Slotkets for Thunderbirds/Durons?

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The Register just reported this here.

Some had hoped the first generation of KT133 motherboards would effectively let you do this. One company, QDI, even made some promises to this effect and sent out emails to overclocking sites about their board, but seems to have fallen off the face of the earth since then.

Although some KT133 motherboard do not have any provision for changing the multiplier, others do, but don’t get too excited about that. For instance, Asus boards have always had multiplier jumpers, even on PIII boards where it doesn’t matter.

Both Tom’s Hardware and Anandtech were at Computex to look at these boards. Tom’s mentioned QDI and another (probably home-grown along the lines of what I wrote about here. Anandtech has said absolutely zilch about it.

If mobo manufacturers actually have this enabled, unless they are afraid of AMD’s reaction to this, it doesn’t make much sense to keep this quiet.

Unless AMD has made some last minute changes, changing the multiplier through a slotket doesn’t seem too terribly difficult to do – just a matter of sending a different signal across four pins, and that seems to be provided for in the AMD documentation (as noted in my aforementioned article). Perhaps a slotket introduces timing
problems; we’ll just have to see.

Two problems that won’t go away anytime soon in Thunderbird/Duron overclocking are power and heat. Power consumption at around 1Ghz is about 55W, a little less than “old” Athlon 1000s, but not much, and of course, pushing it past 1 GHz means more power.

This makes cooling a big problem going past 1 GHz, too. We’ll have water cooling available for our Thunderbird/Duron test bed for just that reason.

No matter what, we plan on having a lot of Thunderbird/Duron coverage and testing over the next few months, and we’ll keep you informed of the latest developments.

As we hit the dog days of (Northern Hemisphere) summer, we’re also going to step up coverage of reasonably priced, convenient and reliable alternative cooling methods.

For the rest of this year, whether it be Thunderbirds or Durons or these new Coppermines or Willamettes, we see a heat wall as we jump over the 1 GHz barrier, with no real signs of relief for close to a year. We think that’s going to be the big overclocking story, and we’ll be there.

It should be interesting. Stay tuned. 🙂

Email Ed


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