CPU: AMD 1.2GHz Duron :: Features

12-13-2001 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Doc Overclock

There have been a few changes in the way the CPU operates, as well as how it is being made since the CPU first debuted in mid 1999. These changes include increased FSB, increased core clock speeds, and more instructions sets. Here are the basic facts as translated by me from the AMD mass information database.

The AMD Duron processor (model seven) is the latest released product from AMD and was designed with the value segment of the market in mind. The design was developed to accommodate new and tech savvy applications and for meeting the demands of today's ever finicky buyers without sacrificing the processors overall abilities. The Duron CPU is housed in a PGA package and is targeted as the workhorse processor for value desktop systems in the multimedia and graphics arena, and from what I have seen it is living up to it's expectations in a big way.

Delivering extremely high integer, floating-point, and 3-D multimedia performance for applications running on x86 system platforms this chip comes ready to rumble. The high-speed execution core of the AMD Duron processor includes multiple x86 instruction decoders, a dual-ported 128-Kbyte split level-one (L1) cache, an exclusive 64-Kbyte L2 cache, three independent integer pipelines, three address calculation pipelines, and a superscalar fully pipelined, out-of-order, three-way floating-point engine.

The floating-point engine is capable of delivering outstanding performance on numerically complex applications like 3D rendering or AUTO-CAD because of their high mathematical calculation demands. The AMD Duron processor is based on seventh-generation micro-architecture, with an integrated exclusive L2 cache, which supports the growing processor and system bandwidth requirements of newly emerging software, graphics, I/O, and memory technologies.

The AMD Duron processor incorporates 3DNow professional technology that improves your gaming and multimedia environment, high-performance cache architecture, and a 200-MHz 1.6-Gigabyte per second internal system bus. The Duron's system bus combines the latest technological advances, such as point-to-point topology, source-synchronous packet-based transfers, and low-voltage signaling that is engineered for lower CPU voltage demands.

The processor is binary-compatible with existing x87 software including Windows XP and it is also backwards compatible with many older applications optimized for MMX and 3DNow technology. The CPU also takes advantage of data format and Single-Instruction Multiple-Data (SIMD) operations based on the MMX instruction model a technology that is licensed from Intel. The model seven processor can produce as many as four thirty two-bit single-precision floating-point results per clock cycle. That equates to better multitasking features than its predecessors and allows users to use many applications at once without performance degradation.

The 3DNow professional technology implemented in the new Duron line includes new integer multimedia instructions and software-directed data movement instructions for optimizing such applications as digital content creation and streaming video for the Internet, as well as new instructions for the latest Digital Signal Processing (DSP)/communications applications. Below I have listed the CPU buyer identification codes and the heat and Voltage parameters for the current Duron lineup. The AMD chart says the CPU can take heat up to 90C, which is absolutely untrue unless you want a melted or fried CPU. That is a very destructive temperature to even have your CPU anywhere near.

  • Max FSB: B = 200MHz
  • Size of L2 Cache: 1 = 64 Kbytes
  • Die Temperature: T = 90ºC
  • Operating Voltage: M = 1.75V
  • Package Type: A = CPGA
  • Speed: 900 = 900MHz, 950 = 950MHz, 1000 = 1000MHz, 1100 = 1100MHz, 1200 = 1200MHz
  • Generation: HD = High-Performance Desktop Processor
  • Family/Architecture: D = AMD Duron™ Processor Model 7 Architecture

Overclocking the 1.2Gz Duron to a XP1600+

Yes believe it or not I was able to push this little dynamo to 200MHz above spec with solid rock solid results. Getting the CPU to run at 1400GHz was just a matter of a few BIOS settings on the MSI KT266 Pro 2. The factory default setting is 12X clock multiplier by a 100MHz FSB. I then changed the FSB multiplier to 115MHz and was able to achieve amazing results as the computer booted to an XP1600+(FIGURE 2). No modification of the CPU was needed in this case as the FSB increase worked quite well without any alterations needed.

I had to increase the core Voltage to 1.80v and enable the spread spectrum(FIGURE 3) on the motherboard to get superior stability results with the FSB increased to 15MHz above the factory specifications. Although 15MHz may not sound like a huge amount, when taken into account with the fact that the multiplier is twelve times that amount the resulting numbers are quite impressive.

For these experiments I used a Thermaltake anodized aluminum shim, which helps protect the processors bit from being crushed by the weight of the cooling solution and also adds better insulation around the CPU helping to maintain an air free environment(FIGURE 4). I find the shim to be a worthy part to be used in the setup of any AMD CPU overclocked or not due to its benefits.

I also used some Artic silver thermal paste to help make an air free seal between the CPU and the GlobalWin CAK38 cooling solution. The GlobalWin CAK 38 is a solid copper based unit that features a 7200RPM fan that sounds like a hair dryer in the dressing room of a heavy metal band but does a damn good job of keeping the CPU running very cool. The temperature never exceeded 32C even when pushed to its maximum potential, a fact I thought was very good one as AMD is also known as the king of the hot running CPU.

With this new line they seemed to have tamed their fiery little dragon as this CPU runs very cool, especially when compared with their Athlon 1.4GHz CPU, a monster heat demon that required the best cooler even for normal operation of the CPU. This will be a big attraction to many different types of users and system integrators when making a CPU choice due to the fact that they can use almost any cooler and get good results. Not to mention the fact that high performance coolers cost high performance dollars which increases the overall cost of a system.