Believe it or not, but this is my first AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" experience thus also my first AMD Athlon overclocking experience. I always knew that overclocking the Athlon was much easier (simple, faster and less conflictive) then any other Intel chip, but I didn't realise just how easy it was. Our Athlon Tbird review unit had it's casing all ready "pre-cracked" so it made removing the casing, to allow us to plug the Free Speed Pro 2 GFD onto the Tbird's golden fingers very simple, more info on how to remove the case and overclocking the Athlon is HERE. We basically managed to get our Tbird 700MHz running @ 950MHz with 1.85v (default voltage: 1.65) running in a reasonable stable environment. We did, however, experience a couple crashes when loading various programs. I'm pretty sure this was due to the FIC SD11 motherboard that only supports AGP 1x on GeForce and GeForce 2 cards, keep in mind that the FIC SD11 can do AGP2x on any other graphics card apart from the GeForce series. Since we were experience problems we clocked the Tbird down to 850MHz running @ 1.75v with no stability problems. Maybe if we had a decent ASUS K7M or K7V we would be able to get some higher clock speeds but for now we'll just have to cope with using a Northbridge Irongate chipset. Doh!
As I said above, "I always knew that overclocking the Athlon was much easier (simple, faster and less conflicts) then any other Intel chip but I didn't realise just how easy it was" for this we can thank AMD for their EV6 200MHz DDR bus architect, which, unlike i440BX chipsets which when you change the FSB (or BUS) of a Intel chip, it also changes the speed of the RAM, AGP and PCI which makes it harder to diagnose what device is causing the conflict or crash. AMD's EV6 BUS does NOT touch the RAM, AGP or PCI which makes the job of finding out what part is causing the conflict much easier, since it could only be one thing; the CPU. How sweet is this?
Picture above shows the Ninjamicros Free Speed Pro v2 installed on Athlon Golden Fingers...
This is where I feel AMD strive so far infront of Intel. AMD look after us overclockers and are rewarded with more sales compared to Intel in the various overclocking channels of the tech community.
Considering this Athlon "Thunderbird" has a 700MHz core we were happy that it could reach 950MHz @ 1.85v with active air cooling. Just imagine life without GFD's, how would we be? Maybe with some water action we could get the Tbird to post at a gig or more who knows... The Free Speed Pro v2 used in this review can be brought from PC INDEX Australia. we'll have a review up of this decent GFD soon enough...
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