Socket A Radiates
Removing the Overclocking Protection AMD engineers should give themselves a big pat on the back - the new Athlon XP/MP with the Palomino core is an excellent example of the high-quality work of which the chip manufacturer is capable. As proof of this, connecting the L1 contacts using a simple pencil, which was possible on the previous Athlons with the Thunderbird cores, is no longer possible on the new processor. This has probably foiled the plans of some hard-core overclockers out there, who start scheming about how to overclock their processor to the limit before they've even bought it.
Now that the Palomino is on the scene, there are additional laser locks to contend with, in addition to the new L contacts. The locks prevent you from bonding the contacts (for example, with a quick flick of a pencil or a fine brush) in order to remove the overclocking protection. But, in terms of the engineering that went into each chip, there's no difference in the overclocking protection for the old Athlon and the current Athlon XP/MP.
And while there might be some technical details we discovered while carrying out this test, all that you really need to do is to connect the L1 contacts. This will unlock the multiplier, which is encoded at the factory. AMD encodes its chips on the L3 and L4 contacts. For more information, take a look at our tables and illustrations for this test.