The cooking process

I test each CPU under initial identical conditions prior to "burning in" my combos. I do an initial test run using the same Abit BH6, same RAM (single stick 64MB Micron 8E, set at CAS3) and the same video card, a Trident 975, 4MB AGP.

For those who are interested, this is a very fast 2D card that consistently scores better than 5 in Final Reality. Not very good in 3D, but for a business system, it’s a screaming bargain.

I use an old 270MB Quantum hard drive (actually have 3 set up identically, so I can burn multiple combos at once). I use an old hard drive because I assume that these setups will be going in to a variety of situations with a variety of drives and that if it’ll work with this clunker, it’ll probably work anywhere.

I run a quick test at 450 using Business Winstone 97. Why such an old version, you might ask? Because I’m not testing for performance, only stability. This works perfectly for that purpose. If it fails, I bump the core voltage up a notch until it passes.

If the CPU won’t do 450 or requires more than 2.2v core, I set it aside for later evaluation. After passing the first test on my evaluation board, I move the chip to the motherboard with which it will be mated.

I put each one through 6 full rounds of Winstone and 2 hours of Final Reality. By using these two tests, I’m covering both the 2D business users and the 3D gamers. As an aside, for those who haven’t used it, Final Reality is not only a great test, it is visually stunning.

One glitch at current voltage, and it’s bumped up a notch, until it’s completely stable. Because I believe that stability means having a little breathing room, I don’t sell a combo at 450 if it requires more than 2.2v core to stabilize.

This weeks results

This week I tested a total of 85 Celery sticks. All processors were Malay Retail version. Of the 85, 45 were "Boxed" versions and 40 were "Tray" versions. For those who don't know, the trays are ten-packs without the individual boxes. These are sold to system builders who prefer to use the retail processors in their systems.

(Again, please do not e-mail me and ask if you got/are getting/can have one of these chips with your combo. They are already packed for shipping so I have no way of knowing the answer to that question.)

I'll make this short and sweet: 100% of these bad boys did the 450 tango, and fully 89% did it at default voltage! Compare this to the results for the OEM version where approximately 70% require a bump in the core voltage.

This is of course, a small sampling compared to a multi-million CPU universe, but I am now convinced beyond doubt that the Retail version is superior to the OEM version.

To-date, I've tested a total of 222 Celery sticks. Of these, 122 were the OEM version with a success rate of 90%, although about 70% required an increase in core voltage. I've tested an even 100 of the retail version with all doing 450Mhz and nearly 90% at 2v.

The following table shows the results for the last 3 weeks only, as I wasn't tracking the information in this detail prior to that. You can use this chart while you're out stalking Celery at Swap Meets and storefronts where you have an opportunity to inspect the chip prior to purchase.

If you're buying one of the various guaranteed packages available, this info really isn't that important.


Label Code # tested PCB week Symbol Version 2.0v 2.1v 2.2v 2.3v No Go
08451303 27 9839 Clover OEM 24/89% 2/7% 1/4% 0 0
08450076 6 9838 COMPEQ OEM 1/17% 3/50% 2/33% 0 0
08450076 6 9838 COMPEQ OEM 0 0 0 2/33% 4/67%
08461541 20 9841 Clover OEM 6/30% 5/25% 5/25% 2/10% 2/10%
08461541 10 9841 Clover OEM 2/20% 6/60% 1/10% 1/10% 0
98391399 10 9823 COMPEQ Retail 10/100% 0 0 0 0
98410558 3 9837 Clover Retail 3/100% 0 0 0 0
98410558 2 9835 Clover Retail 2/100% 0 0 0 0
98471558 15 9843 COMPEQ Retail 14/93% 1/7% 0 0 0
98480238 30 9844 Clover Retail 27/90% 2/10% 0 0 0
98430629 40 9836 Clover Retail 35/88% 4/10% 1/2% 0 0
TOTALS 169 124/73% 23/14% 10/6% 5/3% 6/4%
NOTE: Label codes beginning with "98" are Malay ,
codes beginning with "08" are Costa Rica.

Well, happy hunting!

Russ Stringham, Owner
CompuCheap

Retail Boxed, OEM, & the Difference

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