johnd - Jan. 29, 2000
of our fellow overclockers shares his experiences in overclocking
a 500E that had striking similarities with CPU #3 in this review.
Click here to jump to the update, or
if this is your first time reading this article, read on. The
update is at the end of this article. Also, the title on one
of the benchmark charts on page 2 has been updated to accurately
reflect the video card being used in the chart. An additional
benchmark chart has also been added that was omitted from the
original review. Thanks to Rain for pointing out the discrepancies
in the charts.
Are you looking at possibly buying a Pentium III 500E with
your sites set on overclocking it? Want an idea as to how far
the CPU that you buy might overclock? Will it overclock or even
run on an older motherboard like the ABIT BH6 revision 1.02
motherboard? Our experiences with three retail PIII 500E CPUs
may help you answer some of your questions.
After reading favorable reports on the overclockability of
the PIII 500E CPUs, we purchased 3 Pentium III 500E CPUs from
3 different online vendors hoping for the same good results.
We weren't dissapointed.
We put theses three CPUs in three different systems using three
different motherboards, and two different speeds of RAM. All
three were mounted in Iwill Slocket II socket 370 to slot one
converters. Two of these CPUs were featured in previous articles
on Hardware News Net (the Soyo
SY-6VBA 133 Review and the Overclocking
and Upgrading guide).
With two of the CPUs, it was simple as installing the CPU,
bumping up the FSB and letting it fly. We used no voltage tweaks
and kept the stock retail fan. We had to tweak the voltage on
the third CPU and tried a different heatsink/fan combo.
One of the CPUs (CPU#2) was installed on an ABIT BH6 rev. 1.02
motherboard for testing. CPU#1 was also installed temporarily
on a second Abit BH6 rev. 1.02 motherboard, but was tested on
a Soyo motherboard. Both CPUs ran fine on the BH6 motherboards.
Contagion told me that since these were not revision 1.1 or
higher BH6s the 500Es weren't supposed to run, but they did.
He recalled seeing several messages in forums at various web
sites concerning this.
So, I figured I'd go straight to somebody who should know,
Abit. Here's a question and answer taken from a FAQ at Abit's
web site: "Question: Do the BH6 Rev.
1.00, 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, etc. and up (BUT NOT 1.1 and above)
boards and the BX6 Rev 1.00, 1.01, 1.02, etc. (BUT NOT BX6 Rev
2.0) boards support Coppermine CPUs? Answer: No,
the BH6 Rev. 1.00, 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, etc. and up (BUT NOT 1.1
and above) boards and the BX6 Rev 1.00, 1.01, 1.02, etc. (BUT
NOT BX6 Rev 2.0) do not support Coppermine CPUs due to the native
design of power for the CPU core voltage probably not being
sufficient. So to avoid instability, we advise that the afore
mentioned boards do not support Coppermine CPUs."
We didn't find any instabilty problems running the 500Es on
the two BH6 boards. We ran CPU#2 on one of the BH6 boards clocked
at 667Mhz (133Mhz FSB) in a Quake III demo loop playing demo001
and demo002 at a setting of timedemo 1 for 30 minutes without
a lockup or any apparent problems. At the end of the loop, the
system was rebooted. Windows 98 started without any problems
and has continued to run without any problems. This does not
necessarily mean that the rev.1.0x BH6 that you have will run
with a 500E, but it does show that it is possible to run a PIII
500E with a reasonable level of stability even though Abit is
cautioning us about possible instability from the "core
voltage probably not being sufficient." Check with the
manufacturer of your motherboard to get any information they
may have concerning whether a coppermine CPU will run on your
motherboard. Then check with other users to see what experiences
others have had with the same motherboard and a coppermine CPU
even If the motherboard manufacturer has cautionary statements
such as the one from Abit about the BH6,
The Pentium III 500E
PIII 500E is one of the new coppermine CPUs from Intel. It runs
on a 100Mhz front side bus (FSB) wtih 256Kon-die full-speed
L2 cache. The PIII 500E is a Flip Chip PGA socket 370 CPU. We
used three of Iwill's Slocket II FC-PGA to slot one converters
to mate the three PIII 500Es to the slot one motherboards we
tested them on.
The first CPU was very easily overclocked. After initially
booting at the 100Mhz FSB setting, the CPU was stepped up a
few Mhz at a time until the max FSB setting of 155Mhz for the
Soyo SY-6VBA133 motherbaord was reached. The Soyo SY-6VBA133
motherboard has an AGP clock divider of 2 and a PCI divider
of 4 that helps keep the AGP and PCI bus speeds in a reasonable
range. The voltage on this CPU was set on the Iwill Slocket
II at 1.6v and never tweaked. Heat never became a problem with
the CPU temperature running at 34.5C using the retail heatsink/fan.
I was very pleased to see this CPU purr along at 775Mhz. The
CPU, Soyo motherboard, 2 sticks of 64MB Corsair PC133 RAM, and
other components in the system ran without any problems. No
lockups, crashes, or any apparent problems. I have stated many
times since the testing that the system has run the most stable
of any Windows 95/98 system I have ever used. I now use this
system for my everyday use and continue to get solid stability
I put the second CPU in a one year old Abit BH6 motherboard
that had been flashed to the latest BIOS available for the board.
The voltage on the CPU was set on the Iwill Slocket II at 1.6v
and never tweaked. The retail heatsink/fan was used with the
CPU. The system has Samsung PC100 RAM and a Voodoo3 3000 video
card. The Abit BH6 board supports 112, 124, and 133Mhz FSB bus
speeds. It has a max AGP clock divider of 2/3 and a max PCI
divider of 1/3). I expected the Samsung PC100 RAM to max out
at the 124Mhz FSB setting and not allow the system to push the
PIII 500E any further than 620Mhz, but I was again presently
surprised to see the system boot and run Quake III benchmarks
without any problems at the 133Mhz FSB speed. Everyday use of
this system has not shown any problems as this system continues
to run very stable. This made the PIII 500E plus the Iwill Slocket
II a very economical upgrade to a 667Mhz PIII for this Abit
BH6 based system.
Contagion carried the third CPU home and put it on a Abit BF6
motherboard. The system has one stick of 128MB Corsair PC133
RAM. The Abit BF6 like the BH6 has an AGP clock divider of 2/3
and a PCI clock divider of 1/3. The BF6 also has a 1/4 PCI clock
The CPU ran stable until it reached about 650Mhz keeping the
voltage at 1.6v. After experiencing some application lockups
in Windows 98 at speeds higher than 650Mhz, the CPU voltage
was changed to 1.75v. This allowed the CPU to run very stable
at 675Mhz. The system would post all the way to 720Mhz, but
would lock trying to start Windows 98 at that speed.
The stock retail heatsink/fan was removed and replaced with
an Alpha PFH6035/Global Win 27cfm fan. With the stock heatsink/fan
the system had been running at 37C. Putting the Alpha on dropped
the temperature to 34C. The CPU will run at 690 or 700Mhz for
a few hours of use before Windows 98 decides to lock down tight.
720Mhz was still the point at which the CPU would fail trying
to start Windows 98, however the system did run stable enough
at 710Mhz to do some Quake III benchmarking. After finishing
the benchmarks at that speed, the system was rebooted, but would
lockup trying to load Windows 98 at that point.