Phenom 9700, AMD's 1st Quad-Core CPU

Reaching 3.00 GHZ With AMD's OverDrive Utility

For the first time ever, AMD is offering its own overclocking utility for overclocking the Phenom CPU

AMD's OverDrive Tool

The utility is called "AMD OverDrive" and accesses the CPU directly, letting the user select the multiplier, bus frequency, memory timings and all voltages on-the-fly from within Windows. The tool can also read out the current frequencies, voltages and temperatures. Another specialty of the OverDrive utility is that the multipliers can be set individually for each of the four cores.

The multiplier can be changed in live operation.

Unlike the Athlon 64, the multiplier on the Phenom is unlocked in both directions - at least on our engineering sample. With its overclocking utility, AMD is setting a new standard. This tool should work with every motherboard, regardless of the manufacturer, since it communicates directly with the processor. Finally, the days of dodgy tools downloaded from the Internet that only work on certain boards are coming to a close. In many cases, the use of such tools ended with a system crash. Thus, AMD's OverDrive utility is great news for overclockers.

Intel incorporated a similar feature into its X38 chipset. However, no manufacturer has written an application that makes use of it to date. Besides, it remains doubtful that such a utility would remain useful after a motherboard upgrade.

The utility even comes with a stability test.

At the press event, the OverDrive tool ran flawlessly on the engineering samples of the Phenom processors. We were able to overclock the Phenom 9700, which runs at a stock frequency of 2.40 GHz, to 3.0 GHz and run 3DMark 2006 on it without a crash.

slide show - AMD OverDrive

Our engineering sample was very promising indeed. We were able to overclock the CPU by 25%, resulting in a 15% performance increase in 3DMark. Since we weren't able to install our standard benchmark suite on the test systems in Warsaw, these 3DMark results were all we had to go on. We were very surprised by the overclocking potential these processors offered, especially considering that the systems only used air cooling solutions.

The Phenom system at AMD's launch event.

Tom's Hardware News Team

Tom's Hardware's dedicated news crew consists of both freelancers and staff with decades of experience reporting on the latest developments in CPUs, GPUs, super computing, Raspberry Pis and more.

  • spearhead
    good review but you should have had included more result of the overclocked phenom. i just want to know how much juce i you can push out of it for me it is a must it beats the 6400+ otherwise its not worth purchasing in my opinion, it just has to beat its older generation when its running at same clocks.that is why amd has to work on its clock speed and cache. hopefully deneb will be out soon. i would also realy appriciate it to see some review about the phenom 9850 black edition compared against both the 6000+ 6400+ and q6600 and q9300 and maybe some e8xxx model. with overclocked results. pushed it to the maximum. would be realy cool hehe :)
  • haifen
    The SB700 does indeed support at least one PATA port as my motherboard has an IDE connector and I can use it with the ATIIXP PATA driver.