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Science Project on Overclocking

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December 6, 2008 8:24:09 PM

Because I can, I have a science project that I have been working on for school. Im attempting to overclock a 9 year old, custom built computer. Rated at 500 MHz, it is a Pentium 3 that I had already set to 550 MHz. Anyway, I got it to run fine at 560, (after some very fun V-core adjustments! w00t), and now have it at 575 (with a Vcore of 2.20!). I ran a simple scene in blender- and it gave me the blue screen: MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION. I'm going to redo the test again after letting the old machine sit for around 10 more minutes, but do you think that the amount of dust in that machine could be effecting its performance? Should I clean the machine out or is it bound to die anyway after being pushed 75 Mhz above its recommended specifications?
December 6, 2008 8:48:46 PM

Clean out the dust, yes. The age of the capacitors, the Vcore, the cooling setup, they will all play a part.

What is the aim of your project exactly?
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December 6, 2008 9:25:11 PM

Dust will make the cooling worse, definately get rid of it.
December 6, 2008 9:32:32 PM

First: the aim of my project is to see at what temperature the computer stops being responsive, and what the advantages of Overclocking is.

Second: The v core setting at 2.3 allowed the computer to remain stable.

Third: The fans on the machine seemed to get rid of the dust, albeit it is now all into my lungs! The amount of dust in my room right now is enough to make my eyes hurt! No dust is on any fans now, most is spread across the case, and even more is leaving it. The machine sounds like a vacuum cleaner up close. I'm not going to clean out the case because it seems like the case did the job for me. When I do an updated version of the project for next year, I will.
December 7, 2008 12:10:57 AM

rockstone1 said:
First: the aim of my project is to see at what temperature the computer stops being responsive, and what the advantages of Overclocking is.

Second: The v core setting at 2.3 allowed the computer to remain stable.

Third: The fans on the machine seemed to get rid of the dust, albeit it is now all into my lungs! The amount of dust in my room right now is enough to make my eyes hurt! No dust is on any fans now, most is spread across the case, and even more is leaving it. The machine sounds like a vacuum cleaner up close. I'm not going to clean out the case because it seems like the case did the job for me. When I do an updated version of the project for next year, I will.


the sheer age of the parts you're using will give you a flawed result. and also, i would think that the maximum operating temperature would vary from processor to processor, motherboard to motherboard.
December 7, 2008 12:17:29 AM

Should be a study of how filthy a person can live, why don't you measure the depth of dust versus what it takes to kill a CPU, it would certainly be a REAL WORLD TEST of the the REAL WORLD SLOBS...Go ahead and light another cigarette...
December 7, 2008 12:26:29 AM

Lol! That sounds like a blast.

Seriously though, I feel much better now, the machine could reach 575 with minor difficulty. Of course, one such minor difficulty is that the vcore 2.4 and fsb at 120 (600 mhz) didn't run, and when I swiched back down to 575, I got the oh so famous, ACPI error.

Edit: My next motherboard will be an ASUS motherboard considering how well this lasted. 9 YEARS OLD!
December 7, 2008 12:46:32 AM

A blast, maybe, what kind of SCIENCE PROJECT uses a DECADE old computer/CPU to illustrate WHAT?? That you're too cheap and STUPID to show us something we don't already know. I have a dual Intel P3 1.0 Ghz computer I still use, both CPU's are over clocked to 1115 Ghz, the motherboard limits more. That's NO SCIENCE. My current computer is a Gigabyte P45 Motherboard with an Intel E8500 CPU. Stock, 3.16Ghz, easily OC'd to 3.8, as it is now. Look for another project, look for another job, this one's already be filled by EVERYONE ELSE ON PLANET EARTH...
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2008 1:09:27 AM

My science fair project: TEC cooling
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2008 1:28:59 AM

it be cool to take out the mobo and make one of those tall pipe looking heat sinks they pour liquid nitrogen in and then fun begins *dressed up in white apron and goggles 8v)*
December 7, 2008 1:54:06 AM

giggle giggle
December 7, 2008 2:02:11 AM

marcellis22 said:
A blast, maybe, what kind of SCIENCE PROJECT uses a DECADE old computer/CPU to illustrate WHAT?? That you're too cheap and STUPID to show us something we don't already know. I have a dual Intel P3 1.0 Ghz computer I still use, both CPU's are over clocked to 1115 Ghz, the motherboard limits more. That's NO SCIENCE. My current computer is a Gigabyte P45 Motherboard with an Intel E8500 CPU. Stock, 3.16Ghz, easily OC'd to 3.8, as it is now. Look for another project, look for another job, this one's already be filled by EVERYONE ELSE ON PLANET EARTH...


Marcellis your an idiot. He's not OC'eing an old PC for your pleasure. Your not the intended audience. So what if you can overclock your PC till it blows chunks easily no one cares. You and I can overclock till the cows come home but the average folk have no concept. I just finished OC'eing my brand new i7 920 to 4.2Ghz on air, its no big deal to us.

Maybe an old machine is all he can use to mess around with. It doesn't matter. He could use his cell phone with the right mods if he wanted to. Its the same thing

Scientifically all he has to do is postulate a therom, or some such, and use the scientific method to create a system that can be reproduced where he can prove his theory. Run a series of tests with controlled variables and Viola, a science project is born.

From what I gathered he was simply trying to prove that increased Megahertz and voltages would cause a computer to fail and he has the variables of Mhz, voltage and temperature, and what the benefits in performance that yields.
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2008 3:27:51 AM

Sound's like an interesting project, it's original in my opinion, I never heard it done for a science project. It may be nothing new for people on this forum, but it will probably be very interesting or boring depending on how you present it. Try to avoid too many technical terms for your audience, it's good for you to know in case someone else knows whats going on, but in general act like your audience is full of idiots and build your presentation around that. Especially since people tend to enter 'stupid mode' when you throw out a single technical word when dealing with computers, so analogies may help them understand what is going on.

A good analogy may be something like describing the CPU as an car engine, and RAM as the car interior/trunk as to represent what it can carry (passenger's and storage vs programs in memory).

And remember it's YOUR project if you feel like injecting a little bit of sense of humor or interesting stories you have while doing it, feel free as it will make it more personal and show you had fun with it. Just don't overdo it, making it a little bit more personal in my opinion usually makes the difference between a good project vs a great project that you won't forget. This especally applies to presentations.
December 7, 2008 6:38:24 PM

Thank you so much guys! I've just finished the experiment and now have started to collect data for the poster board. I am currently considering if I should have a Glossary of terms on my board for everyone to see. What is your take on it?

The main Purpose of the project is to answer if the advantages of Overclocking outweigh the risks.
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2008 10:48:27 PM

Yeah, a glossary of terms will help, just try to keep the definition simple.
!