This has been a fun article to write up as far too often many of the lower end desktop processors get skipped over on review sites. Although the latest Intel Core 2 processors are the fastest processors out on the market today that doesn’t mean AMD processors can’t compete. In all honesty the AMD X2 AM2 series of processors pack some serious punch for how much you pay for them and can play all of game titles on the market today without any issues.
The entire point of this article was to have some overclocking fun and show you what the processor can do. This particular 4200+ AM2 processor was 100% stable up to 2.9GHz (Prime 95 tested). After 2.9GHz it was not 100% stable and did crash when running certain applications. If someone asked me what the highest stable overclock was it would be 2.9GHz. If someone asked me what the highest benchmarkable settings were it would be 3070MHz under water cooling.
The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ AM2 processor packs a mean punch if one is lucky to get one that is overclocker friendly. I’ve seen a number of people get over 3GHz like I have and I’ve seen people get just over 2.5GHz on them. It really comes down to a bit of luck and good hardware. By reading reviews like this and making sure your system is built with solid components then overclocks like this will be something in your reach. As one of our forum members pointed out after reading yesterday’s article we did use a ~$55 Zalman heatsink to get our air cooling results and today we used the ~$148 Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooler to hit our high overclocks. Cooling is very important and the more voltage you run the better the cooling should be. I’d never personally run 1.6V on an AM2 processor if the test platform wasn’t on a water cooler. Overclocking is simple and easy to do, but make sure you have all of the right hardware before you try it out at home!
Looking at the calendar I’m seeing August flying by and with Intel just now starting to ship Conroe it’s going to be interesting to see how they roll out their quad-core Kentsfield and Cloverton processors later this year. With only four full months left in the year Intel is planning on bringing out these processors even though it seems like Conroe hasn’t even taken off yet. On the other side of the fence we have AMD and their upcoming “K8L” quad-core processors. Sure they are saying the middle of 2007, but just recently Legit Reviews has caught wind of AMD talking about them in 2006 also. While I think they were blowing smoke I have learned over the years that this industry has a ton of leaks, but some do come true. Heck, look at the whole ATI and AMD merger that no one thought was real.
Legit Bottom Line: With proper cooling AMD’s A64 X2 4200+ AM2 processor with the Windsor core is very overclockable and the processor can be had for roughly $184.