Intel PentiumŽ OverDriveŽ Upgrades

by Stewart Wenzel
copyright 1997 COMPUTERCRAFT

You'll get a big jump in performance by replacing a tired Pentium. You'll even get a bigger boost by replacing the entire motherboard. But, especially if the system has a ZIF(Zero Insertion Force) socket. Replacing a 60 or 66 MHz. Pentium CPU is not complicated at all. With the power off, and after you've grounded yourself, remove the weary processor. If you're dealing with a ZIF socket, lift the little handle. This releases the CPU. Take it out. Disconnect and remove the CPU cooling fan. The new OverDrive processor has its own integrated fan.

If the system does not have a ZIF socket, then it's necessary to pry out the original CPU. The OverDrive processor should come with a tool sort of like a miniature rake. Use that to gently pry out the chip. If you don't have the special tool, with care, a very small screwdriver can be used. The above procedure remains the same.

Intel PentiumŽ OverDriveŽ processor with upgrades are a little trickier. The first thing you have to do is to find out if the current system BIOS will support MMX™ technology. Download from Intel the BIOS test utility opdiags.exe. If OPDIAGS gives the installed BIOS a green light, then you can proceed with the upgrade. If OPDIAGS gives you a NoGo, then investigate if a BIOS upgrade is available for your computer. If the present BIOS is not compatible with MMX™, you'll almost certainly be better off with a new motherboard - or a complete new system.

The regular Intel MMX™ CPU can't be used to upgrade the original Pentium motherboards. There's a number of significant differences in the voltage requirements and bus fraction settings between the original and the MMX™ technology Pentium. These differences are all considered in the design of the OverDrive chip. A regular MMX™ CPU probably won't work at all in one of the older boards. If it does start up, performance will be erratic. The processor and/or the motherboard could be permanently damaged.

Original CPU Overdrive Upgrade Socket New Speed MMX
60-MHz Pentium BOXPODP5V133 4 120 MHz No
66-MHz Pentium BOXPODP5V133 4 133 MHz No
75-MHz Pentium BOXPODPMT66X166 5 or 7 125 MHz Yes
75-MHz Pentium BOXPODPMT60X180 5 or 7 150 MHz Yes
90-MHz Pentium BOXPODPMT66X166 5 or 7 150 MHz Yes
90-MHz Pentium BOXPODPMT60X180 5 or 7 150 Mhz Yes
100-Mhz Pentium BPODPMT66X166 5 or 7 166 MHz Yes
100-Mhz Pentium BPODPMT66X200 5 or 7 200 MHz Yes
120-Mhz Pentium BPODPMT60X180 5 or 7 180 MHz Yes
133-MHz Pentium BPODPMT66X166 5 or 7 166 MHz Yes
133-MHz Pentium BPODPMT66X200 5 or 7 200 MHz Yes
150-MHz Pentium BPODPMT60X180 5 or 7 180 MHz Yes
166-MHz Pentium BPODPMT66X200 7 (see note below) 200 MHz Yes
200-MHz Pentium BPODPMT66X200 7 (see note below) 200 MHz Yes
The 200-MHz Pentium OverDrive processor with MMX technology is really only intended for Socket 7 motherboards.

You can use a Socket 5 system for a 200-MHz OverDrive processor with MMX technology upgrade if your system has:

1) a voltage regulator that supplies 5.0 amps (or more) to the processor socket
2) 1.75 inches (4.45 cm) (or more) of clearance above the socket
3) sufficient ventilation to provide cooling for 17 Watts of processor power

If your system does not meet the above requirements, or if you are unsure, upgrade with the 166-MHz Pentium OverDrive processor with MMX technology.

Even though there is no gain in clock speed when upgrading an original Pentium 200 to one with MMX, there is a 10 to 15 percent improvement in performance.

Return To The COMPUTERCRAFT Main Menu

Your Great New Jersey Web Site