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Overclocking and Upgrading For More Quake III fps

Overclocking The 300A

So far our changes haven't made any difference, so lets set the system back to 64MB RAM and 166Mhz on the graphics card and overclock the CPU. Changing the BIOS setting to 100Mhz on the FSB with our clock multiplier yields a CPU Mhz of 450. The Celeron 300A is a well known overclocker. A lot of these chips will overclock to 450Mhz, but not all of them. Some will only overclock to 374Mhz (83 Mhz FSB) or 338Mhz (75Mhz). When buying a CPU at random, you may end up with one that overclocks well or not. The only other setting I'm changing at this time is the core voltage. This is the voltage supplied to the CPU. The default for the Celeron 300A is 2.2 volts and I've set this one to 2.3 volts. I've used this chip for over a year now and know to get good stability in Windows that I need to run it at 2.3v. You may need to experiment some to find the lowest voltage that your CPU will run stable at. Care should be taken in increasing the core voltage. The more voltage you apply to the CPU, the more heat it generates, and the shorter life span it will have. Too much voltage can fry your CPU! Keeping your CPU cooler can also increase the stability. That usually involves removal of the stock heat sink and fan and we won't be getting into that here.

I ran some more benchmarks at this new level and got 40.1 at 1024x768. That's a 9fps (29%) increase at that video mode. Moving the graphics card back to 178Mhz, rebooting, and then running the benchmarks again yeilds a 41.9 at 1024x768 (1.8fps increase). Adding the 64MB RAM back into the system gives us a 42.3 at 1024x768 (a .4fps increase). These aren't big increases, but are increases unlike what we saw when running the CPU at 300Mhz. Every little bit helps, right?

This 300A will run at 464Mhz (103Mhz FSB) so after changing the FSB in the BIOS, setting the graphics card back to 166Mhz, and removing the extra stick of RAM I get a 41.1 at 1024x768, an increase of 1fps from the CPU at 450Mhz. Adding back the extra 64MB of RAM and setting the graphics card to 178Mhz brings us to 42.7Mhz, an increase of .4fps compared against the CPU at 450Mhz with these settings.


Upgrading the CPU

If overclocking the CPU still hasn't provide you with enough speed, then upgrading your CPU may be something you want to consider. The BH6 motherboard is a slot one motherboard and a lot of today's newer CPUS use the PPGA socket 370. To allow you to put a PPGA Celeron CPU on your slot one motherboard, several manufacturers market socket 370 to slot one converter cards. The socket 370 CPU mounts on the converter card and then the converter card is placed in your slot one motherboard. The Pentium III 500E coppermine CPUs are flip chip PGA socket 370 chips. These CPUs are a little different from the Celeron PPGA chips and will not work with the old converter cards designed for the Celeron PPGA chips. But, not to worry, newer slot one adapters are now on the market which allow you to plug in a PIII 500E into a slot one motherboard. As of this writing, the PIII 500E can be purchased online for around $235. From everything I've seen written, the 500E and other PIII coppermine CPUs are very overclockable which makes the 500E a pretty good buy.

Too mount the 500E on the BH6 I'm using an Iwill Slocket II. The Iwill Slocket II is a socket 370 to slot one converter that supports the PIII 500E and other flip chip PGA CPUs. It allows you to set the core voltage and FSB settings with jumpers. Alternatively, you can set the jumpers to auto to allow the BIOS to make the changes. I've set this Slocket II to use 1.6v (the 500E's default voltage) and configured it to a FSB setting of 'Auto'.

You can see the PIII 500E mounted on the Slocket II in the picture above. You should take care not to bend any of the pins on the 500E while setting it in the socket 370 to slot one adapter. Naturally, you should also avoid any static electricity while handling the CPU or any other electronic component. The heatsink/fan snaps down on top of the CPU clipping on to the socket 370 adapter. There are instructions included with the CPU for proper alignment of the CPU on the adapter. {Notice here we weren't removing any heatsink/fan combos, just adding one! ;-) This really is a quite simple step as long as you're careful with the CPU and follow the directions included with the slot one adapter and CPU.}

After sliding out the Celeron 300A processor, the PIII 500E mounted on the Slocket II pushes down into the slot one slot and locks into place. Be sure that the CPU is mounted completely in the slot. If your system won't post at this point, don't panic, simply turn off and unplug your system, and remove the CPU and reseat it. If it still doesn't post, PANIC!!! ;-) No not really, just recheck that you have everything correctly installed. If that still doesn't work and you can't figure out what's wrong, call someone for help.


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