Overclocking on a College Student Budget

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OK, let me first off say that I am new to overclocking. I’ve been reading reviews and in the forums to try to get a better idea about what’s going on. I’m a college student on a tight budget and until I get enough cash to get a decent cooler, I’m kind of stuck. Here are my system specs:

  • P-III 450Mhz w/ stock heat sink and fan
  • Gigabyte BX-2000 board
  • 256MB PC-133
  • Viper V770 w/ 32MB
  • IBM 45 G 7200 rpm w/ The Ultimate Hard Drive cooler.
  • Promise ATA 100 card.
  • 52x CD-ROM
  • 32X8X4X CD-Writer

I’ve been playing with Motherboard Monitor and I saw that my CPU’s temp was at 49-52 C at full load. I finally found some information saying that this was its high limit. I started wondering what I could do to fix it without spending much if any money.

Well, a lot of the articles I’ve read say that the back plate on these chips holds a lot of heat in. So I took my heat sink and back plate off (say so long to your warranty when you take the back plate off). For a good article on how to do this go here.

Then I cut out the pin holes that hold the thing together. I used my trusty Dremel, but I think that a hacksaw, or if really in a pinch, a pair of wire cutters will work. I left the plastic risers between the two holes (the part of the back plate that actually touch the chip).

Then I went and cleaned off all of the old stuff that Intel uses – not sure whether it was thermal tape or grease – and put Arctic Silver II on it instead. Then I put the chip back together and plugged it back in.

I don’t have any way other than SETI to determine how well it worked. All temperatures are in Celsius, measured with Mother Board Monitor 5 after running SETI over night:

Condition

Idle Temp

Load Temp

PIII 450 @ 450 Before Mod

40 C

51 C

PIII 450 @ 450 After Mod

29 C

40 C

PIII 450 @ 500 FSB 112

31 C

48 C

So for normal use the stock Intel HS&F will work. Just replacing the thermal compound makes a world of difference and I would also believe not void you warranty? If your warranty doesn’t bother you, then just get rid of the back plate and watch the temperature drop a few more degrees.

Christopher Winton


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