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AMD AthlonXP Thoroughbred Unlocking
Date 4th December 2002
Author Herro
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe


Note from Agg: This reader-submitted article is a little unusual, in that it consists of images only, with the article text written onto the images. For easier reading I have copied the text below each image, but you can still click on each image for a larger version, a closer view, with text intact. I've added a little information here and there also.

Of course, this procedure voids your warranty. Also, if you connect the wrong things, you could very well fry your CPU and/or other system components. So be careful - OCAU and the author of this article cannot be held responsible for any system damage.


I unlocked a couple of Athlon XP Thoroughbred CPUs. I took them to an easily stable 2600+ and 2800+ speed with full control of multipliers and everything, yet it took me about 2 minutes. Here is a series of pics to illustrate how easy it is. I thought it would be kewl to show everyone how to do it the easy way.

Click to Enlarge
Here's the original CPU, unmodified. Note the target area that we'll be concentrating on.

Click to Enlarge
These are laser cuts to prevent us from doing exactly what we're doing.

The laser cuts are really tiny, and they're cut by AMD to decide the speed that the processor is sold at. This procedure removes the "lock" that sets a processor to a given multiplier.

Click to Enlarge
We will only need to join number 5

Before the T-bred core, you had to connect several bridges individually. Not as one entire mass of course, just join each pair of dots that had been cut. On the Thunderbird cores this was easy - a common lead pencil could be used. The Palomino cores made it more difficult with a trench, laser-cut like the T-Bred we're doing today. The same method is used for T-Bred unlocking, but it's easier because only the last L3 bridge, number 5, needs to be joined for all multipliers to become available.

Click to Enlarge

This is the only peice of equipment I used to join the two points together. You can use any brand, but be warned, no matter how small you buy the tip be prepared to realise that this is like trying to do brain surgery with a hack saw. I recommend pooling the liquid then applying it with a pin or toothpick, but don't be afraid, it's not as hard as it looks. These can be picked up at any Dick Smith or Tandy store, Jaycar also sells them, ranging from 15-40 dollars, no real difference in quality. You'll only be using like .0000000000001% of what's in there. :)

Click to Enlarge
How we are going to join the points

Filling in the laser-cut holes is not only risky, but completely unnecessary. Try not to bring the conductive ink inside the grey box - it should be ok, but let's play it safe. Take your time and practice applying the ink on another surface. Also, it may be necessary to cover the whole contact point (gold dot) if it doesn't work the first time. Don't worry, take your time and you'll be fine. If you really want to play it safe, you can make the path as long as you want. Be careful not to let the conductive ink contact any other gold writing, dots or other connectors on the surface of the CPU, though.

Click to Enlarge
Bad example

Here is a bad example, because I rushed it. It still worked, but because it only took me 5 seconds it was far too messy.

Click to Enlarge
Perfect example

Here is a perfect example. Yeah baby, time to OC. :)

Click to Enlarge
BIOS examples

Finally, here's a few pictures of the BIOS, showing that the multiplier is now unlocked.

Check out the Top 10 PC's in the PC Database!

All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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