Test Setup and Overclocking

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Again, the test setup I used was very similar to the one used in the Athlon 1.33 GHz Review. The most important aspect of the setup was the motherboard. For testing and benchmarking an overclocked processor, you need to have a reliable and overclockable motherboard. The Iwill KK266 KT133A motherboard (click for the review) is what I decided upon. It has impressed me at every turn and I will continue to use it for all KT133A tests until something better comes along.

I had some initial doubts about performing tests on a Duron DDR test bed (Gigabyte 7DX), but I did so anyway. I am not sure why a person would want to mix high-end and low-end components, but there may be times that this occurs, so I decided to report the results in the coming benchmarks. Here’s the rest of the setup information:

Test System Setup
CPU AMD Thunderbird 1.33 GHz (133 MHz Bus)
AMD Duron 900 MHz (100 MHz Bus)
Memory 1 x 256MB Corsair PC133 SDRAM
1 x 256MB Corsair PC2100 DDR SDRAM
Hard Drive 20.5GB 7200 RPM Western Digital EIDE
Video Card Hercules 3D Prophet II 64MB
Video Drivers Detonator 7.56
Operating System Windows 98 SE
Motherboard Iwill KK266 KT133A
Gigabyte 7DX AMD 760

One of the main reasons that users purchase the lower end, budget processors is because they wish to overclock them. The Duron has been no exception to this rule, and in fact, it has performed incredibly. Some readers in our forums have reported overclocking their CPUs by as much as 400-500 MHz. That is a tremendous amount. While I didn’t do anything that large, for it requires intense and complex cooling setups that I didn’t have time for. I ran the Duron 900 MHz at 1.2 GHz somewhat reliably. During a few of the 3D Mark 2001 tests, it did crash, so I lowered the speed down to 1.15 GHz. I didn’t have any difficulty at all after that.

Unlike the newer 266 MHz FSB Athlons, the Durons are still using the 200 MHz FSB, meaning that overclocking the FSB on this processor doesn’t yield as much success as the stepping C Thunderbirds. I was able to reach around 115 MHz bus speed on the Duron I was supplied. This FSB offers a nice jump in memory performance, especially if you have some kind of overclocker friendly RAM like Corsair’s PC150 or Mushkin’s Rev3 so you can keep the HST CLOCK + 33 setting in your Bios.

AMD Duron 900 MHz Processor Review - Processors 21
Click to Enlarge

I am not going to go too in-depth on the dos and don’ts of overclocking this or any other processor, as there are several very good articles across the web that explain it well enough. Feel free to use the search feature on the left side bar to look through our news and find one of them. Using the FSB and the multipliers, you can attempt all the various clock speeds on your very own Duron 900. 🙂

An interesting note is that the L1 Bridges of the Duron 900 MHz processors were open, meaning the processor is in its locked state. While applying the common and simple pencil trick, unlocking the Duron is fairly simple. I have questions though about why this processors was locked but the Athlon 1.33 GHz I received was unlocked. Perhaps the channel through which the processors are received has an effect on this, but I am unsure.

Well, on to the benchmarks, that I am sure you are all waiting to see.

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