Overclocking For Performance

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What these tests have illustrated is that the mere act of overclocking does not guarantee significantly improved throughput. Even when there is a significant improvement, the reduced stability or reliability may not make it worthwhile. Though these tests were of relatively short duration, longer ones are planned which will prove or disprove this theory. I also eventually hope to run some very detailed tests regarding the effect of long-term overclocking on various system components.

As was pointed out, overclocking the PCI and AGP bus will provide almost no benefit at all, but will likely cause data corruption problems. Based upon the results shown here, it simply makes no sense to overclock the PCI bus, particularly when there are alternative methods. For Socket 7 users, a non-Intel chipset provides asynchronous or pseudo-synchronous operation, while Pentium II systems would be better overclocked via multiplier than by using the higher bus speed, if possible. Of course, with all Intel processors being ‘clock locked’, the recommendation would be to use a Celeron 300A processor running at 4.5x100MHz since it is really a faster core that has been down-binned to fill in a marketing gap. There apparently are some Pentium II 450MHz processors that have also been down-binned to 300MHz.

On the other hand, once the K6-3(?) processors are available, it will most likely be more cost effective to use one of those overclocked to 450MHz, since the core is obviously superior to Intel’s. This is even true for Quake scores when both K6-2 and Pentium II processors are run in a ‘head-to-head’ test, which the 2.0x66MHz test shows.

When others depend upon you to be an expert, such as when you are offering services or products for profit, you owe it to them to have as much knowledge and understanding of the issues as possible. To provide the best possible service, you need to be aware that simply overclocking a processor does not necessarily provide the best overall performance. Be aware of the various capabilities and limitations of each component, and use that to the best advantage. Just as with high-performance cars, the better system is the one where the components are matched and working in proper synchronization with each other.

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