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Tweak Monkey's CPU Overclocking Tips (Page 4/5)

Posted: July 20, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Bumping Up The Clock Speed

Now that you've nailed the problems, tweaked the voltage, and dealt with the heat, you probably want to overclock your CPU a bit higher. Instead of using the typical jumpers or the BIOS' CPU clock speed software, consider SoftFSB. SoftFSB is a nifty little program that allows you to change the clock speed of your CPU (on-the-fly) from within Windows. This has obvious benefits... and it can often times lead to higher clock speeds than you thought possible before. Download SoftFSB here. Check to see if your motherboard is supported before you start playing around with this program, as it can alter some pretty serious stuff. Once you're sure it supports your system, run the program and choose your motherboard from the drop-down list. Hit "Get FSB". Now it should show all the supported FSB speeds. Change the speed of the FSB to the desired clock. Click "Set FSB" and the new speed should be set. You should probably test stability before deciding on a good speed.

Remember: On most new CPUs, you can't change the multiplier. All overclocking must be done in the FSB (front side bus).

To test to see if you've hit the limits of your L2 cache, try disabling the L2 cache in the BIOS setup and setting the clock speed to something that was previously unstable. If the option works and the CPU is stable at the new speed, there is a good chance that your L2 cache is too hot or it's not able to reach the speed you're striving to hit. This is often the limitation on older Pentium II systems.

Choosing a "Good" Speed & Testing Stability

There's no doubt that a higher clock speed is better than a lower clock speed. But you must not sacrifice stability to reach that clock speed, or the PC will become basically useless. There are various ways to test the stability of a system at a given clock speed, but in my opinion, the best method is to use the CPU Stability Test. This program simply rules for testing stability. Crank the priority all the way up and run this program overnight. If the system crashes, you've got a problem.

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