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Help overclocking PIII 500

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Apr 6, 2002
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
All right, here's the deal. I've had this P3 500 for 2 years now; bought it and put it together RIGHT on December 31, 1999.

Today, I decide, I should probably check the CPU temperature, so I do. I was astonished to see that my CPU was running at 53°C! I mean, I hadn't overclocked it or anything. I checked up on Intel's site, and the max my CPU can take is 90°C... But still isn't that really hot?

Even the motherboard's kinda hot, being at body temperature. How could I solve this temperature problem? Could it be the number of devices I have? (Try to be economical too with the answers, if possible)

Also, I decided to see how much I could squeeze out. And I like what I'm seeing. This my system right now:

P3 500 Mhz (Just retail cooling, from Intel)
Asus P3B-F Motherboard
ATI AIW Rage 128 16 MB AGP
10 GB HD
128 MB RAM (PC100 I believe)
Yada yada yada....

I overclocked through the BIOS, and was able to squeeze out 575 Mhz, while still being able to boot XP, and get results; I did get to 600 Mhz, but XP wouldn't load once, so I got scared, and went back. Plus, I was having problems resetting, so I figured I went too far. I might try the 124 Mhz / 31 Mhz setting; I used the 120 Mhz / 40 Mhz setting for the 600 Mhz CPU.

So how's my system overclocking? Generally good?

Also, I know numbers aren't everything. Are there utilities out there to give my CPU the works, see if it can handle what I throw at it while still being STABLE?

Finally, should I go further? Remember, I plan on going with no kind of cooling, whatsoever. Thanks for your responses. I've included a text file of my results. Post if you want it in a different format. I have an Excel file too, with the graphs and stuff, but the text file is easy to convert for yourselves.

P.S. On a side note, I plan on perhaps upgrading my RAM, adding either another 128 or 256 MB. Do you guys think I should buy it now, or wait a while, save up the money, and buy a new comp?
Welcome to the forum...from what i've heard 600 is the most you can squeeze out of those chips generally so your not doing too bad. I have P3Katami 500 but its not overclocked b/c the mobo is not friendly. I believe (but not positive) that you can upgrade the CPU in a P3B-F to a coppermine cele or P3 with a slotket so depending on what you are looking for in your next upgrade and how much $$$ you want to blow should help out your new decision out a bit.

If you buy a new system you'll need new: mobo, RAM, CPU, PSU/case (minimum) and you'll probly want to buy a new vid card etc...

Also for stability testing use prime95 torture test http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
Ur mobo and CPU run very hot at 53C I wouldn't recommend overclocking, you should check out your airflow in the case, if your motherboard hit 37, its not good. Try removing the side panel or the cover of the case and run the computer w/o it to check for a temp drop.

Try to orgenize your wires there, you can also make rounded cables if u wish.

What I did with all my IDE and Floppy cable, is I stuck them into an empty 5.25" bay, and I have nothing objecting the airflow in my case.

If you get ur temps down u can start to think about overclocking
Thanks for the responses guys. Um, I went to bed, and had dreams of a new computer, so I think I'm going to follow them! Hehe. Unless I get an amazing deal at Computer Fest in two weeks; I'll still buy a new comp, but I'll blow a bit of cash on memory too for this one.

So it isn't just me then is it? It is running hot huh? Yeah... I think it really might be the airflow. Tomorrow, after I've done my hwk, I'm gonna see what I can do about the airflow in there.

If there's anything else you can suggest, it'd be great.
What I would do is slap a new heatsink/fan on it. It will help get those temps down, and at the very least I would add a 4 inch fan to the front of the case to help draw some cooler air into it. Adding ram to the comp will always help, especially if you are under 256mb. With Windows XP you should try to have 512 from what I am hearing to be at the optimum. Getting the temps down on your comp will help with stability at the very least, even if you dont OC. Good luck
I just sold my P3-500 and was having the same problem you were having- my chip was burning at 59c - but i talked to some guuys at intel and they told me not to worry because the chip was well within working range- I also wanted to overclock it but i found out i couldnt go higher than 550 before the system would start to go nuts- by the way Asus P3v4x Mobo- some guys on this form told me to download Sisoftware Sandra and look at the cpu info to see if i had a Katmani core- which i did which meant that chip was VERY overclock unfriendly- the board was grat for overclocking thouhg- u may wanna download sandra and see if u have a Katmani core- if so- give up and go P4 1.6a -- thats what i have now and i Oc'ed to 2.1-- very nice and still Very Cool!!

hope this helps
first of, u have to keep temp down if you want to oc, if at all. personally, everything above 45c is too hot.. anyway, if you want to upgrade, and don't want to spend too much as you mentioned above, then your best bet is to buy a slocket, and purchase a Celeron-Tualatin and a pc133 ram. then you are all set. Going for 1.6a is great, but that also means you have to buy new board, chip, ram--and they are more expensive. Besides, a celeron 1.2a will oc to 1.5+, which pretty much equals to what a P4 2.0 can do, at a lower price that is.