Northwind GFD Rev2.0
Here's the Northwind GFD Rev2.0. Here are the mandatory
The new Northwind, Rev2, has made many improvements on the old design.
As you can see it is the smallest GFD of the group. It is also the first
GFD that I know of that does not require an external power supply.
However, Trinity Micro recommends that you have a 300 Watt power supply when
using Northwind 2. Unfortunately there are still two banks of 10 dip
switches each. Of these only 16 are used, and thankfully they are larger
than those on the original Northwind.
The design of the Northwind is very simple and contains a total of five
components. This is why it is able to be so small. Ditching the
power connector saves a lot of space. With no power wire the only thing
you have to worry about wearing out would be the dip switches, but that would be
highly unlikely for most users. It should be a set it and forget it kind
The Northwind Rev2 came with the usual instructions. None however are
provided on the web site. The MHz speeds supported are 300-1050, and the
voltages are 1.3 to 2.05 in .05 increments. A note of caution. Pay
close attention to the instructions as the top set of dip switches have the
on/off positions switched. This causes an effect where the settings mirror
themselves. Once again 16 separate switches must be configured for
use. It takes some time, but at least the switches are now larger than
with the first revision.
$50 dollars will get you a Northwind Rev2. That's a good price at only
$5 more than the rev1, especially when you consider USPS shipping is
included. Orders are available by phone only. It appears that no
overseas reseller arrangements have been made. Tech support is by phone or
e-mail. The warranty is lifetime against manufacturing defects.
Once again I easily achieved 750MHz at 1.6V. I was also able to get the
Windows 98 startup screen at 1.65V, but it would crash at that point.
Settings up to 1.8V did not help. At 750MHz I experienced no
difficulties. The Rev2 performed perfectly. Again when I
monitored core voltage it ranged from 1.62-1.63V.
The $50 price tag with shipping makes the Northwind GFD Rev2 quit a
value. It also has the special feature of not requiring external power,
which makes it stand out from the crowd. Remember however that Trinity
Micro recommends that you have at least a 300 Watt power supply when you use
Lastly we have the PowerChips PowerCharger. Here are the mandatory pics.
The PowerCharger is also the second UK made GFD. As you can see it is
the shortest of the bunch, and it is mouted with the dip switches facing away
from the fan/heatsink. All other vertical mounted cards face forward, so
be careful not to place it backwards when using it.
The instructions for the quite thorough for the PowerCharger. It also
came with pics of how to notch the Athlon cartridge, and a video on cd of the
process. It should be available for download from their site
The instructions for the Maximzer quickly got me on my way to overclocking.
Settings include MHz speeds of 500-1050 and voltage of 1.45 to 2.0. It
doesn't have the full range of settings, but chances are you will never use them
anyway. The web site also has the full settings for the device as well as
in depth product info.
At $65 the PowerCharger is a bit pricey, but that price does include free
world wide shipping. Orders can be placed online, by phone, fax, e-mail,
or mail. Support is available by e-mail. I could not find any
warranty info. If I can I will update the article.
750MHz was flawless at 1.6V. It again took 1.65V to get to the Windows
98 startup screen, but it would not get into windows, even at 1.8V at
800Mhz. Core voltage ranged between 1.62-1.63V.
At $65 the PowerCharger is the second most expensive GFD, although that does
include free worldwide shipping. It is a solid performer however and is
the shortest of the vertical mounting GFDs so if you don't have a lot of room to
work with you may want to give it a look.