Well, we do not expect anything special from the overclocking experiments with Athlon 64 3400+. As I have already mentioned, this processor is based on the same C0 core as Athlon 64 3200+, with that only difference that this core now works at higher clock rate. Our previous experiments with Athlon 64 3200+ overclocking revealed the ability of this core to work at the maximum frequency of 2.3-2.4GHz without any extreme cooling solutions involved. Therefore, we expect the new Athlon 64 3400+ to demonstrate the same potential. The maximum may grow up only if the new CG core stepping comes out, however, there are no CPUs in the market based on the new core stepping yet.
I have to point out that the new Athlon 64 3400+ doesn’t allow increasing the clock frequency multiplier above the nominal 11x, just like the predecessor, Athlon 64 3200+. This is AMD’s policy: only more expensive Athlon 64 FX processors allow you to modify the clock frequency multiplier the way you like. That is why we will overclock Athlon 64 3400+ just like its predecessor, by speeding up the FSB frequency.
We didn’t use any special cooling solutions for our overclocking tests. All we had was a regular cooler from a boxed processor shipment. We increased the Vcore by 10% from the nominal 1.5V up to 1.65V. The maximum FSB frequency when the CPU remained stable notched 215MHz. This way, our Athlon 64 3400+ got overclocked from the nominal 2.2GHz to 2.37GHz. This result fully corresponds to what we saw by other Athlon 64 processors: this is evidently the maximum frequency for the current core stepping.
So, there is no doubt that AMD will have to undertake a certain core redesign, if they decide to release a CPU with 2.4GHz actual core frequency, before they shift to a new finer production technology.