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Book Of Overclocking


If you are old enough to remember the good old days of overclocking when back in '98 HardOCP were just OCP (Overclocker's Comparison Page), and Kyle was tooling around town with his dual 464 Celeron system then you probably have a pretty good idea what "The Book Of Overclocking" is all about. Penned by Scott Wainer and Robert Richmond. Scott Wainer, as you may know, is founder of SysOpt, owner of Resellerratings; he also started and runs TechIMO. Robert Richmond has worked on SysOpt, SharkyExtreme and is currently hardware editor of TechIMO.

OC Book

"The Book of Overclocking" contains info on a myriad of overclocking related subjects including OEM vs. Custom built, overclocking methods, cooling, benchmarking, and troubleshooting, to name some of the topics covered. Much of this information is introductory in nature and will be familiar to many hardcore types; although, there is occasionally a nugget thrown in for the advanced crowd--such as an all-too-brief discussion on submersion cooling.

Undoubtedly though, the real meat and potato of this book is the AMD and Intel overclocking specifications on over 100 individual processors. For AMD this list spans from the Athlon K7 500 to the XP 2600+; for Intel this list spans the Pentium II 233 to the P 4 2.4 Northwood. Some of these specifications include Front-Side Bus Speed, Multiplier ratio, Core Voltage, Maximum Core Voltage, Recommended Cooling, Typical Overclock Potential, and Power Consumption. While this is great stuff for the newbie seeing this for the first time, it is also a useful reference for us old-timers.

To test the accuracy of some of this info I thumbed to the section on the AMD XP 2400+ (the current CPU in my main rig) to see what the book had to say about this popular CPU. The information here looks pretty dead on to me.

"The Athlon XP 2400+ offers a good price/performance ratio and is a favorite amongst Thoroughbred overclocking enthusiasts. Extreme cooling will get you to 2400 MHZ (though, for instance, did achieve 2500 MHZ with the Thermalright SLK-800 and a very aggressive 1.95v, and they also achieved 2400 MHZ with average cooling), but 2200 MHZ or so is more likely with standard to moderate cooling. The XP 2400+ is the first Thoroughbred to be L1 factory unlocked, and you can therefore adjust the multiplier freely if you have a KT400 based motherboard."

For fun I then turned to see if "The Book of Overclocking" had any information on VIA/Cyrix Processor overclocking. In fairness the current VIA/Cyrix C3 chip is actually a fairly good, low power design it is NOT however a good choice for overclocking. To their credit "The Book of Overclocking" is quick to point this out.

"The C3's overclocking potential is highest with lower processor-speed grades. Users may find that the chip responds unfavorably to front-side bus overclocking. Most C3 chips are multiplier unlocked, however, and can scale to an additional 100 MHZ. Overclocks can peak at 950 to 1000 MHZ for the best .13-micron processors."


While slanted heavily towards the newbie, "The Book Of Overclocking" nonetheless contains enough details to function as a desktop reference for the hardcore overclocker-- unquestionably valuable, but with a somewhat limited shelf life. With the addition of a "The Book of Overclocking" website containing info on newer processors not covered in the text, the shelf life of this title would be greatly extended.

I would like to thank Janet from No Starch Press for providing MHW this review copy. If you are interested in purchasing this title "The Book of Overclocking" is available for 19.99 at Crazy PC

Added: June 17th 2003
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 9  
Hits: 9133
Language: english


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