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Iwill in hot water? - Iwill in hot water?
Wed Dec 05, 2001 | 11:36A| PermaLink
"The matter is that DDR333 support on Iwill XP333-R is a purely marketing trick. In reality, there is simply nothing of the kind. When we booted the system built on XP333-R in our testlab, we first of all tried to check how well it worked with DDR333 memory. However, though we did our best we failed to find any jumpers of settings in the BIOS, which could allow us clocking the system bus and the memory bus asynchronously. So, the memory on Iwill XP333-R works only synchronously with FSB, just like on older AMD-760 based mainboards. As a result, if you use XP333-R with the Duron CPUs and the youngest Athlon processors, the memory will appear working at 100MHz. When the system is built with the latest Athlon or Athlon XP CPUs, the memory works at 133MHz (we are talking about the nominal mode here). And it means exactly the support of PC1600/PC2100 DDR SDRAM. What then made Iwill believe that their new XP333-R mainboard supports DDR333, you would probably ask? We managed to find an answer in the official XP333/XP333-R FAQ, which you can download here. Take a look at the quote below: Question-10: How can I get my DDR333 memories to work at 333MHz? Answer: You need to set your FSB to 166MHz, and your DDR memories will work at 333MHz (166x2=333). To tell the truth, we were impressed with this pretty cynical explanation. Of course, the memory on XP333-R will work at 333MHz if you overclock the FSB frequency up to 166MHz. But the same thing will be valid for any other mainboard supporting synchronous clocking of the memory and processor buses. So, Iwill's approach to the matter allows us to state that all the existing DDR mainboards for Athlon CPUs theoretically support DDR333. However, using the power of the faster DDR333 to the full extent is a totally different question. As you know, AMD doesn't produce any CPUs supporting FSB frequency over 133MHz. The 166MHz Iwill is talking about are none other but pure overclocking. We would even call it extreme overclocking, as it will undoubtedly require unlocking and reducing the CPU clock frequency multiplier, because far not all AMD processors will be able to work at the frequency 25% higher than the nominal value. Maybe some day AMD will launch processors supporting 166MHz FSB (333MHz DDR) on Thoroughbred core, for example, and Iwill simply wants us to know in advance that their product will support them. But, the next line of the official XP333-R specification saying "Supports 266/200MHz FSB" destroys this supposition completely..."

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