We are just beginning to see a couple cB0 steppings show up. One of you found a 600E. Another reported results of a SL3XK on our database. A third posted results in alt.comp.hardware.overclocking for an SL44Y found in Hong Kong.
The good news is that these chips are running faster than than their cA2 ancestors. The 650E reported on the database was stable at 890 with just the Intel heatsink/fan. The 600E found in Hong Kong (the post is entitled “New stepping P3-600E, SL44Y” by email@example.com hit 900Mhz at 1.65V with Intel heatsink/fan.
The bad news is that I’ve only heard about three of them so far, and at least one dealer has salesmen telling people they have them when they don’t. You can read about that experience in the post entitled “New stepping Coppermine (not!!!)” by Shawn Mann (though less than Christian sentiments are expressed in the piece. :))
The week numbers we have pinned down so far are week 12 and 15. However, from the mail I get, there are still plenty of Coppermines out for sale that were made in 1999.
It is still a time to be extremely wary and cautious. If you want a 650E or better, make absolutely sure you are getting a cB0 stepping. Unless you have someone literally reading the codes to you off a box or chip, have the reseller confirm in writing exactly what the chip is and agree that you can return it without penalty if it is not exactly what they said it was. If they won’t do that, don’t buy from them.
If you think that’s paranoid, take a long look at what Mr. Mann wrote. The reseller promised him a cB0 stepping, then didn’t deliver. What they apparently do when someone complains is send a note saying “We can’t guarantee the SL of any new CPU.” Since they don’t apparently tell their salesmen that, don’t buy from them.
I realize it’s a hassle and headache, but how much of a hassle and headache is it to pay more for a CPU that doesn’t overclock anymore than the cheaper ones?
If you don’t do it (for at least a while, anyway), odds are you won’t have a chip that will overclock to 133Mhz using normal cooling, never mind beyond.
Any cB0 stepping will have either a SL3X? or SL4?? sspec. If it doesn’t say that, you’re not getting one. The Sspec is definitely on the chip, and in boxed sets, the last five digits of the product code will have the Sspec.
Be careful out there.