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History of overclocking

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Dreadnought Class Senior
Oct 11, 2002
The Empire State
You know I was thinking back when PC was really in the swing and overclocking was for the brave few that had disposable income and didn't care if they fried a board or other parts. But then overclocking was all the rage and getting that specific board was the key to a successful overclock. Then of course you had to show proof posting pics or you were lucky enough to have an OCF member live near you to verify and confirm.

I remember some of my favorite boards and how much I was scared crapless to overclock for fear I would kill some expensive hardware :rofl:. Then someone yelled "GROW AN EFFIN' PAIR!" So I put my piggy bank on the counter and I was off on my overclocking journey which led me here. Those were fun times. Back then overclocking was a right of passage and then you shared your knowledge. You were a rock star! Now overclocking has lost it's way. Newer technology has taken away the "art" of overclocking. Now you buy a new board, chip, ram and cooling, slap it together, pop into the bios, 1-2-3 reboot and that's that. You are now like everyone else overclocked. Where has the art gone?

So now here we are; some of those great motherboard brands gone, but surely not forgotten. Can you remember any?

In no particular order, RIP:

First board I ever bought was an ABIT. It was well before I even knew about overclocking. I truly wish i had that board back. It was a diamond waiting to be shaped but I had no idea.
First overclock I can remember doing was a P2 by somehow changing the bus from 66 to 100 was it? Somewhere in my mind is a memory of apply tape to one of the contacts, but I can't be sure about that.

My most memorable early system was Abit BP6 and dual Celerons although I can't recall the exact speeds before and after. 366 to 550 sounds about right though.

Into the P4 era, I first attempted a GHz overclock, with a Northwood 1.8A and phase change cooling. But the cooling wasn't up to it and only stabilised it at 2.7 GHz. Talk of SNDS reined me in and I didn't try anything more extreme.

Towards the end of the P4 era, someone either Abit or Asus made a dual CPU board using consumer chipset. I had a pair of Xeons in there, and by putting in a wire to the sockets to manipulate bsel, I got two cores 4 threads running at 3.2 GHz! Coupled with a 6800 Ultra, that system really threw out heat under load. I used it as a file server and later a doorstop as it was too hot and noisy to be around. It was also my last watercooling attempt before current era, with Danger Den parts. Anyone remember them?

Not neglecting AMD, I had a X6 1055T running at 3.5 GHz below stock voltage for a long time.
Tyan is still manufacturing motherboards.
Chaintech had a break, they back recently with mainly graphics cards but not many motherboards.
Foxconn never gone from motherboard market, they were manufacturing motherboards for many other brands and they are main manufacturer of motherboard components for almost all other motherboard manufacturers. It's just that their best retail days were when Shamino was working with them but it wasn't long.
There were couple of other brands that disappeared but no one really misses them ... like PC Chips

Funny is that all remember from good side brands that were manufacturing pretty bad motherboards. If anyone had boards like Epox, Abit or DFI nowadays then would only complain at stability or other things. Even though long years ago DFI was overclocking great then most of these motherboards were dying really fast. One of the local distributors stopped to sell them because of too high RMA rate. Abit actually lost too much because of RMA and bad logistics and that was one of the reasons why they went bankrupt. Most Epox motherboards had problems with stability and compatibility but all remember how their Socket A or NF3 motherboards were overclocking.
When I was working in distribution then I saw what is going back to RMA. Somehow I was buying the same motherboards which were often in RMA just because it was fun to overclock on something like DFI NF3 or Abit NF7.
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My first OC was a Phenom X4. Really bad chip to OC, LOL, but I got 3038 MHz out of it before it went wonky and wouldn't go over 2750 MHz.
@ Dino- The 'art' really hasn't lost it's way. There are still a few that dabble in the dark arts and aren't afraid to take an iron to hardware, or mod a bios. It's just not as appreciated as it was back then. Just have to be selective on what your goals actually are. Do you want to have fun?, mod and bench the platforms that you like. Don't be afraid to be yourself.
Anybody can poke three buttons and say they're an overclocker.....but are they really?
I had a p1 200 MMX overclocked to 233 with dipswitchs
That's how long I have been overclocking =)
Even when I had a prebuit that I got as a hand me down I would OC via software. It is just part of me .
first pc was a 386DX 6mhz with the clock replaced to make it run at 8mhz. was done by my dads friend since i was way to young to get into this stuff, traded a NES with all my games for it. It had 4mb of ram i think but i know it had 2 MFM drives double spaced to 40mb each, the video card had either 128k or 256k memory.
that would have been the DX2's, that started at 10mhz then up from there, i think they topped out at 16mhz.
Well guyz you all posted valid points. Scotty I understand perfectly that the 'Art' isn't totally gone, but you have to admit the methods old timers used to overclock our systems back then are gone. I know ppl still overclock to this day, but it's all presets and the new methods are so simple that my 11 year old can overclock. Last night just for shiz & giggles I cleared my cmos/bios and when I booted in the bios, I walked my 11 year old son through the bios and he successfully overclocked my rig back to 4.7Ghz in less than 10 minutes. A chip off the 'ol block :D That's how simple it is to overclock the newer system.

I'm also starting to see the overclocking methods are starting to be blocked off, especially on video cards. Overclocking new videos cards are being limited. Again it's all in presets and/or 2-3 clicks of the mouse and done. Seriously what kind of overclocking is that? The fun of searching, charting down bios settings, rebooting hundreds of times, spending countless hours seeking that last Mhz for the stable overclock, now THAT was the art.

I'm going to start searching around for socket A boards & chips just to have some fun and relive those glory days cuz I'm bored out of my freaking mind.
OC seems to be more of a means to an end now, as opposed to an end in and of itself. The upside is places like OCF attracting a lot more users. If you consider that an upside. :D As one of the button pushing noobs, I lean that way. :clap: