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Modding the Barton XP to a Barton MP
By CPU-zilla
Category : CPU
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 12th May, 2003

What We Know Thus Far

More than a year ago, we reported a hack which you can apply to current Athlon XP processors to enable them to operate as Athlon MP processors. The hack was fairly simple and it involved connecting a certain trace on the Athlon XP processor to allow motherboards to recognize them as an Athlon MP. The trace has been cut in the factory so it's just a matter of connecting them via soldering (if you're brave enough), or just putting conductive paint on them.

The response we received from fellow users were phenomenal and from what we know, many have tried the hack. Although most were successful, some were not that lucky. Here are a few reasons which we can offer at this point in time :-

  • You'll need to ensure both processors are properly modded so that the motherboard can successfully detect and operate the processors in SMP mode. Clean the contacts with acetone or isopropyl alcohol before applying the conductive paint.

  • Certain motherboards would only work with the hack since certain users reported that they were unable to get their SMP setup running even though the processors have been properly modded.

  • Only certain BIOS versions would allow the board to run in SMP mode. For example, we tested the hack on MSI's K7D Master which had no problems working with BIOS version 1.3 and 1.4B3. Newer BIOS versions somehow did not allow us to run the processors in dual mode even though the processors have already been physically modified.

    After our first article, a lot of emails came pouring in and most users were asking if the hack could be achieved with a Thoroughbred core since our initial article was based on the Palomino core. Well, of course it would and we'll be showing some results with a dual Thoroughbred-B core in the later pages. What we've done here is taking another step further with the Barton core. What's interesting with the Barton is that it's now featuring a huge 512KB L2 cache running at full speed. Get a pair of that running in SMP mode, and you'll get a pretty decent workstation-class system going at a really affordable price.

    Now, I'm sure most of you are interested to get your hands on a dual processor system based on two Athlon XP 2800+ (Barton). Find out how you can do that in the next few pages.
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