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Combo 2000: The Search For 1GHz

With Intel overclocking at it's peak, why actually buy the processor speed you lust after? The efficient computer purchaser will always consider what the processor of choice can do when run at its highest speed. To that end, Advanced Design of Kentucky has created several killer Intel combos. The C2 series does wonders at up to 165% of their rated speed. How does the current overclocking king of the P3's do? Not too long ago, I reviewed the slot 1 P3 650 and found that 866MHz wasn't out of reach. But my thinking was that since Intel has (on paper) a 1GHz processor, why not go for the gold? Technically, this combo was rated and sold guaranteed for 980MHz operation. I've just been informed that AD of K has boosted the mark to 1000MHz, guaranteed. Thanks goes to AD of K for providing the review sample.

Factory Specifications
The Motherboard
  • VIA Apollo 133A chipset
  • Socket-370 ATX design
  • AGP 4X, AGP ½ & PCI ¼ dividers
  • 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 0 ISA, 1 CNR slots
  • Onboard AC97 audio
  • 3 DIMM slots: 1.5GB max
  • 4 ATA66 IDE devices total, 2 USB headers (1 built in)
  • Hardware monitoring: 3 temps & 2 fans


Iwill VD133PL


Advanced Design of Kentucky
Combo Price: $640

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9/10 Combo Rating
Factory Specifications
The Processor
  • Pentium III Coppermine Core
  • MMX and SSE support
  • 32KB L1 & 256KB L2 Cache
  • 1.65 Core Voltage
  • 0.18u die, 80°C max temp.
  • Socket-370 FC-PGA
  • 18.3 Watt Dissipation


Intel Pentium !!! Coppermine 700E


 

Factory Specifications
The RAM
  • 128MB double sided DIMM
  • Infineon 7.5nS chips
  • CAS2 Latency
  • Lifetime warranty

 

Techworks PC133


Factory Specifications
The Heatsink & Fan
  • Rated DC 12V @ 0.18A
  • Dual Ball Bearings
  • 4200 RPM fan speed
  • 26 CFM output
  • 36 dBA noise level
  • Therm. Cond. 0.0015K


GlobalWin FKP-32

 

The Iwill (make things happen)

The Iwill VD133PL (Pro Lite) is the very heart and soul of leaving the three digit MHz territory and entering into previously unattainable four digit land. What extreme overclockers will want to notice is that no extreme measures were used to touch on such lofty speed: no peltiers, no 400 watt power supplies, and no additional fans (case or otherwise). Why, this combo could even save you money!

The Iwill sports the newest VIA chipset, the 133A. It has all the latest goodies necessary for a high end system. AGP 4X, PCI ¼ divider, AC97 audio (just kidding), native ATA66 support, 2 USB headers (you need the kit to have access to the second set), and socket-370 processor chip support round out the major features. Thank God, no more adapter cards!

Ports

Not completely jumperless though as Iwill has chosen to keep the processor core and I/O voltage adjustments via yellow jumpers. Some in-and-out-of-the-case is necessary until you feel comfortable with which speed at or above the 1GHz mark you will use long term.

The remaining adjustments, and there are lots and lots, are accessed through the bye-bye jumper (TM) Iwill smart setting BIOS (TM). You don't have manual control over the AGP or PCI dividers, but the predetermined settings were so well placed that I never thought twice about it. The engineers at Iwill intended overclocking when the VD133PL was on the drawing board.

Despite the best intentions, I did encounter a few problems. The first was the manual. While I understood the gist of most of the wording, it was obvious that a non-native English speaker wrote the manual. While I admire Chinese speakers, they should employ at least 1 native English speaker at all large foreign companies, especially if they want clear documentation.

The second nigggle was more serious. I tested two BIOS revisions: vpl0313 and vpl0523. These correspond to dates (i.e. 0313 is March 13th, etc.). Both revisions had only minor differences, none being higher or lower performance in any appreciable area. (Update) After tweaking for another day, this is what I've discovered. In order to activate the advanced memory timing features, you must not use the SDRAM timing settings of 8nS or 10nS. If these settings are chosen, not only will the host clock ±33MHz adjustments not function, but the SDRAM cycle length is rendered useless. This effect is not mentioned in the manual and it is possible that a BIOS update may change this condition. (End of update)





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