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Athlon Gold-Finger Devices
Review by Jim Noonan and James "Agg" Rolfe

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As you're probably aware, the Goldfinger devices for the Athlon let you change the multiplier and core voltage of the CPU. They typically do this by means of a set of resistors and dip switches to control the circuit. Realistically, there's not much difference between the units - they all essentially do the same thing, most are based upon the same circuit designs. The major differences are in the areas of physical size, ease of use and documentation. All you need to do is look up the correct settings on the documentation and set the unit accordingly, plug it onto your Athlon edge connector and away you go. I had the same results with all units tested - I think it's unlikely that you would notice a significant difference from one type of unit to another.

The first thing you have to do to use these units is denude your CPU. The gold-finger edge connector is on the PCB, which is hidden inside the hard black plastic SECC1 cartridge. So, you need to remove the CPU case. I've done it to my old Pentium II before (the case of which I really butchered) so this time it was a bit easier, but I still managed to snap one of the plastic bits that the metal poles plug into. Apparently there is always one pin that is really tough to get out, from memory it was there on the Pentium II as well. Not sure if this is a design fault or feature, but either way it's a pain in the neck. I'm now contemplating chopping bits out of the case so that I can fit it back onto the CPU, so that the CPU holder has something to grab onto. At the moment it's sitting like a slot Celeron in a P3 slot, it has no support. I've got 2 little plastic brackets which are meant to hold a naked Athlon in place, but they don't fit with my VEK32 cooler on.

Naked Athlon Action!

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