Overclocking the Athlon 64 X2 4800+
Before we got down to the business of benchmarking the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, we fired up the latest version of CPU-Z to take see if we could find any interesting information. If you take a look at the screenshots above, you'll see that there we no surprises. The Athlon 64 X2 4800+ was clocked at a default speed of 2.4GHz, with support for MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and x86-64 instructions. One thing of notable importance on the processor info tab was that the "Processor Selection" drop-down menu was available. On single-core processors, this is not the case.
The cache information page didn't reveal any surprises, other than the fact that it reported the information for only one of the Athlon 64 X2 4800+'s cores. The second core has exactly the same specifications, but the total amount of on-die cache is not reported as a single "grand total" that's twice as large as a similar single-core processor.
We also spent some time overclocking the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, and had some interesting results. Initially we weren't too enthused because we found that the beta-BIOS installed on our test-bed did not have the option available to alter the processor's core voltage. We did have all of the other common overclocking related options available though, so we begun by lowering the multiplier of the HyperTransport link to 3X, from 5X, raised the memory's supply voltage to 2.9v, and configured the memory to run at 333MHz instead of 400MHz. We then raised the HT clock speed until our test system was no longer stable. In the end, we were able to hit an impressive 2.7GHz (12x225MHz), with less than 1.4v being supplied to the CPU. The overclockability of the Venice core seems to have carried over to the Toledo core used in the Athlon 64 X2. Hitting 2.7GHz with a dual-core Athlon 64 processor at its stock voltage, using nothing more than a high-quality air cooler is excellent. Unfortunately, Asus' PC Probe software wouldn't function on our test bed, so we don't have any "real-time" temperatures to report for you here, but while in the BIOS, the system reported a core temperature of about 30oC at idle. After immediately re-starting the system and entering the BIOS after a few hours of benchmarking, the system never reported a core temperature higher than 46oC.