Built In Overclocking?


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Turbo Boost? Haven't Seen This Term In A Long Time!

Looking for the Turbo Boost (TB) button on my computer case...

Back in the day of the 486 there were some motherboard manufactures that had an option called TB.

Actually it was a factory tested Overclocking of the processor (not memory) that some motherboard manufactures offered Turbo Boost as a benefit for buying their product.

Instead of a 20 to 25  MHz clock frequency for your 486 you could get 30 or 35 MHz out of the processor until Intel came out with the 486DX at 33/66 MHz and if you tried to overclock that puppy you were going to the electronics store to get another one (ya, I did).

I see where another company is offering a motherboard with automatic overclocking or Turbo Boost, that is cool, as far as it goes.

Hopefully they also have a higher powered fan for the processor too.

Overclocking has been around since the old IBM PC, that processor was rated at 1.8 MHz and some people could get 2.4 MHz a blazing frequency for a computer in those days.

Then there was the AMD V10 - 8086 processor, this was a processor that AMD was making under license from Intel. It was rated at 2.4 MHz off the shelf and you could get 2.8 MHz out of it.

Overclocking in those days wasn't done by the BIOS, there weren't any settings for the 'clock multiplier' in the BIOS.

If you wanted to overclock your processor you had to change the crystal that controlled the clock frequency of the processor timing circuit.

Later on motherboard manufactures would come up with a way to set a multiplier built in to the clock frequency circuit. This would allow the manufacture to make one motherboard that would support processors that had specific frequency instead of producing a separate motherboard for each frequency step of the current processor. (easier than figuring out which crystal you would need to attain your clock frequency - I had a spread sheet with all the different crystals and the resulting frequency).

Some hobbyists would put a socket on the motherboard to make changing the crystal easier, I just desoldered the crystal and put in another one.

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It would have been easier to put in the socket but I didn't think of doing it when I started then by the time I figured it out the 486 was out and the "Turbo Boost" switch became popular on clone motherboards and cases.

The Turbo Switch was a hardware solution to overclocking, that is the motherboard had two crystals for the clock circuit, turbo off would be the frequency that Intel advertised, turbo on would be the second crystal that would boost the processor frequency.

When Intel introduced the 486 DX (and some other X series processors) the rated frequency was 33 but when you selected Turbo it was doubled, 66 MHz.

This will be the only processor that with Turbo you got a double frequency enhancement, all processors since the DX the Overclocking is in steps of 100 MHz or less.

Case in point the Pentium III came out at 500 MHz, the highest I could get that processor to was 590 MHz, the Pentium III 750 would only go to 850 MHz, and the final Pentium III was 999 MHz the highest I could get that one to overclock to was 1050 MHz (yes I had a GHz processor before Intel released the Pentium 4!).

The best way to get higher performance was to buy a dual processor motherboard, yes you had to buy two processors back then, the Duo and Quad core processors were still a theory being discussed by the geeks and engineers.

My computer had two Pentium III 999 MHz processors overclocked to 1050 MHz, so I really had a 2 GHz computer even back in 1999!

Not really because the real clock frequency regardless of the number of processors is 1050 MHz but it used to drive the geeks crazy arguing that both processors running a 1 GHz was not overall frequency of 2 GHz but with out a scope they could not prove my theory wrong.  Big Smiles...

Something I found out with laptops before the Pentium 4 processor is that most motherboards were the made specifically for a set processor frequency. That is a motherboard that had say a Pentium III 500 MHz processor would not start if you put a 750 MHz processor in the socket. When I upgraded my IBM T-30 laptop processor from a Pentium 4 1.8 GHz to a 2.5 GHz processor with out problems.

Note: The IBM T series laptops do not have a processor multiplier option in the BIOS, nor do my ASUS laptops with a Core 2 Duo or the i5 processor.

However my new (complements of my Wife) ASUS K550VX laptop i7 does have a turbo function. It is always on, not selectable in the BIOS. My just built ASUS H-370 motherboard tower computer does have an option in the BIOS to enable/disable the turbo function. How fast is the i7-9700K processor in turbo? (I will do a review of the two new systems I have soon...Big Smiles... )

So now instead of hacking the motherboard your overclocking comes built in compliments of the manufacture.

And before you go in to your BIOS and start poking around with the clock frequency and multiplier you should know what the effects of overclocking does and it is in my Self Computer Repair Unleashed 2nd Edition E-Book

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