TechSpot

About overclocking a dell dimension 9200...

By zycon
Jun 8, 2007
  1. Is it possible? I have been searching the net and have heard multiple times that you cant do it, something about the BIOS... bleh. Can anyone fill me in on this please?
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You can do a little overclocking, but it isn't designed for it, and can significantly shorten the life of the computer... You will void your warranty in the process.
    If determined, take a look at the motherboard, then use the numbers in a Google search to figger out what board from which manufacturer it really is... then go to that manufacturer's web site to see what you can learn about how to do it.
     
  3. zycon

    zycon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Sorry. If nothing is posted, you are perhaps out of luck. It depends on the motherboard, but likely there is no margin on this particular model... you would have to know how to tweak boards... and I don't expect any tweaking will get you enough additional performance to make it worth it.
     
  5. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    Can't be done. The bios is locked by Dell to prevent it. The only Dell's that can I believe are the XPS 710's and the new XPS 720's.
     
  6. Starless

    Starless TS Rookie

    Hi there,

    It's said that it is impossible to overclock a Dell computer, but you can!!
    I managed to overclock my Dell Dimension 9200 with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor @ 2.13 Ghz. which is running now at 2.5 Ghz. :)

    look for the details at http://www.starless.nl/overclock


    Greetings,

    Starless
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    At the cost of very little operational difference, I would guess, and a very early failure rate... as well as voidance of warranty.
    Please describe what differences you see in actual use with software or games.
     
  8. Starless

    Starless TS Rookie

    Numbercrunching, Chess, Science, all applications that put a 100% load on the CPU show significant difference, in example: 10 hours of computation time reduced to 8 hours. I got 4 computers here, all overclocked, the oldest is 8 years old and i never had a problem with it (well okay, i had some problems with the monitor and harddisk once)

    True, a lot of applications won't benefit from overclocking, but my computers are on 24/7 and the applications i run really kick the CPU to the max.


    Games, i really would not know i hardly play any (on a computer) :)

    Greetings,

    Starless.
     
  9. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    I hope you'll never need a bios update, it'll probably fry your mobo, your choice.
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Meh, I'm the overclocking guy, and I don't suggest overclocking Dells.... They're budget for a reason.

    But overclocking it right WILL NOT reduce the lifespan of the computer. IF you do it right. Even if it does reduce the lifespan, even by half, your computer is designed to last longer than you'd want to use it anyway, and halving it would not change that fact. Unless you're thinking of handing your computer to your grandsons/granddaughters, you wouldn't notice any reduction in lifespan.

    And we're just talking theoretical lifespans here, just like the theoretical lifespan of a HDD is 5 years. Use that information as you will, I understand that there are some HDDs which last 6 months, and others, forever.

    In either case, your Dell just isn't built with overclocking in mind. Half the parts are custom to Dell, and most Dell BIOSes are locked from overclocking anyway. Your PSU is a cheap piece of crap, which even limits your graphics card upgrades.... Sometimes you can overload the PSU just by plugging in more HDDs, what can I say?

    And the other thing is: why would you want to overclock? I'm talking as if there are no risks, but there still are risks, even when you do it all right. The chance of something going wrong is minimal, but its there. If you're not going to see any difference in your daily computing, its not worth it. If you game, it might help some. If you do some CPU intensive work, you probably wouldn't have bought a Dell.
     
  11. Starless

    Starless TS Rookie

    I fully agree with you there CMH.

    My reply on this thread is meant as a statement that it is possible to overclock a Dell as well (where everywhere on the net, everyone says that it can't be done).


    Greetings.
     
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    As a general rule, a Dell cannot be overclocked enough to make a difference... but it remains to youre credit that you did it... but a 9200 motherboard is a much different animal than most other Dell Boards... and they definitely are/were designed and built to prevent overclocking.
    Now Dell owns Alienware, and other companies who build computers designed just for overclocking.

    I believe most of these boards and computers are designed just so overclocking was a possibility... as a sales technique... otherwise, if it was not going to harm the computer, why not build them faster to begin with...
     
  13. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    I wish to correct one of your un-biased observations of Dell's quality. Your comment and I quote "Your PSU is a cheap piece of crap, which even limits your graphics card upgrades.... Sometimes you can overload the PSU just by plugging in more HDDs, what can I say?" is full of crap. Where does your info come from? To set the record straight I have one of those crappy psu's305w
    and run a 8600GT XXX on it without breaking a sweat. 22amps on the 12v rails, pushes just about 400w. The XPS's with their crappy 375w psu's are configured at the factory with 8800's. Statements without facts to support them is just biased conjecture.
    Let's see your specs and see if you practice what you preach.
     
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I'll correct that statement by adding this: unless you've got one of their XPS line, which has been aimed at enthusiasts.

    I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to run anything bigger than that 8600GT XXX on less than a reputable 450W PSU. Actually, I wouldn't run any of my computers on anything less than that. There is something I believe in, called "safety". Sure, you can run your computer with all that plugged into a 375W, but then again, I can drive a car with a blood alcohol level of 0.2% while on marijuana and coke at the same time. It just wouldn't be too safe.

    Overclocking will stress the PSU even furthur, and I am just warning zycon about the dangers of overclocking a computer that wasn't meant to be overclocked. If you're 100% sure that he can do all that on a generic Dell PSU and live to tell the tale, you go ahead and tell him to. I don't want to be responsible for a malfunctioning computer, even if it belonged to a stranger on the net I will never meet.

    Its getting a little heated in here, so I'll just get back to the topic, and forget all of this.

    raybay got it right with the boards being designed to prevent overclocking. Why would they sell you a computer which you can go home and overclock it to perform to something they can sell to you for an extra 200 dollars?

    There are many reasons why they sell you a chip that is overclockable.
    1. It takes money to test every single chip for its maximum speed. They do not produce E6320, E6420, E6600, E6700 and X6800 on different silicon boards. They produce a whole batch of X6800, test every chip for thermal efficiency (correct me if I'm wrong), and those which pass the test, but have lower thermal efficiency are sold as E6700, E6600, etc depending on how they fare. In theory, all those chips will be overclockable to at least the X6800.

    2. It takes money to ship HUGE heatsinks with their chips. I believe one of the main problems all chipmakers have in increasing clock speeds is the heat produced. You take care of the heat, you can get higher speeds. This is why those overclockers with unlimited supply of LN2 get godlike speeds on their machines. Also the reason why Intel came out with the BTX form factor: their chips were getting too hot (this was before C2D).

    3. Marketing. If they can sell a chip without making the chip run at its maximum potential, why should they? They would be better off waiting until a competitor comes along with another product, and then "magically" release a "new" chip that runs twice as fast! Then all those people who bought the original chip would run out and buy this new upgraded chip, which means they just sold you 2 chips, instead of one. Which is also why if AMD wasn't around to give Intel such a hard time, we wouldn't be seeing all these new jumps in CPU technology. You think Intel will put money creating the C2D if their P4s were beating the crap out of AMD's Athlons?

    I'm sure there are many other reasons as well, but at this moment, I'm just gonna stick with these 3 reasons.
     
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Hear, hear, KPO6969. You have hit the nail on the head. We have been a repair station for Dell and IBM since 1991. We also rebuild computers for the donor and second hand market for free. It is quite astonishing how reliable are the power supplies of Dell and the systems they drive.
    True, if you add very high powered Video graphics and superior sound systems, you may need a better power supply to drive them... but then you should be buying a gaming machine to do it.
    Dells do what they are designed to do in a remarkable fashion... only their Dimension 2100, 2200 2300, 2350, 2400, and 3100 are not up to the task, but they don't even have AGP or PCI-e slots... and Dell has learned its lesson with the serverly cheap home budget units that were designed for mere word processing and email.
    Dell has a remarkable business success for a reason. There are 129 computer companies that didn't make it. Only HP and Gateway survived. IBM, Compaq, and most others had to be sold or went out of business.
    Each level of Dell computer is extremely well designed for what it was intended, and for his price. I challenge anyone to find better. Only when they are diddled with, do they fail. Dust and dirt cause more trouble than engineering.
    Just don't ask the inexpensive Dell to do things it was not designed to do.
     
  16. A[L]C

    A[L]C TS Rookie

    Did you do this in the end?
     
  17. Mathes

    Mathes TS Rookie

    Hey there,
    I want to install a Intel QX6800 in my dimension 9200.
    Can I overclock it?
    At starless page are only Intel DualCore processors listed.
    Is it possible?
    And can I overclock it only to 312-318 FSB?
     
  18. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Nope. Not really. Not designed to be overclocked. Whatever overclocking you do will dramatically shorten the life of this Dell... If you have never overclocked a stock system before, you will have bad luck trying to overclock this one.
    If you can afford it, try it.
    Cheaper to buy a replacement board and power supply and CPU
     
  19. Mathes

    Mathes TS Rookie

    okay...
    and what is with the Intel Q6700?
    The processor is much cheaper.
    On starless page is written that the E6700 can be overclocked until 3,1 GHz.
    And what is with the QuadCore?
    In my Dell is installed an Intel E6400.
    I overclocked it to 2,5 GHz and it works perfect.
    But I need more power so I decided to choose a higher processor.
    The QX6800 is the most powerful processor which can be installed to a Dimension 9200? Is that right?
    Is it still so expensive? I just saw offers over 700€ or 900$.
    The Q6700 can be purchased for 160€.
     
  20. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,650

    it is the mobo in the Dell computer that will not let u overclock + nothing in a dell case is built to withstand the heat it would produce.
     
  21. Mathes

    Mathes TS Rookie

    Well...
    Some days ago I overclocked my E6400 to 2,5 GHz.
    I had some problems.
    When I started a huge game which needed the full CPU my PC crashed down and rebooted once again.
    Sometimes there was a blue screen after that sometimes not.
    And the CPU was only overclocked to 312 FSB.

    Could it be a problem with the PSU why my PC chrashed down and rebooted again?
    Isn´t there enough power? The CPU in the Dimension 9200 has only 375W.
    Or a problem of the CPU´s cooling system?
    Or only a problem of the Dell RAID BIOS?
     
  22. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Mathes, overclocking is usually done on a computer motherboard that has special features specifically designed for overclocking. Overclocking your Dell is a very chancy thing to do as your motherboard was specifically designed to run at stock speeds. Raising the FSB to 312 is a huge overclock of your front side bus, it didn't make much difference in the speed of the processor because its multiplier is set at eight. 312 X 8 = 2496.

    If you can tell me at what speed your memory is actually running at maybe we can sort things out a bit.
     
  23. Mathes

    Mathes TS Rookie

    My memory?

    Well,I have 2x1024 MB RAM 667 MHz

    When I will change my CPU (don´t know which it will be...perhaps a qx6800 or a q6700)
    I will change my video card and the memory too.
    3536 MB RAM 800 MHz and perhaps a GeForce GTX260.

    And when I change my CPU I want to overclock it.
    It should be over 3 GHz.
    So...when I change to a QX6800 I can overclock it (like starless said) to 312*11=3,4 GHz.
    When I change to a Q6700 I can overclock it to 3,1 GHz.

    But I´m not sure about the performance.
    Perhaps my PC will crash down again.

    Could it be a problem of the PSU?
    I think the crash down-reboot problem is only there if the PC hasn´t got enough power.
     
  24. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    I asked if you could tell me the memory speed because the more you ramp up the front side bus the more you ramp up your memory's speed. The speed of your memory is directly connected to the speed of your front side bus.

    Example:

    I have a E7200 processor in the computer I'm using right now. Normally the processor runs at 2.53GHz while the front side bus runs at 1066MHz. The FSB is quad pumped. What that means is the actual speed of the front side bus is 266MHz (1066 / 4). My memory is rated at 1066 MHz (PC8500) but that too is also quad pumped so the actual running speed is 266MHz (1066 / 4). To overclock my CPU to 3.16GHz I had to raise the FSB from 266MHz to 333MHz (333 X 4 = 1333MHz) and at the same time I had to make sure that my memory didn't raise above 266 MHz (266 X 4 = 1066MHz ) by setting a divider in the BIOS of my motherboard. The divider allows me to overclock the processor and at the same time run the memory at its rated speed. I simply don't want to overclock my memory. My motherboard also makes sure not to overclock my PCI bus. The devices on the PCI bus don't usually respond well to overclocking. My hard drives reside on the PCI bus. To further discourage/encourage you my motherboard allows me to set both the memory and CPU voltage. Normal DDR2 memory runs at 1.85 volts, but my memory has to have 2.2 volts to run stably at its rated speed. At 2.1 volts my memory is unstable, so 1/10 of a volt makes a huge difference in the stability of my computer. I didn't have to overvolt my CPU to get it to go from 2.53GHz to 3.16GHz but many CPUs will need extra voltage to be overclocked.
     
  25. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    I asked if you could tell me the memory speed because the more you ramp up the front side bus the more you ramp up your memory's speed. The speed of your memory is directly connected to the speed of your front side bus.

    Example:

    I have a E7200 processor in the computer I'm using right now. Normally the processor runs at 2.53GHz while the front side bus runs at 1066MHz. The FSB is quad pumped. What that means is the actual speed of the front side bus is 266MHz (1066 / 4). My memory is rated at 1066 MHz (PC8500) but that too is also quad pumped so the actual running speed is 266MHz (1066 / 4). To overclock my CPU to 3.16GHz I had to raise the FSB from 266MHz to 333MHz (333 X 4 = 1333MHz) and at the same time I had to make sure that my memory didn't raise above 266 MHz (266 X 4 = 1066MHz ) by setting a divider in the BIOS of my motherboard. The divider allows me to overclock the processor and at the same time run the memory at its rated speed. I simply don't want to overclock my memory. My motherboard also makes sure not to overclock my PCI bus. The devices on the PCI bus don't usually respond well to overclocking. My hard drives reside on the PCI bus. To further discourage/encourage you my motherboard allows me to set both the memory and CPU voltage. Normal DDR2 memory runs at 1.85 volts, but my memory has to have 2.2 volts to run stably at its rated speed. At 2.1 volts my memory is unstable, so 1/10 of a volt makes a huge difference in the stability of my computer. I didn't have to overvolt my CPU to get it to go from 2.53GHz to 3.16GHz but many CPUs will need extra voltage to be overclocked.


    You don't need to change your CPU. You need to change your motherboard, CPU heatsink, powersupply and memory to really overclock. You will also have to do a huge amount of reading.

    Sorry I must have post a reply instead editing my last post.
     
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