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The Tweeking Device2
Page 1 - Overclock your Slot A Athlon with ease
Author: Ian Clifton (Gordaen)
Date: June 30, 2000
Category: Hardware
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The Tweeking Device2

Many computer users feel the need to overclock their processors in order to let them run at higher speeds than the processors are made for. When AMD produced its Athlon line of processors, they locked the CPU multiplier settings on the processor itself. Hence, you could only increase the FSB (front side bus), and Athlons weren't very overclockable (with motherboards at that time). Users began to experiment with moving around parts of their processors to increase their speeds. This was obviously dangerous and resulted in many "fried" chips. Finally, several companies began to create "gold finger devices" (GFD) which would connect to the gold fingers of an athlon and could allow changing of the multiplier setting.

Innovatek made their own GFD called the "Tweeking Device 2" (TD2). The TD2 is incredibly small (less than 1.5" square, smallest GFD to date), which is definitely a good thing. It also had no external power connection. Many other GFD's require a separate power connection, but this unit draws its power from the processor. The TD2 also has only one row of dip switches as opposed to many competitors who use two. The dip switches are quite small but can generally be adjusted by a fingernail or pencil.

Tweeking Device 2
Tweeking Device 2
Yep, That's a genuine Duracell
Genuine Duracell

Here are the core system specifications of the PC I tested with:

Athlon 600 (600 core)
Asus K7M Motherboard
128MB Corsair PC133 SDRAM
Leadtek Winfast Geforce 256 DDR
Vortex2 SuperQuad Digital PCI Sound Card
20.5GB 7200RPM Hard drive

The results when I tried to overclock the processor by upping the FSB only were not beautiful to say the least. I got the Athlon at 666MHz and the computer froze a few times while trying to load Windows, so unfortunately I couldn't brag about a stable 666MHz system In fact, the system was only stable at 630Mhz (105FSB) which is rather low.

With the TD2 the first step was higher than the highest stable FSB enhancement. In other words, the least the TD2 would overclock the Athlon was quite higher than the most overclocking you could get from using FSB changes. Moving from 6 multiplier to 6.5 brought me up to 650 MHz, rock sold. In fact I got it up to 700 MHz with out even adjusting the multiplier. In the end I got my Athlon 600 to 800 @ 1.7 volts. Pretty nice if you ask me.

Is the TD2 worth the money? Compared to other GFDs it is a little below the normal price at $45. As a bonus, High Speed PC has free shipping! I still feel that all GFDs are overpriced, but if you intend to get one this card is definitely worth it. The only feature it doesn't have is the ability to change the cache modifiers, but this unit is incredibly small and a cheap way to get a low end Athlon up a lot.

Final Score

4 out of 5 Weird Blue Faces

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