[rc5] Overclocking (wasRe: [rc5] Another approach)

Mike Silbersack silby at execpc.com
Sun Jul 6 15:44:19 EDT 1997

> 	I have a concern about increasing the proportion of clients
> running on overclocked machines; possibly due to my ignorance of the
> overclocking experience.  
> 	My impression is that nominal chip/processor speeds are based
> upon the speed at which that particular component is known to run
> _reliably_, i.e., without errors.  And that practically any chip _can_
> run at a faster speed (i.e., boot up, respond to instructions, output
> results), but that there is a point (probably based on increasing
> internal temperatures) at which errors start to occur.  These errors may
> or may not be detectable by the user.  The computer itself can't tell
> which numbers are accurate and which are bogus, and merrily rolls along,
> like the original Pentinum chip with FDIV problems, until enough
> problematic errors occur, that the machine crashes/turns pink/writes
> Hamlet.  Overclockers tolerate this risk because the speed increase of
> 10+ % outweighs the negligible risk of a crash or undetected
> errors (Screen goes gray? Reboot, BFD).

Well, there's an important point to be learned here... this may be a
stereotype I'm entertaining, but I generally would consider overclockers to
be people who leave their computers on for long periods of time, and are
very sensitive to what works and doesn't work.  On the other hand, there
are *many* people I know who don't know how to overclock, and have systems
that are running at the rated speed but have *frequent crashes* due to
other system problems that they are not aware of.  Case in point:  my
computer used to be unstable; had I not been experimenting with
overclocking, and spending time trying to figure out why it was crashing, I
probably would have never found the bad ram chip I had, which was causing
crashes at *any speed*.

Overall what I'm saying is this:  With the success that many have, it's
clear that most chips *can* be overclocked.  Yes, these chips probably do,
as a result have a "1-in-a-trillion" chance of having errors. 
Unfortunately, when a survey of computers is taken, I'd bet that 1 in every
50 computers running at rated speed has a worse problem.  A good analogy
may be this:  How many race cars burn oil?  Conversely, when you're driving
on the road with non-race car drivers, how many of them have oil leaks?

Well, that's enough babbling for now. <g>

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