Unlocking & Overclocking The AMD Slot A Thunderbird

Unlocking & Overclocking The AMD Slot A Thunderbird - Page 3

Unlocking & Overclocking The AMD Slot A Thunderbird
Straddling the fence between the old and the new

July 4, 2000 - By Dave Altavilla

HotHardware's T-Bird Test System
A little un-orthodox

System 1:
Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS,  Slot A Thunderbird Athlon 700 (provided by Azzo Computer), Gigabyte GA-7VX Motherboard (full review soon), 128MB of PC133 SDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Elsa Gladiac, Kenwood 72X CDROM, Win 98SE,
NVidia 5.30 Drivers, DirectX 7.0a
System 2:
Full Tower Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Engineering Sample of Pentium III 933EB,  Abit CX6 i820 Motherboard,  128MB of  800MHz (400MHz. DDR) RDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Kenwood 72X CDROM, Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS AGP, NVidia GeForce Reference Drivers Version 5.30, DirectX 7.0a, Win98SE

Benchmarks On A Bird
Throttle up!

Let's just punch this one out so we can get to the fun.

Winbench 99 Test - @ 863MHz.

(click to view)

In the CPU and FPU Winmarks department, the T-Bird is right on par with our test system 2 at 933MHz.  Again, the KX133 and Thunderbird combination shows its muscle.


Finally, here are our obligatory gaming test scores with Quake 3 Arena.  What benchmarking test would be complete without it?  First, let's look at our system with no over-clocking to the CPU or Graphics Card.

Quake 3 Arena Timedemo

Not too shabby at all if you ask us!  But wait, let's turn it up a notch on both ends of the graphics pipeline!

For a processor that retails right around $200 (at Azzo, of course) you can't go wrong with this type of performance.  What is a little odd is the fact that the Graphics Card cost significantly more than the host processor in our system. 


Well, that just about covers all we know to date about the 700MHz. Slot A Thunderbird Athlon Processor.  We've shown you performance at all levels of clock speeds we could wring out of this new beast and how to run it on the latest chipset for the Athlon platform.  In the coming weeks, we feel fairly confident that the Slot A Thunderbird will make its way a little more to the mainstream channel and further stabilize on KX133 chipset boards.  If this happens, Power Users and Overclocking Fanatics around the globe will most likely flock to this chip for its value and better flexibility for over-clocking and unlocking the multiplier.  It will be interesting to see if the Socket A versions of the Duron and T-Bird chips start having their multipliers unlocked by the various Motherboard Manufacturers who are bold enough to add it as a feature.  Until that time, the Slot A T-Bird brings you its new high speed on chip cache with a little of the old Athlon accessibility through its "Gold Finger" connector.  We'll be dropping hints to various Motherboard Manufacturers urging them to stablize their KX133 boards with the Slot A Thunderbird.  We'll just have to see how the whole thing pans out.

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