The Socket A Overclocking Device or SAOCD as we called it was a design idea from TweakTown. After seeing the details of how AMD left the extra pins on the AMD Athlon CPU which I found out from Tom's Hardware Guide, we at TweakTown started to put together our plans for a Socket A Overclocking Device. We thought we were the only persons creating a SAOCD, apparently not. Here is a picture of an actual SAOCD in full production which has been designed by a company in Taiwan...
Picture copyright Akiba
Our first step involved getting our hands on a Socket A motherboard, Socket A CPU and some spare parts. After accidentally destroying a Socket A motherboard (I won't say which one) I found the main component I needed, the Socket A connector. I removed this very carefully from the dead motherboard, this provided the connector I needed to connect the CPU up to the overclocking device itself. After this was accomplished, I went down to the local Dick Smiths store to purchase a small breadboard, resistors and wiring for the actual device and 462 pins for the connector for the motherboard. After all the components were purchased it was time to study the information gathered from all the major hardware sites that I had come across with information about the pin layouts, more specifically, the ones that controlled FID signals.
After finding the information needed on Tom's Hardware Guide, I was able to start the actual process of construction. Due to my unsteady hand with a soldering iron, I found I needed some help. I enlisted the help of a good friend named Damien Taylor, a very well skilled electrician. With his help we were able to get the first prototype working and overclocking the multiplier of an AMD Athlon 700MHz processor with an MSI K7T Pro motherboard and it overclocked to 850Mhz which was the limit of the CPU core.
The basic diagram below shows the original SAOCD top and side views. We aren't going to show the actual PCB layout and detailed information as we do not wish to upset other companies who may be working on or already producing a similar SAOCD as these technical drawings could make it a lot harder for them to sell their devices.
Click for bigger diagram.
From the drawings above you can see our original design, this first prototype performed rather well. The only problem was having the dip switches so close to the Socket A meaning oversized coolers that stick out at the sides would have a bit of a problem with over lapping over the dip switches. After going back and looking at the design, we made some important changes. First off, we changed over from using dip switches to using low profile pins and a low profile ribbon cable connection. This came in very handy as it meant large oversized coolers fit on without a hitch, we then moved the dip switches inside the case near the HDD, after a bit more thinking we added a thermal header and thermal probe. This was designed with a loop back cable to connect to motherboards with the 2-pin thermal monitoring device like on MSI and ASUS motherboards. After even more thinking, we moved the dips switches into a Baybus with a cover on them to prevent them from being bumped, that way you could overclock the CPU without having to open the case again. In the basic diagram below, you can see here the changed to the SAOCD.
Click for bigger diagram.
The reason that we did not go ahead with this design was two reasons.
1) The company that was originally going to manufacture and buy the patent pulled out at the last minute and at this stage, TweakTown isn't big enough to support a production lab.
2) At the time of completion all the major motherboard names had already implemented this very feature onto their motherboards making this device rather obsolete before it even began full production and resale.
We hope you enjoyed this quick insight to what we had planned for the SAOCD. It is worth mentioning that this article was designed to be basic as we didn't want to reveal information which took us quite a while to learn.
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