CPU: AMD 1.2GHz Duron :: Introduction

12-13-2001 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Doc Overclock

AMD has been the thorn in Intel's side now for the past five years and seem to be gaining ground in a very steady manner. Since their early days they have had to go head to head with one of the biggest and market savvy companies that has ever existed, the Intel Giant. Although the mighty definitely have fallen a step or two, and even though overclockers and enthusiasts flock to AMD like bees to honey, the major portion of the world market is still dominated by the boys at Intel.

Compatibility and stability used to be the monkey on AMD's proverbial back but time has seemed to be good to them, and nowadays those are things that are in the past. This is due to better market acceptance and stronger development partners in the manufacturing arena. One of the major attractions of AMD to the enthusiast is the ability to modify the actual workings of the CPU(without a science degree) by altering the L1 bridges found on the top of the CPU(in this class of processor). This procedure is called the pencil trick and I wrote an instruction guide on how to do this early last year that you can view here if you're interested in trying this yourself.

All it takes to accomplish this nifty trick is a #2 leaded pencil, a ruler, and a magnifying glass. The trick is performed by locating the L1 bridges with the magnifying lens, taking the ruler and using it as a guide and then rubbing the pencil lead between the top and bottom of each connector(FIGURE 1). This allows conductivity between the bridges and unlocks the clock multiplier on the CPU. This is the main reason why AMD has gained a niche advantage over Intel in the enthusiast and gamer marketplaces.

AMD started off the Duron line with a 600MHz core speed CPU, which had 100MHz (actual) FSB speed and hardly any market support in the Industry. I remember those days well as AMD gave me those processors for review almost on my first day on the job as a writer. As the chips have progressed forward in MHz and FSB speeds the Duron line has kept up the pace and now has the Duron line up to a 1.2GHz core speed. This new 1.2GHz CPU and its abilities are the principle subject of this article along with how well it performed in an overclocked state. Follow along and check out this pint sized dynamo from the folks over at AMD.