Overclocking AMD's Thunderbird and Duron Processor

Overclocking Thunderbird And Duron

As soon as I had found out about the overclocking features of the Asus A7V I started to run Duron at higher speeds. I was very impressed with the result! I've got four Duron processors, one 650 MHz type and three Duron 700 types. After raising the voltage to some hefty 1.85 V all four Durons reached 950 MHz without a glitch!!!

The results with Thunderbird weren't too shabby either. My 1 GHz TBird reached 1.1 GHz , also at 1.85 V. More than that was unfortunately not possible, but the 1.1 GHz were rock stable. I ran all my benchmarks with it, including the usual 3-times Sysmark2000 run which takes no less than an hour.

We are also in the possession of a pre-release Athlon/Thunderbird 800. This CPU would only reach 900 MHz reliably, but that could be due to its pre-release status. I personally believe that most Duron or Thunderbird processors will reach a stable 900 to 950 MHz in clock speed.

Testing Overclocked Thunderbird And Duron Processors

We wouldn't be Tom's Hardware if we would not supply you with a good amount of performance data that shows the benefit of an overclocked SocketA-CPU. To waste as little time as possible I decided to run four benchmarks at each clock speed of Duron and Thunderbird. The benchmark that took longest, and which is responsible for the late release of this article is of course BAPCo's Sysmark2000, which takes some hefty 1 - 1.5 hours to run. Additionally I ran Quake 3 Arena's Demo001 at the 'NORMAL'-setting, 3D Studio Max 2 and finally I made a new addition to our benchmark suite. I wanted to do this for ages, but something always kept me from succeeding with it. Finally I can now offer my readers a Linux kernel compilation benchmark, which shows the integer performance of a CPU very well.

To give you a good comparison with Intel processors I ran all the benchmarks on Intel's Pentium III 1 GHz and an overclocked Celeron 1 GHz (original Celeron 667) as well. The platform used for Pentium III was Asus' new CUSL2 i815E/Solano2 motherboard and Celeron was plugged into an Asus CUBX BX-motherboard.

Benchmark Setup

Platform Information
Graphics card for all tests NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS Reference
200 MHz Core, 333 MHz DDR-RAM 32 MB
Hard Drive for all tests IBM DPTA-372050, 20.5 GB, 7200 RPM, ATA66
SocketA System
Motherboard Asus A7V, ACPI BIOS 1001, June 2000
Memory 128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE Interface Onboard ATA66
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
Celeron 1 GHz System , FSB 100 MHz, Multiplier x10, Celeron 667
Motherboard Asus CUBX, ACPI BIOS 1006 beta 03, June 2000
Memory 128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE Interface Onboard ATA66 chip
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
Pentium III System
Motherboard Asus CUSL2, BIOS 1002, Intel 815E chipset
Memory 128 MB, Wichmann WorkX MXM128 PC133 SDRAM CAS2, settings 2-2-2, 5/7
IDE Interface Onboard ICH2, ATA100 capable
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
Driver Information
Graphics Driver NVIDIA
Driver for VIA Chipsets 4in1 4.22
AGP-driver 4.03
ATA Driver Promise Ultra66 driver rev. 1.43
Intel Ultra ATA BM driver v5.00.038
Environment Settings
OS Versions Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A
Screen Resolution 1024x768x16x85

SuSE Linux 6.4, Kernel 2.2.14

DirectX Version 7.0
BAPCo Sysmark 2000 Patch 3, Resolution 1024x768x16x85, 3 Runs, previous Defrag
Quake 3 Arena Retail Version
command line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0
Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640x480x16
Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
Linux Kernel Compilation 'time make dep clean bzImage', Kernel 2.2.14, THG-conf. file
3D Studio Max 2 Rendering file 'ktx-rays.max' to 640x480, time reported by software
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