British I only know of two places to buy from that know a lot
about K7 CPUs and they are both in the UK, so you might need
to do a little hunting if outside of the UK. The ones in question
(where I got my 550) and http://www.overclockers.co.uk.
If you ask either before you buy then they can hook you up with
the CPU for your needs. Not forgetting http://www.ninjamicro.co.uk,
who are the people behind the O/C card in question.
to me now and the question that you all want answers for, so
why a 550? Having decided that most Athlon boards only have
100Mhz REAL FSBs anyway, I decided that the cheapest, most energy
efficient and simple method would be to get the lowest CPU I
could find with the highest core. I searched in vein for the
illusive 0.18Micron 550's with a 750 core and in the end 'Power
Computing' (above) managed to find me a 550 with a 700core.
It may have only been built on 0.25micron, yet I was quite able
to take it to 700Mhz and (a 150Mhz increase) and still be on
the base 1.6 core voltage.
but is it really any good?
days Athlons have a huge fan base and since the invention of
the 'Free Speed Pro' the lower end modules have been selling
like hotcakes. People have seen that you can save around £200
($320) on cost vs performance by taking the CPU up to it's core
speed. My K7-550 physically acts like a real 700Mhz K7 and it
makes me quite proud; if I had a board that allowed changing
of the FSB then I could have taken it to 750 and possibly 800.
only does this keep older K7's in the race with the newest of
Pentium3's but it's much more cost effective and your friends
will die of envy. Remember you will have to lash out about £30
($45) on a top cooler and heatsink combo and a further £30 ($45)
on the 'FreeSpeed' card, yet you still save money.