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DO YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST IN KNOWING HOW A COMPUTER IS BUILT?
Poll ended at Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:34 am
YES 100%  100%  [ 10 ]
NO 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
WHAT'S A COMPUTER? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 10
 
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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Decided to overclock my 3.6GHz Pentium 4 just to see how it would react to it.  It's on an Abit SG-80cd board with 2 GIGs of Corsair DDR400 RAM.  Default on the bus is 200MHz and right now I'm at 215 MHz (3.88GHz) with no difference in either stability or heat.  I'll bump it up another 5 soon to see how it likes that then keep jacking it up until it fails to boot or gives me the BSOD!

At the same time I was doing the OC stuff, I discovered that Spread Spectrum was "Enable" on this thing and man, did it ever make a difference when I turned that s**t off!  Can't believe I overlooked that?

Wish the car was as easy to work on as these puters!! ;-)


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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:08 am 
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What does the spread spector do?? :-k

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:59 am 
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Basically it slows your system down.  Here's a technical writeup that wiil enlighetn you.  FYI, I always disable this function, along with a couple of others that are usually "default enable" settings.

http://www.techarp.com/showfreebog.aspx ... &bogno=133


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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:44 am 
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Thanks for the info. I'll have to digest that for a while. I don't think it is a issue for me. I'm not over clocked and it works fine.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:04 am 
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Bumped the bus up to 220MHz yesterday evening to 3.98GHz and it ran fine.  No heat and no BSOD!  Played Unreal Tournament for about an hour and no problems there either.  I'll leave it there for a couple of days then bump it another 5.   ;-)

On another note;  Back in the day, I had a 300a Celeron processor that I ran at 450MHz for about 3 years that worked fine.  Then I bought a 366 Celeron that I ran at 550MHz but not without some problems.  It finally did stabilize though and I ended up selling it to my cousin, who used it another couple of years before I took it back in on trade on a newer system.  

Some motherboards will overclock and some won't.  You also got to have good memory to do this.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:58 pm 
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After running my new beast for a couple of weeks now I have had no problems at all.  I put Flight Simulator 2004 on it to give it a work out and to get my mind off of other things for a while.  It didn't skip a beat.

I'll let Ken get into the depths of overclocking is anyone has an interest.  One thing to keep in mind is that the manufacturing process of a particular CPU is the same for all of that type.  They are then tested and rated for a speed.  In other words a 2.5 GHz CPU and a 3 GHz CPU came out of the same mold.  It just that the 3 GHz CPU tested better and got the higher rating.  Almost all of them have a headroom margin before they actually fail.  This is what we take advantage of by overclocking them.

Women, cars, and computers all have a common thread.  Faster is better!

George


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:58 pm 
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Processors have a multiplier built into them.  There was a time early on that the multiplier could be changed but those days have been long gone.  All multipliers are now locked and have been since the days somewhere about the time of the 233MHz Pentium processor.  Front side buss speeds are not locked and this is what we use to overclock processors now.

That multiplier is represented by a number and I'll use the above mentioned SL32a 300a Celeron as an example.  That processor had a multiplier of 4.5.  The front side buss that powered that processor was suppose to be 66MHz.  So to know what the final speed of that CPU was you multiply the 4.5 number (multiplier) times the buss speed, which in this case is 66MHz.  This = 300 MHz (rounded up), which is that processors "clock speed".  At one point in time AMD, Cyrix and Intel all used this same number to rate the speed of their processors.  That clock speed number is no longer used by AMD and I believe that Cyrix has gone out if business.

So when end users got hold of that Celeron processor, some Geek among us discovered that it would run at 100MHz buss speed instead of 66MHz.  So if you take that 4.5 multiplier and do the math with the 100MHz buss you come up with 450MHz clock speed for a processor that was meant to run at 300MHz.  Basically the only thing you had to do different was use memory that would handle that 100MHz buss speed and that Celeron would run forever like that.  I still have that processor now!  And it will still work!!

So that brings us to my Pentium 4 3.6GHz processor.  That multiplier is now up to 18 and the front buss speed is now up to 200MHz default and much higher on some of the newer CPUs.  So when I bumped my buss speed up 5MHz each time it gives much more of a numerical increase than the old style processors as the new stuff is rated in GHz, that's Gigahertz whereas the old stuff was rated in Megahertz.  Faster is better here also.  So now I'm up to 220 MHz on the front buss and the multiplier is 18 so we wind up with 3.960 GHz of speed.  I think I mentioned that I was at 3.98GHz when I'm actually at 3.96GHz.  Yeah, math wasn't one of my favorite subjects.  ;-)

So this is what overclocking is and what's involved in doing it.  But there are some down sides to this as well.

Heat:  A byproduct of this overclocking function is additional heat.  If your CPU cooler isn't a good one then you might run into problems with stability.  Most new systems have a thermal shut down built in'em to keep them from destroying themselves from overheating.  If they get too hot, they just shut down.

Reliability:  Some systems, even though they may appear to work well at first, can start to have problems later on.  Crashes and BSOD shut downs are common on systems that are overclocked too high.  I usually run mine up until problems start then back it down a couple of notches to where it will stabilize.  Do this in small incriments to find that trouble point, which is what I'm doing with mine.

Warranty:  Obviously if you run one of these processors faster than it is designed to run at and there is a problem, then you could be stuck without a warranty should it go up in smoke.  I don’t know of any manufacturer that will warranty an overclocked CUP!  FYI, I've never destroyed one by doing this but I do know some people that have!  ;-)  

So that brings us to the why and what for part of this.  Why?  Because I can!!  What for?  Additional clock speed for zero more money!  But to be honest, this overclock deal here is the first one of these I’ve done in about 7 or 8 years.  These new systems have so much speed now it’s almost not worth the trouble any more.


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