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 Review, Bargain Basement PC
By: Steffen Scheibler, April 9, 2002  Print this article


Not everyone wants to overclock and I won’t delve into the reasons of why you should or shouldn't. I like to overclock and usually do if I am sure it won't compromise stability. As its an Intel i815 chipset, using more than one DIMM forces you to set the speed for the RAM-subsystem to 100MHz, so the PC133 performance for the RAM is a no-go. Add to that the asychronous FSB and RAM cycles.

Overclocking the system

As its an 866MHz CPU, I estimate that 950MHz should be easily attainable. The CPU will probably make over 1GHz, however that would require an FSB speed I would not be comfortable with.

As the main object was to gain performance I tried to find a way to make the RAM stable at 133MHz with more than one DIMM. After repeated attempts I could not make this dream come true, so I am forced to resort to upping FSB as much as possible and leave the RAM running at the lower speed.

Overclocking the CPU via FSB

I managed to overclock the CPU-bus to 145MHz without any stability issues, even after exhaustive overnight testing. This gives me 943MHz, yielding me the performance of a P3-950, give or take. Its not much of a gain in performance, but its better than nothing. The next speed up would be 975MHz and I could not make that stable. I think this is a voltage issue as the CPU temperature was under 50C, however there is no way to supply a different voltage via the BIOS as this option was greyed out for some reason.

The motherboard was also missing the jumper blocks used to select between manual settings and JumperFree(tm) mode. This makes me think that this is actually a version of the ASUS board made for one of the large OEMs. I have in fact seen versions ASUS motherboards in a few Compaqs, so this may be something similar.

Overclocking the GeForce2 MX graphics card

The GeForce2 MX is a capable, but not a significantly powerful video card by today’s standards. It still packs a punch though and considering its retail price it’s a pretty terrific performer. This particular GeForce2 MX easily clocks to 200MHz Memory/200MHz GPU, which basically makes this GeForceII MX something along the lines of a GeForce2 GTS with SDR instead of DDR. You can't argue with that.

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