Platform power

Last week, we looked at all of the hardware aspects that make up Spider in detail. This week, it's time to take a look at the software AMD offers for its platform.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  April 19, 2008

Last week, we looked at all of the hardware aspects that make up Spider in detail. This week, it's time to take a look at the software AMD offers for its platform.

Going into overdrive

One of the biggest advantages of AMD's Spider platform is that it makes overclocking-running a component or a set of components above its standard rated speed - very easy, even if you're a novice with no prior experience.

Better still, all of the overclocking is done from within the operating system (OS) on-the-fly, meaning you don't have to venture into your motherboard's BIOS or reboot your system for changes to take effect. This is a feature even hardcore overclockers will appreciate.

The utility that makes all this possible is known as AMD OverDrive and is compatible, thus far, with only the Windows operating systems.

Another prerequisite for this app to function properly is that the system must have a Phenom processor and a motherboard based on any variant of AMD's 7-series of core-logic chipsets.

The app gives users two choices in terms of how to overclock; novice (automatic) or advanced (manual). The former is best suited for new users that aren't quite ready to manually change frequency, voltage and multiplier settings for example.

In this case, a simple slider with numbers ranging from one to ten is displayed with one being the lowest overclock and ten being the highest.

OverDrive even tells you exactly how fast it will push each component at each level so, depending on how much extra performance you want, you can make the appropriate choice.

We recommend going for levels beyond seven only if you've got a good heatsink/fan sitting on your processor and if your machine has overclocking-friendly memory from vendors such as Corsair, OCZ and Patriot etc.

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