Unlocking Aftermath (1/2)Posted by Wesley on
After posting the initial unlocking article involving pencil, many positive responses came although I had wondered if the results were reproduced in a favourable manner. It seems that this is indeed the case; a good example is this posting from HardOCP on August 3rd in their Fifth Edition posts.
This is what Hard|OCPer Patrick has to say about the Unlocking the Socket A CPUs with a Pencil.
Just wanted to let you know, that you can unlock the TBird w/ a normal #2 pencil by just going over the L1 bridges a few times. I got mine in yesterday, and it worked perfectly. Just thought I would let ya know it worked...
Then just when you thought you have heard the last of it. (which I seriously doubt) Another Hard|OCPer busts out with incredible close-ups of his mechanical pencil microsurgery. Don't you need a license for that??
Some new questions popped up. Most of them seem to be generally questioning the safety of the method further. Here are the Q&As that may help you.
Q: Doesn't the pencil markings gradually fall off and become a trouble?
[A]: This is not likely. Mr. Nam of South Korea noted in the guest book entry #134 that even with his heatsink-fan that has serious vibrating conditions, the markings are holding on well. Also, even in the rare chance of the markings falling off to the point that it becomes ineffective to connect the bridge while the computer is on, the normal CPU operation will not be affected (the system won't freeze) since the multiplier setting is detected only at the boot time and is not used while in normal use.
Q: I still don't like the possibility of this 'falling-off'. What are the ways to prevent this effectively?
[A]: You should try to put on a thin layer of cover on top of the markings. Nail polish seems to be a good choice, since applying it, as well as clearing it off is easy. Lacquer is another possibility, though it would be more permanent than nail polish. Neither of the suggestions have not been reported to have been actually tested, so try it at your own risk. Tapes, like scotch tapes may not be good since the chip gets hot and the adhesive may become messy or lose its stickiness.
Q: How about the markings getting mixed up with the heatsink compound?
[A]: The heatsink compounds are not supposed to be on the markings in the first place. Socket A processors are of FC-PGA type, meaning that the core sticks out of its ceramic casing. Thus the heatsink compound is supposed to be on the core area only and never anywhere else. But if the heatsink compound does ever touch them, nothing should happen unless the compound is conductive(which isn't a good choice).
What's the whole point of unlocking a chip? Overclocking, of course! It's clear that a person reading this article is expecting to overclock his/her Socket A chip (Duron and Thunderbird Athlon all apply) or at least looking at the possibility of doing it. This is what happened in my quest of overclocking.