My Journey To 1000Mhz

I grew tired of my “slow” P2-300 / SL2W8 running at 450 MHz.
Then I got my hands on a P3-450, it was good for 558 MHz.
Finally, I traded the 450 and a little cash for a P3-650 coppermine that would run 800 reasonably stable.

Not good enough.

Matters had gotten serious.
I had, in the course of a year, discarded, sold, or traded 3 perfectly good “fast” processors.

For what?

Speed. More and faster was what I wanted. I had to have the fastest processor, faster than my brother, my friends, anyone that I talked to.
I wanted to own the fastest processor of anyone I knew. Faster than you even, know what I’m saying?

So there I sat, running at 800 MHz. and not satisfied.

I was fortunate enough to still have the retail box for my P3-650. I asked the guys I got my chip from if I could “trade it in”
towards a faster one and pay the difference. They said no problem. It was only going to be $46.00 more to go to the P3-700 I wanted!

Could only $46.00 get me into Gigahertz land?

Maybe I could get lucky….maybe not. Let’s see.

I hand over my 650 and they had 2 sequentially numbered boxed SL454 / 700’s they let me choose from. These guys are kind enough to let me test them. One runs OK at 7×120 for 840, but gets shaky at 130/910 MHz.

I try the second without changing the settings, 910 MHz. right into Windows, no problem.

Now we have something.

With retail fan/heatsink I have a 200 MHz. jump in speed. So I try 133/931Mhz., right into Windows, I run 3DMark 2000 looping for a few minutes, no lockups.


I try 136/952 MHz. Freeze at boot up. Crud.

Bump voltage from 1.65 to 1.75. Lock.

Bump to 1.80. POSTs but won’t make it into Windows.

Bump to 1.85, and it boots right into Windows.


Run 3Dmark, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes . . . no lockups, solid and stable at 952 MHz.

This is what it’s all about.

A slot 1 933 sells for $675.00 or so and I now have a 950 running at 136 FSB.


I try 140/980 MHz. Boots into Windows! I am really thinking 1000 now.

I load 3Dmark at 980, but no go.

Reboot and raise I/O Voltage from 3.5 to 3.6, nope. Raise to 3.7. 3DMark runs for about 3 minutes before kicking me back to the desktop.

Bump the processor to 1.90 and go for 143/1001 MHz.

Nothing, no POST, nothing.

I think I can live with 952/980.

All this with factory heatsink/fan combo in the first 15 minutes.

I tell them I want this one, pay my $46.00 and drive home happy. For a while.

Get home. Do I slap it in and run it at 952 for awhile? Can I just try to be satisfied with 952? Get a 250 MHz. jump from stock all stable and just be happy?


“I can get it stable at 980 MHz.” “It just needs better cooling.” “No bunch of Indians are going to kick Custer’s ass.”

Next step: better cooling. Off comes the factory heatsink/fan. Wish it were as easy as saying it.

Finally find the “correct” way to remove the heatsink/fan. with a case screw. Not a mini drill press.

All goes peachy until I get the 3rd pin out. Final one is giving me problems. It doesn’t just pop right out like the others.

I really have to lean on it to make it pop, but finally it does.

I carefully mount the Orb after cleaning the factory heat goo off and slip it back into the motherboard.

Power up. The hard drive spins, the lights flash, but no bootup screen…WTF?

Reseat the video card. Nothing. I reseat the CPU. More nothing. I re-reseat the video card, proc. and power connector on the motherboard.

Just lights and spinning hard drive. No screen.

NOW I worry.

After about fifty vain repetitions, it begins to sink in.

Crap. I know I didn’t burn the thing up!!! What is it???

Different video card. The same.

Reluctantly, I pull the processor, remove the heatsink and inspect the chip. The naked eye sees nothing, but with a magnifying glass, I see something.

Something that churns my gut to this day.

When I leaned on it, I leaned the heatsink against a corner of the fragile core. And it lost.

Under the magnifying, you saw the silicon like stacked mica crystals, except for the crunched corner.

Three years of overclocking and I kill a bright young promising CPU not gloriously in battle, but with my weight. It deserved a more honorable death. :- {

I mourned. It felt as bad as booting into Windows at 980 felt good.

I now know what it means to overclock.

And I now know I am a real overclocker. Not even grief stops me.

I take it back the next day and trade it for the other 700. It’ll run 840. Big whoop.

I run the 700/840 for about 2 days. It runs hot (109 F.) and needs 1.85. I’m not happy.

I’m a bit disheartened. But this is America! I will not give up!!

I go and buy/borrow six P3-700’s from my buddies and start slapping ’em in!!!

First five boot into Windows at 840/900 or so….last one does 133×7 for 931.

Dare I hope again?

I raise voltage to 1.75 and go 952. Then 1.80/ 980 and it boots right into Windows at freaking 980 MHZ !

Back in the saddle, baby!

Run 3Dmark for about 3 minutes before crashing back to the desktop.

Reboot, raise I/O voltage to 3.7. and 3DMark lasts 8 minutes. Temp’s only 108 F. with factory fan/heatsink.

Other five go back.

Do I really now have a chip better than the “good” one I killed? Am I being rewarded for my trial of will? Am I just lucky?

I don’t know or care.

For the second time in 3 days, I try to take off heatsink with the case screw method. Think I was more careful the second time around?

It took me about 10 minutes, 10 long minutes.

I removed them in opposing corners in an X pattern, making sure that I kept the heatsink PERFECTLY FLAT against the chip AT ALL TIMES.

All 4 pins pop out like I’m in a dream. 🙂

I gingerly remove the heatsink goo, mount the Orb and boot up at 133/931. Runs solid and stable overnight running 3Dmatk looping , Temp is only 100 F. Freaking A!

Go to 136/952. solid as a rock, all night looping runs.

Temp is 102 F. I’m back at 950+. Life is good again.

It runs 980 at 104F. I play SoF for about 15 minutes at 980 before it dumps me.

Now it all comes down to this: can I score the big Gig?

After a couple days’ burn-in, I go for broke.

Before the attempt, I use wire snips to cut out the little grill on the back of my case so I can mount a small fan to suck air out of the case. I use a 6000 rpm Athlon heatsink fan and it lowers my overall chip temp by 3-4 degrees !

Hot air, get off my case! Running 952 now at 100 F. Livin’ large.

Boot up, 1.90V, and all is well at 980.

Now. Set to 143/ 1001 MHz.

Power up, it POSTs. Through the memory count, through the splash screen and … locks! Dangit!!!

Raise I/O to 3.7. Reboot. POSTs, info screen, flashing cursor………..and BINGO!!! Windows AT 1001 MHZ. with AIR COOLING! WOOHOO!!!!

Move the mouse around, open a folder or two, reboot. Temp is 105 F.

As I type this I’m running (happily) at 138 FSB / 966 MHz. stable in apps and 3D games.

Seems like the longer I run it the more stable it is… 🙂

When I get bored, I guess I could always go to a Peltier.

There you have it, 2 trips, 7 processors and 13 days later and I am running at an adjusted equivalent of 1000 MHz. with air cooling only. 1 Gig.


Hope this helps you out or at least helped you laugh. 🙂


(It’s also nice to have bragging rights at LAN’s too.)

Email Troy

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