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Overclocking i5 on Windows 2000? Possible!


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Well, I dubt many people do it, but ... it is fun! How did that happend? Well, the build was used to run the Sapphire A9RX480 mainboard (Opteron 148), so I just swapped the mainboard for MSI P55A-GD55 - Intel P55 chipset, socket 1156 mainboard rev. 2.1 and when the Windows tried to boot, it failed and reset come each time. Then I just disabled the Spread Spectrum (recommended for better O/C setting) and tried some Memtest and suddently the machine started booting into Windows 2000 SP4 Czech...!


I was in shock, but these old Winblows booted up and started installing things to run...! It took many, many and many reboots till it install all it could and give me a mouse (USB mouse using for 1st time) ... but it works! I could not believe it, but it does work:




Sure, it disable the additional cores, effectively turning 4 core CPU into 1 core, but still... with Opteron 148 I get the SuperPi 1M test in about 39.7sec, now it took just 13.5sec :)

The graphic card is not installed yet, using a MSI GTX 210 as passive low-end testing card first.


So there is a proof, that Windows 2000 SP4 can work on MSI P55A-GD55 :) Not well (single core) and probably the 8G ram will be somewhat inaccesible, yet still it works.


About the overclock - well, I just pressed the OC genie, hit 2x the + button and suddently from 2.66GHz I got a 3GHz i5 750. So even the most lame users can do some overclock with this toy :)


What I find most surprising is, that I managed the USB to work. I mean... come on. This is Windows 2000 and the mainboard have Intel P55 chipset, that was way more recent... that this piece of software. Yet still - mice work and USB data transfer too.

What does not work are 8G of ram:




3 398 708kBy only. Mind my slightly modified Windows :-) I do that for fun ;) This screenshot was taken using the eVGA GTX 660 Superclocked card, witch itself have 2G of videoram, witch probably pose a challenge to Win2k itself alone, lol.



Did not I promised some? Yea, there it is - when I just copied what the OC genie do, but this time I get into some manual tweaking and - 3.2GHz is not a problem:



Not enought? Okay, I push a bit more that 3.4GHz is stable too:





There is probably not much Win2k results on i5, lol. Never the less, the overclocking of this mainboard is straight-forward and w/o any troubles at all. Only problem I hit, when I forget to lower the ram dividers and tried to force the rams to crazy speeds the chips cannot take. Now they are running at their 800MHz (1600 effective) as they should, so I'm sort of happy.


Only I did not understand the "turbo mode." On the bios screen it report 3.4GHz... and then on next line it suggest "OS speed" and with x21 multiplier it says 4200MHz. So should I expect the turbo taking me to 4.2GHz or what the hell is going on?


Anyway, 3.4GHz with one core give 12.2sec on SuperPi 1M test, witch is not bad at all.


(considering that it is pretty doubtfull, how the hell this is even working in the first place)

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Hope you guys like the fun. I was amazed that it worked at all. Win2k did NOT seems to be even registred as OS by the CPU/mainboard. How do I know it? Because after that, I tried WinXP and the install crash/hang. Same Win7. And then I come to realize, that the turbo multiplier kick in and really I was forcing the poor i5 to run on stock air cooler at 4.2GHz, witch it cannot take.



So for now, this turbo is disabled and I will controll the clocks from now on:




On WinXP SP3 (32bit) all the cores are present and utilized, so that is a step forward. About the ram = same story. 3.3G top. Still, looking at FurMark bench from 177 to 304fps is kinda awesome :)




Next step... Windows 98se? :))) Nah, that would be too insane. But it was fun... :)

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What an amazing OS that was ... the first Windows with a NT kernel and proper DirectX support. (NT 4.0 was limited to DX5, so I had to switch to 98 SE to play 3D games often back then. :rolleyes:)

Windows 2000 Pro is able to use 2 physical CPUs, but IIRC needs some adjustments to be able to handle logical ones. If you use an old installation from a 1-CPU-PC, an update for the HAL is necessary: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234558/cs

Available 3.4 GiB is actually a pretty good value for a 32 bit Windows.

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