15. Changing the CPU
Depending on your combination of
processor and motherboard, you may also be able to change the actual internal
frequency multiplier of the CPU itself, which multiplies the FSB speed to arrive
at the actual speed of the CPU in GHz or MHz.
For example: an Athlon XP 3000+
'Barton' processor has a multiplier of 13 and uses a FSB speed of 166Mhz.
166Mhz x 13 equals approximately 2.16Ghz. Change the multiplier to 13.5
and you get (166MHz x 13.5 =) 2.24 Ghz.
small change to the multiplier has a larger proportional effect on your systems
speed than increasing the front side bus a considerable amount, the actual performance advantage
of increasing the CPU multiplier is not so simple. As the multiplier purely effects the
processor's performance, the performance gained by increasing it is not felt system-wide,
as is the case with overclocking the FSB. It merely enables the processor to
do more work per second. In fact, it may well serve
you better to decrease the CPU multiplier in order to overclock the FSB
to a higher frequency than would otherwise be
This is something to consider if you have high-quality memory that is rated for
greater speeds than the FSB of your computer requires. Many memory
producers make DDR memory that is capable of running at much higher frequencies
than modern computers normally use, specifically for overclocking
The option for changing the multiplier
is found in the BIOS in the same location as the FSB options, generally the
'frequency\voltage control' section.
Raise the multiplier only a step at
first, in concert with overclocking the FSB. Find the maximum stable speed you
can achieve, then benchmark. If you have high-spec memory, consider
lowering the multiplier and increasing the FSB, then compare the new set of
benchmarks to the previous ones.
16. Modify Processor
and memory voltage
[Caution! Incautious modification of CPU
and memory voltage can easily damage your components.]
If you have reached the upper limit of
your PC's stock overclocking potential, consider bumping up the voltage delivered
to the processor and/or the memory. By increasing the amount of voltage available to these
components, you can increase their overclocked stability. Unfortunately increasing the voltage also increases the heat
produced, especially in the case of the processor.
While increasing the voltage slightly generally results in
a better overclock, increasing the voltage too much will simply result in a locked-up
PC due to overheating, or burnt out circuits.
Definitely a case of diminishing returns, unless you invest in a better cooling solution
(which is beyond the scope of this article).
Be sure to increase
voltage only in single increments. Once you have increased CPU voltage,
experiment with overclocking the CPU and FSB again to see if you can push the
system farther. It is unlikely that you will see much benefit past one or
two voltage increments, especially with a stock heatsink.