Do You Really Want To Bet On This Horse?

Is Picking The Lock Worth It?

There’s more than a handful trying to unlock this CPU. Some have succeeded, some have failed, but success or failure, all agree this is a PITA.

The two forums that seem to have the most and best activity on this subject are Icrontic Forums and AMDMB Forums.

The current buzz is that the reason why a lot of people end up being stuck at 11X is that by putting too much conductive ink in the pit, you’re shorting out on the copper mesh surrounding the pits.

Unless you simply like the challenge, stay away from this for at least the moment.

The most likely “simple” answer to this is going to be some form of trace tape, which a few companies are apparently already working on at the moment.

Unfortunately, that probably will mean paying $20 for a few strips.

Alternatively, at least at the moment, you can buy an unlocked MP for about $70 more.

How Much Are You Going To Get Out of the Thing, Anyway?

1700MHz +/-50 looks to be the typical range of overclocking with high-end air and no voltage modification.

Given that range, if that’s all you’re going to do, and you have systems you know can run at 150MHz FSB or better, you may want to forego multiplier adjustment all together and just go with FSB overclocking.

Does Your Motherboard Approve?

Initial indications are that if you haven’t bought a mobo recently, the one you thought was going to be Palomino compatible isn’t.

We’re not talking about “they haven’t come out with a new BIOS yet.” We’re talking more like they aren’t ever going to support XP on earlier versions of the mobo.

For instance, the KT7A? The one that was supposed to be ready for Palominos from the getgo, or so they said, or you thought they said? Uh, huh. You’re OK if you have PCB revision 1.3, but tough doodoo if you have PCB version 1.2 or earlier (and given that 1.3 has had a different BIOS than the earlier versions, Abit is likely not just being finicky about it).

Not exactly too sure where this hardware site got these charts from, but you can find Asus and MSI info here.

You absolutely should check your mobo maker’s website to see if your mobo supports Athlon XP/MP before buying one.

Now there might be some cases where mobos not officially supported may work, but if you have one of those, I wouldn’t buy it unless I was ready and able to buy a new mobo, too, if necessary.

The reason why there’s such a problem is that AMD had to make some revisions to Palominos to get it to work which the older mobos can’t handle.

So if you blame the mobo guys, they’ll just blame AMD and if you blame AMD, they’ll just tell you they didn’t make the mobo.

Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to us; AMD has a history of obsoleting mobos every few months.

AMD also plays cute with language. They talk about leaving socket A as the standard for a couple years to come. This gives people the impression that they can
buy a mobo now, and future processors will work with it. Ha! Sure, the Palomino still uses socket A; it just won’t work on your KT133.

We’ve had a history of grumbling a bit, and then swallowing it. We shouldn’t do that anymore.

In a few months, we’re going to have Thoroughbred, .13 micron, different voltage, PC2700 coming, too.

I think it total foolishness to assume anything about AMD and mobos from this point on.

If you have to have a mobo that also supports Thoroughbred in a few months, don’t buy a motherboard unless or until the mobo maker says in writing that it will support it.

If mobo makers or websites come out with new boards, and especially if they drop hints and suggestions that it may or should support Thoroughbred, but not that it does, we’re going to ask them (and have you ask, too) “Are you guaranteeing this will work with Thoroughbred? Guarantee as in if it doesn’t because AMD did something that you’ll give us a new mobo that does?”

If they won’t do that, we’ll make it a point to point out their answers or lack thereof.

It’s called being made accountable. It’s called being held to your word. Nothing wrong with not promising something you’re not sure you can keep, so long as the buyers know that, and you’re not marketing something you won’t stand behind.

Given AMD’s history, it would be crazy for mobo makers to rely on them not changing something. It’s just as crazy for you to rely on them without something official in writing, too.

If somebody does make official promises in writing, and then disavows them, maybe a couple class action suits will shake them of the habit.

It would be nice if others did this, too, but . . . .

This Is Not A Must Buy

I think you have to ask yourself, “Do I want to buy whatever is necessary and go through either the hassles or the additional expense to get a Palomino box working just to repeat the process again in four-five months for Thoroughbred?”

If the answer to that is “Yes,” then knock yourself out.

However, I think “No” is an OK answer, too. Frankly, if I were doing this solely for me, I’d be rather inclined to live with what I have, wait for Thoroughbred and go through one set of hassles and upgrades rather than two.

I think to do Thoroughbred right from an overclocker’s standpoint, you’re going to need a new mobo and memory at that time, too. I’m also figuring that I’ll have a lot more overclocking room with a .13 micron CPU.

Of course, the danger to that approach is what we just went through with Palomino, something that arrived nine months after it was initially promised. Of course, if that happens again, Intel will wipe the floor with AMD, so I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of that.

Email Ed

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