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View Full Version : Tom's Hardware overclocking to 5.25 GHz



carlsson
January 7th, 2004, 11:51 PM
I know this forum is about vintage computers, but if anyone is interested in modern PC hardware, here is a recent article on Tom's Hardware about how they overclocked a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 to a possible new world record at 5.25 GHz:

http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20031230/index.html

Keywords: -190 C, liquid nitrogen, compressor, voltage regulator heatsink

Although it was not perfectly stable, more than 60% overclocking seems like a marvellous task. I assume none of these cooling methods however make sense with older computers (which don't get _that_ hot and seldom can be boosted beyond their expected capacity).

Unknown_K
January 8th, 2004, 09:12 AM
Nothing like spending tons of cash to run a computer that crashes all the time to get to run quake3 at 200fps instead of that unusable 180fps. :roll:

I dont think even the gamers need a processor that fast at this time, the video card has been the bottleneck for the last few years. Even the midpriced cards give you 30-60fps at the desired resolution these day on 1+ year old computers.

I remember back when you tried playing falcon 3.0 on the computers of that day and got a jerky slideshow on the screen, how things have changed.

A person doing video compression could use the extra power, but without stability its worthless.

carlsson
January 8th, 2004, 10:56 AM
Notice that Tom's says that at "only" 4.7 GHz (below the level they strived towards), the system was perfectly stable. I agree this is mostly of academic interest, but so is finding the element with the most protons or the largest possible prime (at least in my eyes).

It is probably nice to return to your old software with new hardware and see how much more smooth it runs. Owners of the SuperCPU 64 have reported several old games to work better, e.g. the wire-frame based Stunt Car Racer released on cartridge in the end of the C64 career. While it is quite jerky on a 1 MHz machine, it floats nicely on a 20 MHz ditto without the programmers had any idea this would happen some day.

Unknown_K
January 8th, 2004, 11:47 AM
There is a major difference in using a chip designed for 20mhz on an old C64 and trying to get the original 1mhz chip overclocked to 20mhz with liquid nitrogen.

I find thats while old conputers in stock configuration ran some programs of the era a bit slow, upgrading the memory and drives and pheripherals (now that they are cheap and obsolete) makes the old machines fly. My old amiga 1200 with 68030/50 addon board, fpu, 16mb 32 bit ram, 3.2gb laptop drive loads one hell of alot faster then the stock configuration with a 80mb drive.

CP/M User
January 8th, 2004, 12:59 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

> I know this forum is about vintage computers, but if
> anyone is interested in modern PC hardware, here
> is a recent article on Tom's Hardware about how
> they overclocked a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 to a possible
> new world record at 5.25 GHz:

No sorry, personally I don't care for this stuff much. I
actually thought they were way past that 5.25Ghz mark
since I heard about some 20Ghz processor, but
perhaps it may not have been a Micro! ;-)

You did the right thing putting it into Off-Topic section,
so at least that's exceptable. Erik might kick up a stink
if you posted it elsewhere! :-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
January 8th, 2004, 01:18 PM
There is a major difference in using a chip designed for 20mhz on an old C64 and trying to get the original 1mhz chip overclocked to 20mhz with liquid nitrogen.
Yes, I had never thought the latter was possible anyway, since older computers would require you to change crystal, put some buffer on the bus to cooperate with the other chips etc. Of course it is possible to replace instead of overclock the CPU in a modern PC too, as long as there is anything better to replace it with. :-)

carlsson
January 8th, 2004, 01:20 PM
I actually thought they were way past that 5.25Ghz mark since I heard about some 20Ghz processor
Maybe that was a satellite communication frequency? Anyway, even if you're not particulary interested in the subject, you now know your work PC is not that far away from the state of the art as you otherwise might have expected. :-)

Unknown_K
January 8th, 2004, 01:42 PM
There is a major difference in using a chip designed for 20mhz on an old C64 and trying to get the original 1mhz chip overclocked to 20mhz with liquid nitrogen.
Yes, I had never thought the latter was possible anyway, since older computers would require you to change crystal, put some buffer on the bus to cooperate with the other chips etc. Of course it is possible to replace instead of overclock the CPU in a modern PC too, as long as there is anything better to replace it with. :-)

The old machines were never meant to be upgraded, everything was timed so that sound, video, data bus worked together. Any upgrades basically were computers on a card that interfaced with the rest of the computer at the same old speed.

For the new pc's I dont recommend putting a new cpu on an old motherboard. By the time your new machine gets old the front side bus, CPU pin configuration, memory speed and type, will have changed so much your better off with a new motherboard and memory. Its been years since technology stayed the same long enough to make it worth doing cpu upgrades.

I always wondered why somebody doesnt come out with a computer where everything operates at the same speed like the old designs. Even at 400mhz a system where the memory, cpu, video, sound were all timed the same would run very fast. Alot of the cpu real estate these days is for sram cache and the associated logic needed to feed a cpu thats running data from a much slower main memory and then send huge amounts of data over a real slow bus to the video card with its own memory with buffer chips all along the way.

CP/M User
January 8th, 2004, 02:21 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

>> I actually thought they were way past that 5.25Ghz
>> mark since I heard about some 20Ghz processor

> Maybe that was a satellite communication frequency?
> Anyway, even if you're not particulary interested in
> the subject, you now know your work PC is not that
> far away from the state of the art as you otherwise
> might have expected. :-)

I think you're getting me mixed up with someone else
as I don't have a work PC! ;-)

My last Work PC was a Celeron running at 366Mhz,
which seemed to be slower than my Pentium 166Mhz!
;-)

I do remember someone talking about a 20Ghz
processor so it must exist (unless I had one of those
futuristic dreams). I don't think it was IBM based
though.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
January 8th, 2004, 03:17 PM
My last Work PC was a Celeron running at 366Mhz,
which seemed to be slower than my Pentium 166Mhz!
Ok, with "work PC" I meant to differ your 166 Wintel machine from other personal computers (e.g. running CP/M) you might have.

I'm much too inexperienced to know about supercomputers, but on the personal computer side, the roadmaps are looking at 7 GHz in two or three years from now.

As a side note, the Top 500 list has the Earth Simulator, a 5120 node cluster of 500 MHz NEC processors as the world's most powerful. All the other machines on the list seems to be x86/PPC/HP-PA/SPARC/Cray or similar clusters. The last two are a 240 node Athlon cluster and a 128 node Pentium 4 cluster, so if there is a single node 20 GHz monster out there, it probably wouldn't show up on the list anyway.

Anyone interested in gathering 1,000,000 Z80's and try to get onto the list? :P