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After doing some research online (thanks to Notebook Forums -notebookforums.com- for all the information), I decided to take the risky step of overclocking my newest baby – a Dell Inspiron 6000.
This laptop is fairly new and uses DDR2 memory, but since I was on a budget and needed to be economical, I opted for the cheapest processor available, a Celeron M 350 running at 1.3 GHz, with a 400 MHz bus speed (4 times 100). The trick in this mod is to fool the mainboard into thinking the chip is a 533 MHz bus speed (4 times 133).
This is accomplished by inserting a tiny jumper in the ZIF socket on the main board, of course after removing the CPU. The jumper goes in the third row of pins, between pins 15 and 16. This picture clearly shows the jumper in place, ready for the processor to be inserted:
The scariest part of this whole process is the disassembly of the notebook. With a laptop, this requires completely taking apart the unit to get to the ZIF socket. Luckily for us overclockers, Dell provides a complete breakdown guide from beginning to end, so dissasembly is a snap!
Of course, while I had the laptop apart I cleaned up the heatsinks, removed the thermal pads and applied Arctic Silver to keep everything as cool as possible, especially since the overclocked chip will run warmer. The end result of my 35 minutes of labor:
My sluggish 1.3 GHz Celeron has been cranked up to 1.72 GHz! This is an absolutely free 32% overclock! The temperature difference was also less than 10 degrees Celsius, which made the maximum CPU temperature around 45, which is not so bad. I encourage anyone with the 400 MHz bus CPUs (Celeron M or Pentium M chips) to try this mod on your laptops or systems.
Included are some screenshots of Intel’s Processor ID Utility
and Sisoftware’s Sandra CPU info screen:
Notice how Sandra has retrieved a string from the processor that says Pentium M 2.2 GHz? That’s what sent me over the edge and into the dangerous uncharted territory of laptop overclocking. Something in my gut tells me all mobile Celerons are really crippled mobile Pentiums with the L2 cache cut in half.
Now if there was just a way to re-enable the other meg of cache…. 😉 Links at the end of the article include Dell’s service manual link, a notebookforums link to the article on the Dell 9300/XPS laptop mod, and links to Christian Diefer’s website with fangui and speedswitchxp, two great little apps for Dell laptops which control fan speed and CPU throttling. Special thanks to WhyOWhy at notebookforums for the closeup of the zif socket!