Overclocking On An Eighth Grade Budget

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This story starts with a Computer Renaissance R-Machine. It had a Cyrix M2 233 CPU; an Amptron PM9100 PC Chips integrated board, 16Mb of RAM (14 after the 2Mb went to video), a 3.2Gb hard drive and a generic 28.8 modem.

It was my first computer (outside of an old Apple IIe). I got it when I was in sixth grade.

I started reading up on overclocking because MS Flight Simulator 98 wouldn’t run on my machine because it was too slow. Then I ran across overclockers.com and learned about bus speeds and multipliers.

One day, after my mom went to work, I changed the bus speed to 83, and it booted as a Cyrix mII 333!

All was fine until I tried to open Winamp. Then the sound card gave me an error. I read and re-read the manual until I came across a pci-33/pci-1/2 jumper. I set that to 33 and everything worked! I was so happy. FS98 finally ran fine, and Winamp would run.

But then I wanted better video, so I started looking for it. I didn’t have enough money for a TNT, or even a Voodoo Banshee for that matter.

Then my mom and I went to the thrift store looking for a costume, where I found a Diamond Monster Fusion in the pile of computer parts for $5. Happy again, I immediately bought it and went home.

When I put it in, I found that it didn’t like the async pci-33 jumper, so I had to lower the bus speed down to 75, and upped the multiplier up to 3.5.

A few weeks later, I started looking for more RAM, but 64 Mb of RAM was a little out of my 10-dollar price range. My mom was able to acquire an old 486-dx4-100 with 64 Megs of EDO RAM. Just what I needed. So I put that in, and my computer was finally running smooth.

By now, I’m in the middle of the 8th grade. I was worried about my CPU. The Cyrix was so hot, I was afraid, but my Vantec sink never let me down. Luckily it was winter here in Arizona.

Then I learned about case fans. I took apart a few old power supplies and gathered together all the 80mm case fans I could find, a hot glue gun, and a lot of hope.

I took the side off my case and glued 2 fans to the side blowing down on the processor. I was then able to get it to 300mhz with a little extra voltage (had it all the way up to 3.3).

After that, my computer blew away my girlfriends p2-300 with 96 Megs of RAM, and a Matrox Millennium video card. I was so happy.

I then got an old K62-450 off E-Bay, and I had to leave it at 450 since that was as far as I could go with it.

Then my mobo died. Luckily, I had arranged my birthday to come two weeks later. I got an Epox MVP3G2 and an AMD K6-2 500. It had 256 Megs of RAM, and it was the first computer I built.

That was cool until Christmas, when I got an Athlon 1.4 T-Bird and my Asus A7V133. It is so awesome! I initially was able to run it at 1680 (140×12) with the stock cooler and 1.7 volts.

I wanted it to be cooler, so I borrowed a dremel, and put two of the faithful fans I’ve had since the Cyrix into my cheap elevation case. That dropped the Asus PC Probe temps down to 141F from 147F. Then I got a Vantec 6035 copper heatsink on sale at CompUSA for 12 dollars. That got me down to 136F. It allowed me to overclock it to 1750 and 1.8 volts, but I was afraid of the processor wearing out, so I set it back to 1680. The moral of this story is not to tell you my story; it is mostly to say, look for inspiration in the weirdest places. I got my parts from old dead power supplies and thrift stores. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on over clocking, just time and perseverance. Good luck

I am now running SETI and Winamp as I run it, and it has been on for 3 weeks straight without any lockups.

The moral of this story is not my story. It is to say, keep thinking and looking. You could get inspired or find what you need in the weirdest places, like inside dead power supplies or thrift stores.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on overclocking, just time, perseverance and a little extra thought.

Good luck!

Alex Morgan

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