Originally Posted by Fierceleaf
So in theory, if the rest of your components are capable of getting each chip to 3.0 it shouldn't matter. It still comes down to if you get a good week or a good chip. Theoretically all the chips could be capable of hitting 3.0. Correct?
Theoretically (or, more precisely, potentially
), all K8 Opterons can hit the magical 3.0GHz.
In practice, though, the factors are just too numerous and random to make a clear and precise prediction. As you've alluded to, having a chip with a good stepping helps somewhat, as data collected by various observers suggest that certain batches of chips tend to have an average max overclocking level; however, since it's subject to the law of averages, there will be some chips who don't meet the average, and some that may exceed it. Trends are not absolute, no matter how much we may want to believe in them if they're favorable (or how much we may want to refute them, if not favorable).
There is only one absolute law in the world of the dark art, and that is "Nothing is absolute." Theory and potential are one thing; results, observation, and reality are entirely different.
Hope this helps!