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Overclocking at DreamHack Summer 2005 - Preparations

The preparations for DreamHack were started in the middle of May with the acquiring of a motherboard and CPU. The motherboard was a Abit AS8 with many similarities to the IS7 and AI7. All of which are based on the Springdale chipset, and what differs AS8 from the others is Socket 775, a more powerful power supply circuit and a four-stage voltage regulator with four MOSFETs per stage.

Vdroop- and vcore-modifications were done on the motherboard. AS8 delivers, by default, 1.450V to the CPU under no load with 1.485V set in the BIOS, under full load it goes down to 1.400V. Vdroop reduces the voltage difference between no and full load. After the modification, the voltage difference was only about 3-4mV at full load, that is from 1.450V to ~1.448V. The Vcore-modification enabled us to increase the voltage to the CPU to more than the BIOS allows, which was a demand for us to be able to reach these clock frequencies.

The CPU we chose was a Celeron 325J, where the “J” stands for some new functions compared to earlier models, but most important, in terms of overclocking, it's guaranteed to have E0 stepping. Another advantage with this CPU is that it's got a fairly high multiplier and quite low FSB frequency, 19 x 133MHz that is, which gives a CPU frequency of 2533MHz by default.

Other peripherals were taken out of a earlier test system, those were Mushkin Black High Performance Level2 PC3500 (BH-5) memory, OCZ PowerStream 520W power supply and an ATi Radeon 9200 video card. To achieve the goals we had set before the event, 5GHz+ and 100% overclock (5066MHz), we had to use some heavier cooling. We managed to borrow a homemade phase change cooler from Jonas “natrium” Josefsson and also a copper pipe for dry ice cooling from Fredric "crusader" Kihlberg.

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