Why is everyone obsessed with overclocking? We'll void our warranties by trying to squeeze the most out of our systems. We're willing to go out and buy a processor if we hear it overclocks surprisingly well. It's almost like buying something on sale. We really don't need it, but the deal's too good to pass up.
There's just something about getting a processor to run faster than it should; it's like you're getting a special deal no one else knows about. Currently (8/10/99), you can buy a Pentium III 450 for about $230 and you can get a Pentium 3 550 for around $650. Many people have reported being able to overclock their P3-450 processors to 560MHz. It's almost like getting $650 worth of performance for only $230. Of course, nobody knows how much damage you're causing by running a CPU outside specifications, but considering that most processors become obsolete in just a couple of years, overclocking isn't that big of a risk if your CPU lasts 5 years instead of 10.
Top of the line, baby!
We all want SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions). The gains SSE offers are hard to resist, but if you're anything like us, one of the first things you want to know about a new processor is how much you can overclock it above specifications. In our world exclusive Pentium III Preview
, we could only overclock our engineering sample P3-500 to 560MHz. Has much changed since then?
Many people still don't know what speeds the P3's are capable of reaching, and we're not willing to invest in a chip until we know its overclocking prospects. We'll go over each of the current P3 processors and let you know what are the best overclocking target speeds for each processor. We've updated the guide with Pentium III 600 numbers, and our experiences with a P3-600B engineering sample.