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AMD Athlon 800Mhz Processor Review

AMD Athlon 800Mhz Processor Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The AMD Socket A Athlon CPU's is the PIII alternative for computer users demanding high-end performance, but without the high price tag that is usually attached to it.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Dec 15 2000   Bao Ly  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Athlon 800MHz

Synthetic Benchmark Scores

There is not much for me to talk about, SiSoft Sandra is just synthetic benchmark, however there is still some value in it. In that if you are able to achieve high scores, then your real world performance should be reciprocal (to a certain extent of course). Well time for a more real and tangible benchmark, Quake III:

Quake III Demo 1:

Settings: Using my .cfg, 32Bit colour, detail slider on full, gibs on, marks off, coloured lighting off, vertex lighting.

Athlon 800Mhz / Geforce2 235Mhz / 365Mhz:

800x600 = 160FPS

1024x768 = 140FPS

These are some really fine scores indeed, anything over 120FPS is goal for the more "serious" Quaker. And the higher your demo 1 scores are, the higher your "worst case scenario" fps will be. Just because you can get over 120FPS in a time demo, it doesn't mean that it is always above 120FPS, there are frames that whizzed by at over 300FPS factored in with the frames that dipped well below 120FPS too.

Overclocking:

Let's be honest, we all want more than what we paid for. Overclocking is the most common method of getting more for your hardware dollars. Sure 800Mhz is darn fast, but what if it was able to do 1Ghz or more? Coincidentally, overclocking can save you some money too!

Chip selection can help the overclocking effort, with the Socket A Athlons, there are two distinct types out there right now. The 'green' core ones that are based from .18mi aluminum technology, and are produced in the Austin, TX fab. And the preferred ones are the 'blue' cores, made from .18mi copper technology and are produced in the Dresden fab in Germany. Naturally I picked out a blue one because copper interconnects should allow for a higher overclock versus the green ones. Also the fact that all 1Ghz or faster Athlons are the blue ones convinced me to get a blue one.

Modus Operandi:

The method to overclock is the same as the Duron that I reviewed here. Overclocking can be done by simply raising the FrontSide Bus frequency within the SoftMenu III option in the bios, however raising the FSB on an Athlon motherboard will not yield the "super high" overclock that I wanted (1Ghz range). The motherboard chipset is just not very stable at FSB's above 110Mhz (220).

Therefore, the clock multiplier will have to be raised, unfortunately, the L1 bridges on the CPU have been cut by AMD. The cut bridges can be reconnected with a simple pencil. The pencil trick is reasonably simple, however the bridges are tiny, and great care must be taken whence connecting them with the pencil lead. I suggest using a very fine pencil tip, or a .5mm mechanical pencil. Just pencil the bridges back and forth a few times, and that should provide enough conductivity to unlock the CPU. After successfully connecting the L1 bridges, the clock multipliers can now be accessed and modified within the BIOS (or jumpers if the bios on your motherboard does not support clock multiplier adjustments.)

I went straight for 1Ghz by setting the clock multiplier to 10X in the bios, and raised the CPU voltage to 1.85V. Raising the voltage will raise the operating temperature of the CPU, and will more than likely shorten the life span of the CPU. However the heat problem is not such a big issue, because I am using one of the best heatsinks available for the Athlon/Duron, that is the Global Win FOP32.

I saved and exited, booted into Windows'98 SE, ran SiSoft, and played Quake III for a few hours (as well as other things). And I determined this CPU to be stable at 1Ghz.

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Contents of Article: AMD Athlon 800MHz
 Pg 1.  AMD Athlon 800Mhz Processor Review
 Pg 2.  SiSoft Sandra @ 800Mhz:
 Pg 3.  — Synthetic Benchmark Scores
 Pg 4.  SiSoft Sandra @ 1000Mhz:
 Pg 5.  Quake III Benchmarks
 Pg 6.  Conclusions and final results

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