Eric G. Valenzuela’s 500E Journey

As a die-hard overclocker, I couldn’t resist the urge to try out the new Intel PIII “Cumine” 500E as soon as it hit our local market [Philippines]. Been happy chugging along in my Celery 366@550 on an ABIT BE-6 board, Apacer PC100 RAM, generic TNT 16mb AGP card, etc. – till started posting some awesome results on the Cumine’s.

A week ago the PIII 500E came out and like clockwork I was in the store for some “cumine” over revving. But sadly, there are NO “cumine” slockets available – interestingly Intel issued an advisory to the reseller that NO new P3 will be sold without a motherboard purchase together with it (scared of burning out CPU’s because some motherboards does not support the lower voltage, I guess!). So, the new project had to wait!

Then the “cumine” slocket came, but not your Iwill or MSI (branded) type (just one of those generics “no name” kind) but the need for speed prevailed, so generic it is. I stuck the new PIII 500E and slocket on my BE-6 and booted at 120MHz bus @ 1.6v; 600MHz everything booted and was working perfectly. Then I restarted and tried 124MHz bus @1.6v; 620 MHz and again everything worked perfectly; another restart and set the bus to 133MHz @ 1.6v and the whole thing just froze – blank screen and nothing!

The RAM was not up to the task I guess, so I went out and bought me the only available PC133 RAM in the local market, using Toshiba 7.5ns chips. Stick the new RAM on the board and again blank screen at 133MHz bus; tried an old PCI video card and still nothing. I added voltage but it did not help at all, still blank and dead. Blaming the generic slocket, I was ready to wait for a branded slocket.

Then I remembered that I have a SOYO SY6BA+ lying around (purchased with the PIII to follow Intel’s advisory, had no choice) and was going to sell it to a friend with my old Celery 366. I stick this M/B to the case and booted right away at 133MHz @ 1.6V and the miracle happened: I booted Windows 98SE without any problem at 667MHz but not with the TNT card. I had to stick to my old Trident PCI card, then to 140MHz bus @ 700MHz still at default voltage and everything including Prime95 and CPU Stability Test could not crash the system using Intel own H/S and Fan.

I went back to the store to exchange the SOYO SY6BA+ to a SOYO SY6BA+III (the +IV is currently not available in our market, I have an option to upgrade if it comes in the next 2 weeks). SOYO SY6BA+III it is plus an OEM Matrox G400 16mb AGP card and now I am happily kicking some overclocking ass at 720MHz @ 1.6V (144MHz X 5) with stock Intel H/S and a 27CFM fan stuck to it by my glue gun.

The SOYO SY6BA+III is one excellent and stable board – it does what my ABIT BE-6 could not possibly do – even given the same peripherals. The same goes to the Matrox G400 which can run at very high AGP settings, plus the best image quality I’ve seen in my monitor.

As you and others have experienced, this is a very “friendly” CPU – it can even boot up at 150 MHz setting but I get VXD and blue screen errors, probably because of the RAM. I just wish I could get a hold of some EMS HSDRAM or some of those MICRON RAM.

More power, Eric G. Valenzuela.

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