suck out the hot air...
I figured the mainboard temperature
sensor would not be acurate enough so I placed a heat sensor on the CPU
for some serious temperature indication (which was actually about 8 degrees
higher than the mainboard sensor indicated) .
Putting the cover back on my PC did
instantly increase the tempearture 7 degrees. This was a good indication
that I can tune the airflow in the PC ....
On should be able to go further, but the cache speed
might need altering (succesfull clocking to 750 Mhz have been reported
without altering the cache speed. Default cache speed is 1/2 (at 700 Mhz
I used 1/2 too). Most 800 Mhz overclocking require a cache speed 1/3.
For benchmarking I used SiSoft
Sandra and 3DMark2000.
Since I have 2 computers, I grabbed the oportunity to compare both systems.
Initial I had a Intel Pentium
III 450Mhz with a Creative
Labs Annihilator (Geforce)
which I overclocked (FSB = 105Mhz) to 500 Mhz. The other computer has
an AMD Athlon 500 with
a Voodoo3-3000, running
at 700 Mhz using the OutsideLoop
I tested both machines using the Geforce and the Voodoo 3D-cards, and
these where the results:
The Geforce definitly increases 3D performance and seems
slightly depended on the type of CPU and CPU-Speed. The same goes for
the Voodoo3-3000 card.
(to be done as soon as I get faster dimms) will be increasing the FSB
starting with 105. I tried it already with my current dimms, but somehow
the system gets unstable....