AMD vs Intel
THW put the AMD through its paces by measuring frames per second (FPS) using Quake2 and a TNT graphics card. To be fair, Quake2 was recently upgraded with drivers for AMD's 3Dnow! patch (3Dnow! is AMD's propriety 3D gaming language). Under these testing conditions, ALL the AMD CPU's finished behind the Intel offerings.
The K6-2 350MHz at 100MHz-bus speed was third from the bottom at 20 fps. It's direct counterpart, the PentiumII 350 clocked in at 28.5 fps, 30% higher. But the CeleronA300 at 66MHz-bus speed was running at 26.1 fps, beating out the AMDK6/2 400MHz at 21.4 fps. Beneath the non-overclocked chart was Tom's famous Overclocked chart for CPU's. The ever-impressive CeleronA300 overclocked to 400MHz weighed-in at 28.7fps, beating it's own PentiumII 350 in performance.
What about AMD's Figures?
I consider THW tests as the gold standard for measuring hardware performance. Numbers do not lie, right? But it appears that AMD's own performance figures, provided on their web site, lead one to believe they must have been testing their own CPU's in a freezer and testing the Intel CPU's in a sauna.
Furthermore, the application used to measure 3D gaming performance is worthless. Looking at AMD's chart, what exactly does 1160 mean? We know that 20 fps is 20 fps because it is a real time performance measurement. The 3DWinbench figures show the AMD CPU as having superior gaming performance over an Intel? It is obvious that someone is not being honest with his or her CPU data.
Click to continue
Overclocking the AMD
The True Performance Measure
The default motherboard setting for the AMD K6/2 is 350MHz. With this information in hand, I set out to test the ability to overclock the CPU. My test machine had a 4" cooling intake fan, and a 3" blower to remove the heat from the computer. A high-quality heat sink resides on the CPU, with thermal paste to transfer the heat efficiently away from the CPU and into the heat sink's fins.
Mounted on the heat sink was a high quality 2" fan that further cooled the CPU down to 50C in a room with a 21C ambient temperature. My monitoring software showed that the motherboard was running at a respectably chilly, for CPU's that is, 34C. In front of the harddrive were two, one-inch fans blowing cool air onto the 7400-rpm harddrive. Sounds impressive, but really, this configuration is quite typical of today's PC's so I wasn't doing too much out of the ordinary.. Onwards with overclocking.
It's an accepted article of faith in the gaming community that overclocking your CPU will increase game performance, but only if you apply more cooling fans to your machine. So we should all do it, right? Well, the biggest problem with overclocking is that you will instantly void your CPU's warranty and you'll have to trot out and buy some extra cooling fans.
But with the CeleronA 300MHz going for about $75 US, who cares? You can overclock the Celeron to outperform the more expensive, higher speed PentiumII CPU's thus saving yourself mucho money while getting all the performance of a high speed Intel CPU.
With this perspective on Intel, I asked myself, "Just how overclockable are the K6/2 CPUs?" I tried several methods to overclock my CPU by increasing the clock multiplier, the bus clock, and combinations of both.
Go to Page Three