Overclocking the Barton Core

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

While we used the Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard for our benchmarks that preceded this, the Asus board was not able to modify the multipliers on the Athlon XP 3000+ (probably do to not having the correct bios). So, for the overclocking section of this review, I switched to the Abit NF7 motherboard that DID correctly modify the multipliers of the processors. I re-ran the benchmarks that I used here at default speed on the Abit board so as to avoid any discrepancy.

I first tried to overclock the processor only using the multiplier adjustments, and that’s what you see in the first three entries on the graphs below: 13x, 14x and 15x multipliers on the standard 166 MHz FSB. The other three results are from what I was able to get going with a combination of the FSB and the multiplier. I noticed that my Athlon XP 3000+ seemed to have problems going above 2.5 GHz in a stable environment. I could post at speeds up to 2.63 GHz or so, but it would not pass the 3D Mark 2001 stability test.

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There is a nice linear stepping here that shows the 3D Mark scores increasing from 15080 to 15835 at 1024x768x32 mode. It is interesting to note that the FSB increases do more for these scores than pure multiplier increases. The 2.29 GHz test beats out the 2.5 GHz setup with the advantage of 10 MHz on the front-side bus.

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The CPU test in the SiSoft Sandra suite shows the point that the scores here are not based on the performance of the processor so much as the frequency of the processor. Notice that the varying speeds are nearly in order, with the 2.16 GHz score followed by the 2.29GHz and then the 2.32 GHz and so on. Still, it is interesting to see that the 2.5 GHz Athlon XP score is right up there by the Intel P4 with Hyper Threading score.

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This is very similar to the CPU tests above where the CPU frequency, and the FSB, is determining the overclocked results here.

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On the memory scores, FSB is where it’s all at! You can see that the 2.34 GHz setup running on a 180 MHz bus is out pacing even the 2.5 GHz processor on the 166 MHz bus. This of course just makes sense but we should be glad to see AMD’s Barton cores doing this well.

Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of my overclocking tests here on the Athlon XP 3000+. I used only air-cooling, an AX-7 and large, loud fan to cool the processor. And, the Abit board’s Vcore specs were only able to push the processor up to 1.85v, so with a different board that allows higher options I see no reason why getting the 2.65 GHz or 2.7 GHz speeds stable wouldn’t be a fairly simple task.

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