Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Current Experimentation: Overclocking the Pentium 4 520 and Celeron D 356 ES

Today I'll try to sum up what I'm currently up to. My newest projects have involved overclocking cheap Netburst CPUs on my $20 Asus P5PL2. Yeah, not too exciting, but pretty good for only having to spend about $10 per CPU.


If you've ever compared a Pentium 4 to a cheap Core 2 Duo, then when you hear the word "Netburst," the first word that probably pops into your head is "slow." Very true. One thing that Netburst can do, though, is easily achieve high clock speeds. You may hit the mid-70s Celsius during Prime95 on mediocre air cooling, but is it really going to constantly sit that hot? No. It's going to sit in the high 30s to low 40s. Now I know what you might be thinking: "Clarkdales can hit high clockspeeds too with half the power Netbursts draw." Yes, they can. But can you get a Core i5 660 ES for $10 on ebay? Not even close. And that's why any old Cedar Mill Celeron D makes for a nice cheap little venture into overclocking.


As you may have picked up, I've currently overclocked a Pentium 4 520 (not ES) and a Celeron D 356 Engineering Sample. Before I get into what I've done so far, here's my current system:

-Pentium 4 520, 2.8GHz, E0, LGA775, 1m, Prescott, 800MHz FSB, 14 multi  OR Celeron D 356, 3.33GHz, D0, LGA775, 512kb, Cedar Mill, 533MHz FSB, 12-25 multi

-Asus P5PL2 Rev1, LGA775, 945PL

-512mb (2x 256mb) Micron ddr2 @ 400MHz + 512mb (2x 256mb) Samsung ddr2 @ 533MHz

-Geforce 8400 GS + Radeon 7000

-AcBel R8 II 500w 80+ Active PFC Power Supply

-Qlogic PCI SCSI card with Compaq 9.1GB 10,000rpm SCSI drive (RAID hopefully coming soon) with Windows XP Pro

-Western Digital WD400 40gb SATA 150 Hard Drive for storage

-HP L1906 19" 4:3 LCD as main monitor

-Samsung Syncmaster 172T 17" 4:3 LCD as secondary monitor

Current Results

I've already finished my experimentation with the Pentium 4 520. At my maximum VCore (1.6v) I could hit 3.8GHz with my RAM at a CAS of 5 @ 54xMHz. Sadly, at that speed I lost my SATA ports. My highest completely stable speed was 3.756GHz @ 1.55-1.6v VCore with my RAM at a CAS of 3 @ 536MHz. Sorry about no screenshot. I don't have the CPU in anymore. Now as for the Celeron:

^I've gotten it pretty high so far. 4.5GHz @ 1.5v VCore. I can still go higher, but this is just what I've tried so far. It's kind of good news / bad news. The good news is that I could actually use it on my motherboard. On Asus' CPU support list it says that all D0 CPUs aren't supported by the Rev 1 board. Maybe I got lucky. The bad news is that it's not overclocking as well as I had hoped. I can't get it to hit 5GHz on 1.6v VCore. Being a record-breaker CPU it should do better than that. I think the motherboard is the problem, though. I'm pretty sure it has an FSB wall at around 200MHz for this CPU. Overvolting the Northbridge or the FSB Termination Voltage doesn't help. If anyone has any suggestions, don't be afraid to comment. Another cool thing that this CPU has (that I still haven't figured out how to use) is a special Engineering Sample setting in the BIOS called "VID CMOS Setting." With help from Google I've figured out that it has to do with what the default voltage for the CPU is. It can be set from 1-62 and mine is by default set at 62. Supposedly early Pentium 4 ES CPUs (Willamette, I think) were at default set at 45. Once again, if anybody knows if setting it lower will make my voltage higher (and how much higher) please comment.

Well, I think that's about all for today. Happy reading!

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