In at least some instances, XP processors are being shipped out with the bottom L1 contacts burned. You can go to a discussion of this with links to
It is by no means clear or certain if this was done deliberately by AMD, or if it’s just a matter of a few processors being a bit misaligned.
In the abovementioned link, John Carcich, who has done much of the pioneering work in unlocking AMD bridges, described a workaround.
However, this is a situation where a couple pictures speak more than a thousand words.
Up to now, what you had to do with an XP is fill in the L1 trenches with something nonconductive like epoxy, then make the following conductive connections:
Relatively straightforward, though it is keeping at least a large minority of overclocking to FSB overclocking of XPs.
After looking at the instructions, here is what I think would be required of the “new” XPs. This would also include filling in any “trenches” found lying between the L3, L4 and L10 bridges.
Obviously a great deal more difficult, especially connecting those third and fourth L1 bridges without crossing or touching anything else. Bravado notwithstanding, this probably would keep most overclockers from unlocking XPs.
Again, it’s not at all clear whether this is something deliberate or not, and other early reports seem to indicate at the moment that this burning pattern is not widespread among new shipments.
If you’re an individual or retailer, and have one or more of these things, please email me with the codes on the CPU, especially the first two lines.
Even if it’s a false alarm per se, there’s always the possibility that this might be a “trial run” for Thoroughbreds.
For practical purposes, it had seemed pretty likely that FSB overclocking was going to be the primary approach to AMD chips in 2002 anyway, so even if worst comes to worst, that option will remain available, though that may require its own futzing around or waiting for faster RAM.