The true test of an overclocked system pre-built is the challenge of making it work in different conditions and with different kinds of hardware. So Gen-X Tech has to make sure to allow for a large variance in operating temperatures and settings the buyer wants the computer to work in. Also, note that the CPU is over-volted to 1.95v. Overclocking a computer will shorten the life of the CPU, this is pretty common knowledge in the computing world but overclocking itself doesn't shorten the life of the CPU… the heat does. If you can keep an overclocked processor as cool as a non-overclocked processor of the same speed, they will both have the same lifespan. The temperature section (this one) is very important in determining how long the system will last you and how cool the system runs.
Also, remember than T-Birds are not all created equal. Some run hotter than others by a few degrees, others by over 20 degrees. My 1.2 ran at 38 degrees under load while a Duron 750 ran at 44 degrees. It all varies on the motherboard and the batch the CPU was run in. You might not get the same temperatures I did.
The variance between the case temperatures from the Idle and Load temperatures is very small thanks for the good airflow and design of the case. Also, the extra fans didn't hurt. The Power supply's exhaust fan right above the processor helped also. The temperatures are well within AMD spec and are very acceptable for any Athlon processor, overclocked or not. I used the built in temperature sensor on the A7V133.
Potential Logic Errors?
I included this section to test for any type of logic errors that are usually associated with extreme overclocking. These can lead to interruptions in rendering, games, etc...and are caused when the processor in running in any type of unusual environment or condition. Similar to the graphics card. When the core of the graphics card is overclocked too high, you start seeing artifacts in games and errors in graphics. To safely overclock your computer into a stable, fast machine, you have to get rid of those logic errors to make sure the system is 100% stable and in working condition all of the time. To test for any errors the CPU might make while overclocked, we got 2 programs: CPU Stability Test, and Prime95.
Prime95 keeps your CPU at 100% for as long as you run the program. Anytime the computer freezes or locks up while running it means something is wrong with the system or something's wrong with the hardware. Since it's a clean install of Win2k, I don't plan on it being a software issue. We ran Prime95 for 18 hours straight without errors; we found that was sufficient enough for any working system. CPU Stability Test also reported that there were no errors in the system, good news so far.