Chicago (IL) - Overclocking Macs is not really a topic you read very often about and at least to our knowledge, there is no tool to increase the clock speed of a Mac in a simple way. However, our colleagues from the German version of ZDNet have come up with a handy tool to overclock a Mac with Mac OS X Leopard that helps the cheapest Mac Pro to outrun the most expensive version. And yes, just in case you are wondering, there is a catch.
Overclocking a Mac pro can be a very lucrative deal, if you think about it. Stepping up from the cheapest dual-CPU Mac pro model (2.8 GHz Xeon E5462) to the most expensive version (3.2 GHz Xeon X5482) will cost you $1600 in upgrades. Kai Schmerer, editor-in-chief of the German version of ZDNet claims you can get that performance upgrade for free. Well, almost.
The ZDNet guys developed a simple Mac overclocking tool (with an English interface), which Schmerer says will take a Mac Pro with two 2.66 GHz X5355 CPUs to a stable 3.1 GHz and the 2.8 GHz version to 3.241 GHz (there will be variations from CPU to CPU). His team found that the overclocked Mac Pro runs faster than the most expensive Mac Pro. So that will save you $1600, right. Maybe. It actually depends on your needs, since a Mac is not the most overclocking-friendly system out there.
Overclocking a Mac comes with a few silly drawbacks. The higher clock speed actually accelerates the Mac’s desktop clock and users will find their time running much faster after the clock speed increase. To fix this problem, the computer will have to be restarted (without turning off the system), ZDNet said. However, the team was not able to restart the Mac at 3.214 GHz without crashing the system. The maximum clock that avoided a restart-crash was 3.178 GHz, ZDNet said.
Also, there is a bug which causes a Mac to return to its standard clock speed when it comes back out of standby mode. Schmerer said that the next version of the tool will resolve this problem.
The overclocking tool can be downloaded here (translated page courtesy of Google)
The article describing the software can be found here (translated page courtesy of Google)