Get out the Dremel!

— 2:56 PM on July 11, 2000

Well, as Scott noted in the most recent Shortbread, Tom's Hardware Guide announced yesterday that he had received word from AMD that production Durons and Thunderbirds will be multiplier locked. AMD claims that even with the multiplier altering circuitry being touted in some new Socket A boards, consumers would be unable to change the multiplier on a production chip

In case you're wondering why we didn't do a full-fledged news blurb about this, it's because when we heard the news, we immediately fell to the floor in a fetal ball, eyes tightly shut with our hands on our ears, screaming "LA LA LA LA LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!"

Fortunately, even if this is true, there's light at the end of the tunnel. THG has a new article up today that decodes the metal bridges on the top of the Duron and T-Bird. What this means is that, in theory, one could physically break and reconnect these metal bridges to change the multiplier and voltage.

According to Dr. Pabst, the connecting part is easy; just use a conductive pen to paint the bridge together. Breaking the contacts is more problematic, however. AMD uses a high-power laser to burn through the contact; unfortunately nobody I know of has an extra Star Wars blaster handy, and it probably wouldn't be precise enough anyway. The article has speculation on various methods that could be used, ranging from high-speed cutting tools (Dremel anyone?) to engraving pens to PCB etching liquid.

Of course, if we're lucky, AMD is lying and we'll be able to use DIP switches or BIOS controls to have our overclocking fun. But it's good to know that the information on how to do it "the hard way" has been figured out, "just in case."

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