Taipei (Taiwan) - AMD has pulled a rabbit out of its hat to increase the performance of its existing Phenom triple-core (8000-series) and quad-core (9000-series) processors. Six "hidden pins" on the processors and chipsets are the secret, which, our sources told us, will enable simple overclocking through the southbridge - and accelerate the current processors on demand.
The name of the game is called "unlocking the multiplier", which will be played with the SB700 and SB750 southbridge chips. If you are running an upcoming 2.8 GHz Black Edition CPU, a motherboard with the old SB600 model (RD690) will keep the processor cores operating at 2.8 GHz. However, if you have a motherboard with the SB700 chipset, you will receive a free upgrade to 3.0 GHz. And if you get a motherboard with a SB750 chip, your processor will run at 3.2 GHz, which matches the clock speed of the Athlon X2 6400+ - the highest clocked processor AMD ever offerred.
We have seen motherboards with 780G, 790FX and 790GX chipsets in ATX and mATX form factors, which all support this feature. Now it is up to AMD to execute and deliver a compelling user processor.
The actual overclocking is done either through the BIOS, a utility, or simply by pressing a physical button on certain motherboards. The release date of this technology is unknown, but we know that it will be available in time for the 790GX launch.
There you have it: An overclocking feature for AMD CPUs. It just does not get any more better than this. Now we just need to know how this overclocking feature will compare to Intel’s processors, how power consumption and heat dissipation will be affected and what that all means for AMD’s balanced platform marketing pitch.