Pentium 4 Adventures In Overclocking With The Asus P4T

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Pentium 4 - Adventures In Over-clocking
Pushing the limits with the help of Asus' P4T i850 Motherboard

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
12/11/00
 

   

Once in a while we get a product into the lab here at HotHardware that is just plain fun to work with.  As a result, we like to take our time with a full review of the product so we have plenty of time to "live with it" before passing judgment.  We have been working and living with Asus P4T Motherboard for about a week now and we have been able to do some pretty interesting tricks with it while having a lot of fun in the process.

This is a quick peek into the netherworld of over-clocking with the Pentium 4.  Well alright, let's not be too dramatic here.  Over-clocking is very commonplace these days.  Many motherboard vendors give end users the ability to push their PC hardware to the limit, at their own risk.  And why not?  It's your hardware, so giving you the ability to explore its outer most limits in performance is a very smart design approach and product feature from a marketing perspective.

Later this week, we'll be looking at the Asus P4T i850 Pentium 4 Motherboard in greater detail.  For now, here is a quick glimpse at our "vehicle" for this adventure.
 

HotHardware's Test System 
Intel inside and Asus under the hood

 

On the left, the star of our little side show, is the Asus P4T i850 Motherboard.  Just add 256MB of Dual RAMBUS (Dual 128MB sticks), an nVidia GeForce2 UItra and ...   Why don't we just post up the system specs here.

  • Asus P4T Motherboard, Pentium 4 Processor @ 1.5GHz.,

  • 256MB of Samsung PC800 RAMBUS DRDRAM,

  • IBM DTLA307045 45Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Hard Drive,

  • nVidia GeForce 2 Ultra 64MB AGP Graphics Card,

  • Intel 100tx PCI NIC, 56K PCI Modem

  • Sound Blaster Live Sound Card,

  • Hitachi DVD ROM Drive,

  • WindowsME 

  • Direct X 8.0 and nVidia reference drivers version 7.17

  • Intel chipset drivers version 2.60a

Installation / Setup 
Over-clocking is not rocket science...

 

The Pentium4 is "over-clockable" like any of its previous older siblings.  Get good cooling, adjust the front side bus, bump up the voltage if need be and away you go.  We used a stock Intel Heat Sink that came with our CPU.  "Stock" is a relative term these days with Intel P4 sinks.  They are getting beefier all the time it seems, as clock speeds increase.

 

 

This is the unit without the shroud and fan assembly mounted to it, so you can get a good look at the hardware underneath.

The other weapon in any "Over-Clocker's" arsenal is a good BIOS for adjusting CPU setup.  The Asus P4T does a nice job here.  Perhaps it isn't as sophisticated as some of Asus' more mature P3 motherboards but it gives you the tools you need regardless.
 

Normal BIOS CPU Setup

BIOS Clock Adjustments

Overclocked w/ Volt Boost

You'll also note that here we set the CPU up on a 13X Multiplier with a 133MHz. Front Side Bus.  Stock Pentium 4 chips will come with either a 14X mult. for 1.4GHz. chips or 15X for 1.5GHz. chips.  Our processor is an Intel Engineering sample with the multiplier unlocked, so we were free to explore the most top end clock speed we could achieve, with lots of options.  

Now that we have things setup for success here, let's boot our oh-so friendly OS (extreme sarcasm) and see what we'll get!

 

The P4 hits new heights with the benchmarks!

 

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