Overclocking AMD's Athlon Processor


You can certainly remember my Athlon Performance-Scaling article from Monday, where I showed the results of the Athlon-processor at 500-800 MHz. My first decision was to keep the technique used for overclocking this CPU under disclosure until we found an easy way for users to do it. As a matter of fact there's a pretty convenient way of changing Athlon's voltage and multiplier settings, but it requires a little card that's plugged onto Athlon's internal connector. We found out about how to overclock Athlon the tough way by comparing all the different Athlon-processors we have got here in the lab. Fortunately we don't only have Athlons at 600 and 650 MHz, but also the Athlon from Kryotech's Cool Athlon 800 system, which is using a higher voltage of 1.8 V rather than the other two, which are running at 1.6 V core voltage. With the details of those three CPUs we were able to reverse-engineer Athlon's voltage and multiplier selections.

With my Athlon-Scaling article I incidentally started some kind of competition on the web about who would be the first one to publish how to overclock Athlon. Unfortunately there's a significant number of incorrect or at least incomplete 'How To's available now, so that I felt forced to publish the complete story here. The last thing that anyone wants is to destroy his brand new Athlon CPU due to wrong or incomplete information. If any Athlon-owner really thinks that his system is still too slow and he's capable of soldering SMD-parts, he's now got the complete information required for successfully overclocking Athlon.

I still would like to point out that I strongly advise against cracking open Athlon and starting to solder around on Athlon's PCB! Don't go for it unless you know exactly what you're doing! Tom's Hardware Guide will not take any responsibility for any destroyed Athlon-CPU or system! You might still want to wait until we can supply you with a way to make this little Athlon-overclocking card that plugs onto the internal connector. This way you would not risk the CPU.

I don't really feel too well telling a large amount of people to screw around with their Athlon-processor. Please be advised that AMD will not take any CPU back that has been opened. As soon as you removed the cover you're on your own. In the direction of AMD, who certainly disapproves this article, I would like to point out that sooner or later somebody else would have found out and published the info, and we made sure that our Athlon Overclocking Guide is as foolproof as possible.