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   Review : Pentium III 700 Overclocking »  


Pentium III 700 Overclocking - Preamble
 Date  : Dec 6th, 2000
 Category  : CPU
 Manufacturer   : Intel
 Author  : Jin-Wei Tioh

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Intel's Pentium III 700. It is certainly not new, but it is becoming rather affordable, going for roughly $140 in the US. The price gap between 700MHz and 800MHz parts is disproportionately big compared to that of the 600MHz and 700MHz parts. Small wonder that after the P3-550E, the P3-700 has become the next hot favourite of overclockers. Additionally, the advent of the cB0 processor stepping is rumoured to greatly increase the overclocking potential all Pentium IIIs. Let's see how hard a cB0 P3-700 can really be pushed.

Before diving in, I will give readers the benefit of the doubt in terms of familiarity with overclocking. The speed of a processor is the product of the front side bus (FSB) and the processor multiplier (or CPU to bus speed ratio). The P3-700 utilizes a 100MHz FSB and a multiplier of 7, thereby giving 700MHz. Overclocking used to be a much easier process, as you could change both the FSB and multiplier. However, Intel implemented multiplier-locking on all processors since the Pentium II 400. While this seemed like a fatal blow to overclocking, it does have an unexpected benefit, which I will cover in another article.

In order to overclock, we can only alter the FSB, which is an uncomplicated process nowadays since jumperless FSB settings are the norm. On more dated motherboards, such as 440LX and early generation 440BX boards, FSB alterations can still be done, but it involves switching jumpers or at least adjusting DIP switches.

What does all this trouble ultimately lead to? You getting a faster system for less moolah, if you can avert disasters such as burning out your CPU, or letting the mystical blue smoke out of something in your system. But don't worry, this is only in extreme cases...

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