Unlocking Durons and Thunderbirds was an easy task to do, all you needed was a pencil. With the new Athlon XP CPUs this is not possible anymore. When AMD cuts the L1 bridges on top of the CPU with their laser it cuts into the CPU itself and goes down far enough to expose the bridges underneath. If you were to simply use a pencil like you would do with a Duron or Thunderbird you would be unsuccessful. To correctly unlock your Athlon XP CPU you need to cover the valley in-between the L1 bridges with a non-conductive substance and then bridge them with something conductive. HighSpeed PC provides a kit which includes everything you will need to successfully unlock your Athlon XP.
The package comes very well put together and professional looking.
The following is included in the kit. Also below is a picture of everything out of the bag.
The kit comes with an instruction sheet, which has a front and backside explaining how to unlock your CPU. I already knew how to unlock my CPU before I did this review and when reading the instructions step by step they were a little confusing. I had to read over it a few times to understand what was being said. However after I read them over a few times they made sense.
Before I go into how to use the kit I must apologize for the shabby pictures, my digital camera only has digital zoom and is not that great with small pictures. I will be using my friends AMD Athlon XP 1600+ for this review because I have already unlocked my 1900+. First, locate your level 1 bridges which are usually referred to as L1 bridges. They are on the top left hand corner of the CPU above the core, you will see 2 rows of 5 gold dots.
Take the cleaning solution vial and dab some of the liquid onto a paper towel. Rub the L1 bridges and remove the black residue left behind in the valley from where the cut has been made. This cleaning solution worked really well.
After you have cleaned the L1 bridges with the cleaning solution you will want to cover the L3 and L1 bridges with the tape provided, be sure not cover the valley in-between the L1 bridges. After you have the L1 and L3 bridges taped off you will need the gap filler vial and the pin. Open the vial and get some of the gap filler on the tip of the pin and put it onto the valley. Use your finger and spread the gap filler around the valley in-between the L1 bridges. Doing this will prevent the conductive grease from touching the bridges in the valley.
Now comes the harder part, you will now need the conductive grease. Open the vial and use your pin to take out a very small amount, you will not need a lot and if you put to much on you will have a harder time. With the conductive grease on the pin dab a little on each of the bridges and then dab a little in-between the bridges putting it on top of the gap filler, be sure that you have no gaps in the conductive grease that are forming the bridges.
You will want to dab it rather than dragging it, if you try and drag the conductive grease across the valley you will end up moving the gap filler out of place. If you make a mistake and have some of the bridges touch you are going to have to start over because you probably have not unlocked it correctly. Don’t worry though you get enough of the cleaning solution, gap filler and conductive grease to try a few times, I had to try 3 times before I got it to work and still have plenty left. I know by looking at the picture below its almost impossible to tell but the bridges are correctly bridged.
You will now want to test your unlock job to be sure you have done it correctly. Reinstall your CPU and heatsink and go into your BIOS. Change your multiplier from its default up and down along with the half multipliers to make sure all of them work correctly. As you can se from the picture the XP 1600+ which has a default multiplier of 10.5 is now running at a 1900+ with an 11 multiplier and 143 FSB (Front Side Bus) We were able to change the multiplier up and down with no problem.
If you have an AMD Athlon XP CPU and want to overclock it with a high FSB you will need to lower your multiplier and to do so you will need to unlock your CPU. This kit from HighSpeed PC works really well and has a great price. You get enough of everything so that if you make a mistake you can try more than once. I think the instructions could be improved to be a little more “user friendly” however they are still good.
I would definitely recommend this kit to anyone who wants to unlock their Athlon XP multipliers, which will give you much better results for overclocking rather than just using the FSB to push your CPU. I would like to thank Scott from HighSpeed PC for sending this kit over for me to review, definitely head over and pick one up if you want to unlock your XP.