THG Upgrades Benchmark Suite For Windows XP
We've introduced a slew of new benchmarks in this test. Firstly, we wanted to cover an even wider range of practical applications in our tests; secondly, Windows XP is becoming increasingly important. Windows XP comes with some SSE optmizations, which benefits both Pentium 4 and Athlon XP, and it's slightly faster than Windows 2000. Benchmarks under the older Windows 98 SE have been removed because Microsoft is planning to freeze support for this operating system.
And that's not all - we've also introduced a value indicator that determines which processor is the most reasonably priced for the performance it offers. This indicator alone sheds light on some interesting aspects and might help ambitious users decide which product to buy. We've often received mail from readers complaining, with just cause, that we only evaluate the benchmark performance of the CPUs. In this comparison, there is also a winner for best value.
Athlon XP Overclocking: Multiplier In The L3/L4 Bridge
These pictures show clearly, that the Athlon XP CPUs were produced on different production lines. The burning power of the lasers, used to cut the bridges, varies. The Athlon XP 1600+ you see above was cut with a higher powerd laser than the 1500+. The burnt spots (dark brown color) are therefore 'bolder'. A burnt spot marks a severed bridge (open), while intact bridges are closed.
Overclocking the AMD Athlon XP is a hot topic for speed freaks, particularly for overclockers. Because AMD codes its multiplier using the L3/L4 bridges at the fab, any modifications have to be made on these contacts. Unlike its predecessor, the AMD with a Thunderbird core, on which the bridges could be connected simply by using a pencil, the "Palomino" is set up somewhat differently. If you look closely, you can see we tried the lead pencil-trick in a futile attempt on the Athlon XP 1800+ (second from above). If someone knows how to manipulate those L bridges properly, don't hesitate to write to email@example.com . We're especially interested in simple, cheap and effective solutions. AMD severs the contact using a laser in accordance with the coding and then visibly strips away material (organic substrate), and so the bridge has to be closed again using a suitable process.