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Setting The Clock Speed

Building Your Own PC, Part 1: Know-How for Do-It-Yourselfers

There is no automatic software configuration on older boards. That's why it can't hurt to know the three principles of manual configuration. By the same token, overclockers will be more likely to make settings by hand. Here are the different ways to set clock speed:

Obsolete: using jumpers, the frequency table is right next to the jumper block.

Multiplier table for older models.

Occasionally found: setting by DIP switch.

Modern: convenient configuration in BIOS.

Determining which of the three methods applies to you will depend on your motherboard. While the general tendency seems to favor BIOS, you'll still come across a DIP switch block now and again. The jumper method, on the other hand, is entirely obsolete.

Intel and AMD officially abolished the variable multiplier for their processors some time ago. They wanted to prevent people from overclocking, say, 1300 MHz models to 1500 MHz. That kind of overclocking would boost performance significantly without costing a dime. For the tinkerers among us, all that's left for us when trying to eke more performance out of a processor is a gentle increase of the FSB. All the same, there are a few tricks for removing the fixed multiplier, at least for AMD processors. More information on this can be found in the article, Plastic Surgery: Releasing The Athlon XP To Hit 2000+ . As the motherboard manufacturers are aware of this, they attract more buyers by offering what is, in fact, a superfluous multiplier. The BIOS screenshot shows this clearly.

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