First, allow me
to give you some backgrond on my motives with respect to
overclocking. I am a speed freak. I intend to push my hardware as
far as it will go without damage to the components. Some people are
value freaks. They want the most horsepower for their buck and are
concerned about cost. While cost is an issue sometimes for me, I
opted for the PII-333 for my overclocked gaming rig. The option is a
little more risky due to the fact that the PII-333 is multiplier
locked at 5X. So, if your CPU won't do 500MHz then you're stuck at
415 (5X83) or less...
Now, this took
some serious hunting around to find a processor that would run
stable at 103MHz at a 5X multiplier. I went through no less than 4
CPUs to find the right one. There are many resources on the net for
finding overclockable CPUs. Overclockers.com
has a nice CPU Database with all the different date and lot codes
that will make the jump to 500MHz. I chose the PII-333 SL2TV - Week
41 Ireland Made CPU from a company by the name of 5
They were kind enough to email the codes of my CPU which are...
(the "Y" stands for the Ireland assembly plant, 8 for 1998
and 41 for Week 41) Now, you may not need my exact date and lot code
to be successful, but you will need a tried and true lot/date code
from some other batch. Otherwise, you're just gambling.
is a picture of my little sweetness
I will not part with this CPU so don't even ask! Even this CPU was a
gamble because getting a PII-333 to run at 500+ is no easy feat! For
starters I went with the Mother of all Motherboards, the Abit
A lot of folks like the BH6
for its size and price both of which are small in comparison to most
BX mobos. I like the BX6 rather because of the fact that it has many
smart fan connectors and has an extra legacy ISA slot available for
my extra Ethernet card. At the moment, Abit in my opinion, is the
one of the only companies that a true overclocker should look to for
a new motherboard when overclocking PIIs in general. My reasoning is
that Abit is the only manufacturer that will allow you to adjust CPU
voltages in the BIOS.
a picture of the CPU Setup section of the BIOS
You'll notice there is a CPU Voltage Setup Option you can mess with.
It is normally set to the CPU default. My advice to you is not to
mess with this unless you know what you are doing. It will let you
adjust your CPU voltage in .1 increments. Since a lot of CPUs will
only allow you to overclock marginally at the default voltage, this
adjustment adds that extra umph! (that's a German word, isn't it?
:-)) If your CPU won't run stable at 450 or 500 at 2.0V then try
increasing the voltage .1V at a time up to but no higher than 2.3V.
I have actually run a CPU at 2.5V for a while just to try to get it
to stabilize. It never did. I didn't hurt the CPU that time but I
would advise against it strongly. If you can't get the CPU stable up
to 2.3V then more voltage will probably not help much anyway. Of
course, there are exceptions to every rule.
NEED GOOD COOLING. I have no less than Six Fans blowing cool air in
and sucking hot air out of my Full Tower Case. Here's a shot of the
CPU cooler I use... and remember, always practice "safe
sinking" using a thin layer of thermal paste between the CPU
and the cooler.
"BCool PII Cooler Model FAP2X3B-10"
on to your hats boyz! This puppy will blow you away! Three fans
all-a-crankin' in unison!
Anyway, I booted
it at 5X100MHz Front Side Bus at the default voltage and she locked
booting Win98. So I kicked'er up to 2.1V and wammo baby! I was
there! So I then tried one step further and enabled the "Turbo
Frequency" Option in the BIOS which adds an additional 3MHz to
the bus for a total of 15MHz when multiplied X5. She did that like a
walk in the part too! I then ran a battery of tests including the
opening "fly by" screen demo in Unreal (my personal
burn-in utility :-)), if that game doesn't make her cough, nothing
will! I also ran a few runs of 3D Mark 99 and let the machine run
Unreal overnight. When I got up the next day, the machine was still
chugging away on Unreal!
OK... so you're
sayin' "but Uncle-Dave, how do I get my CPU to do tricks like
that?!" My advice would be to stick to one of the known lot
code/data code combinations that is tried and true for 450+ or
500MHz. There are far fewer processors around that are capable of
making the step up to 500 or more. 450 or even 464 (103X4.5) for an
SL2W8 Step Code PII-300, is a much more attainable goal. If you have
the time and the resouces, however, it can be done!
Good luck, and
keep on clockin' !