I recently added an ATI Radeon x800xt card to my rig, to get a bit more life out of it before I do a full quad core // PCI express // dx10 upgrade next spring. Specs are: Gigabyte GA-8SIML mobo, P4 2.53Ghz northwood, 2x 1Gb pc2700 ddr RAM, ATI x800xt w/ latest Omega drivers (oc'd to 510/805), m-audio soundcard, 80Gb HDD, all wrapped up in a lovely (read horrible) Packard Bell case! (ugh). The bios is therefore a little limited.
The upgrade has so far been surprisingly good, letting me run prey, doom3, HL2, SC:CT, BF2, CoD2 & FEAR etc. on the highest settings, with good framerates.
However, I've been playing Oblivion, and I can tell that the CPU is holding the game back in some areas. It bottlenecks in Towns, and when there's a few enemies in combat - basically when there's a lot of radiant AI kicking about. Otherewise the frame rates are reasonable, even when the detail is set really high.
My question is this: would I be able to Overclock my CPU? Bear in mind It is a Packard Bell Model, and I think the BIOS Seems to be locked out // crippled. Is there a way I can flash it / unlock / something?
I reckon there must be a way to crack this and speed my creaking CPU up a little to match my GPU more, any ideas out there? anyone done the same/similar? i'll include some details below:
(sorry if i've posted in the wrong section.)
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4
CPU Alias Northwood, A80532
CPU Stepping C1
Engineering Sample No
CPUID CPU Name Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.53GHz
CPUID Revision 00000F27h
CPU Clock 2522.93 MHz (original: 2533 MHz)
CPU Multiplier 19.0x
CPU FSB 132.79 MHz (original: 133 MHz)
L1 Trace Cache 12K Instructions
L1 Data Cache 8 KB
L2 Cache 512 KB (On-Die, ECC, ATC, Full-Speed)
It's definitely a P4, the copy n paste up there is an what Everest says about my system spec. I'm finding it hard to understand how i would go about o.c.ing anything cpu/mobo related, and i don't think my BIOS will even let me, as it is Packard Bell, as i said.
The L2 Cache on the Pentium 4 is 512kb (which he states in his first post) and the L2 Cache on a Celeron at the same speed is 256kb.
Yes it is possible to overclock your northwood. Most of it is relies on how good your cooling is and how good your memory is. If you have non-generic ram and stock cooling, I can see you getting close to 2.8ghz with good temps still. I have a 2.8ghz northwood and I currently do not overclock it, but I have in the past and was able to reach 3.0ghz on stock cooling.
you could certainly overclock that cpu to something past 3 ghz but i cant say that you would notice a significant difference, you will certainly notice one though. makesure the cpu has a decent cooler on it, my friends hp of the same processor has no fan directly on the cpu
Unfortunately your packard Bell's mobo uses a SiS 651 chipset that only supports up to 533fsb. Since you're already at the 533fsb, you're not going to have any luck with a pinmod. If you could find a software overclocking program that works with your motherboard you could overclock the cpu, but the SiS 651 still lacks agp/pci locks, and therefore will throw off the AGP/PCI/ATA bus when oveclocking, which can quite easily lead to data corruption. With a software program you could possibly get as high as 140 fsb (from 133fsb non quad-pumped), resulting in a 2.66GHz cpu, but that's only ~100MHz overclock, not enough to make any difference, and definitely not worth risking data corruption or hardware failure.
Only solutions to this is either get a faster cpu (3.06 GHz will be the fastest P4, Northwood or Prescott, that will work with your mobo. There are faster s478 Celeron Ds, but they won't perform as well in gaming as a 3.06GHz P4. Make sure your mobo supports Prescott), or to get a different motherboard. At this point in time, it's not worth it to get either, as you're already planning to upgrade. You can either upgrade now, or just live with the lagging in Oblivion until you upgrade.
ok, thanks for that, it looks like i should not really bother. the highest P4 i can get for this particular mobo actually seems to be the 2.80ghz, it is 512 l2 cache. i think 3.06ghz would not be compatible, as it is 1mb l2 cache - would i be right in thinking that?
even then, i doubt there'd be a huge difference in performance overall. not worth £40 or so anyways...
i might try to find a program that can OC the FSB a little, but as you say, it could throw the whole lot out, and the performance hike will be miniscule.