AMD 760

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I’ve looked at the early-bird reviews so you don’t have to.

Strictly from an overclocker’s standpoint, two get a good grade, the Tech-Report and the Firing Squad reviews.

We found out the following from the first article:

1) The 133Mhz/266Mhz chips are current TBirds, not Palominos. Same CPUID as the ones you can buy today.

2) The L1 bridges remain intact on these chips, and you can do the pencil trick, and it will work when you plug it into a KT133 board.

3) That won’t work on the AMD reference boards tested because they have no multiplier adjustment. It remains to be seen if actual motherboards will incorporate this.

Somewhat later, Firing Squad came up with its review, and answered the last remaining question: Could you take current AMD chips (capable of the speed, of course) and run them at 266Mhz?

They didn’t have a TBird with the range, but they did have a Duron, and they tried, and it worked!!

Firing Squad also tossed in another little bonus. They showed a picture of an “old” 1.2Ghz TBird with a 100Mhz/200Mhz and a “new” 1.2Ghz TBird with a 133Mhz/266Mhz FSB.

“Old” Athlon serial numbers:

A1200AMT3B
AVFA0036CPBW
RFBE . . .

“New” Athlon serial numbers:

A1200AMT3C
AVFA0036CPBW
RFBE . . .

Besides the change in FSB, absolutely the same codes. That tells me there’s no functional difference between the two types, it’s just like the Intel “E” and “EB” chips.

What All This Means

On the whole, that’s pretty good news. If you absolutely have to buy a computer system soon, and can’t wait until early next year; you should be able to buy at least a current Duron with a 760 motherboard/DDR memory, and have it work. Obviously would be
better if real 760 boards have a multiplier adjustment, but at least you can buy a DDR system and hang on to the memory for any subsequent upgrade.

Getting TBirds to work will be trickier. If your current TBird won’t overclock 33% now, it’s probably not going to in a 760 system, either. You’ll probably be able to run it at 200Mhz. Don’t assume you can run it at something inbetween 200-266Mhz; you’re likely to run into PCI overclocking problems.

If I had to go gunning for a high-speed overclocking TBird machine as soon as one of these boards become available; I’m looking for a 900-1Ghz Dresden processor marked with those symbols I mentioned above.

If the real 760 boards have a multiplier adjustment, too, I just push the FSB to 133/266, and adjust the multiplier to the highest stable level. If they don’t, then it’s like overclocking an Intel processor; I pick my processor with a lot of care, and I look for a mobo that supports 124/4 PCI speed. I shoot for 1.2-1.3Ghz.

But I don’t want to do that because I want to see what a Palomino can do.

What We Don’t Know Yet

We don’t know if Palomino is going to be as overclocking friendly as things look to be now. If they come out with 100/200 Palominos, and you can change both multiplier and FSB, then it’s wide open; you’ll have complete flexibility.

If Palomino doesn’t come in a 100/200 flavor, but you can change the multiplier, that should still be OK; pretty much what we have now.

If Palomino only comes in a 133/266 flavor, and none of the DDR boards coming out over the next few months let you change the multiplier, then we have problems, and our fallback is doing what I described just above.

Ideally, we want to be able to get a 1.5Ghz or better overclocked machine with relative ease sometime in the first three months of next year. That’s the goal.

Email Ed


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