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May 11th, 2009

I have installed the Windows 7 RC on my main computer. Everything works at least as good as in Vista, fast and stable.

However, there is only little glitch that I came about, which can be solved very simply. Somehow, when putting my computer to ‘Sleep’, it would power back up after a random time interval. I believe I used to have the same problem in Vista, and it can be easily solved. 

In Device Manager, select your network card, and make sure that it can wake-up your computer only if it receives a magic packet:

 

windows 7 network card management

windows 7 network card management

With this setting enabled, my computer can now rest ( and more importantly myself ) at night, without being waken up :)

Hardware overclock of a Q6600 within a Dell XPS 420

November 19th, 2008

With a few friends, we all bought some Dell XPS420 last year. Not being a maniac about overclocking, I did not research the subject much, but I knew that my bios was locked and that it was probably not worth wasting too much time on it.

However, a few days ago while browsing the ‘net, I found out this article :  http://home.austin.rr.com/waterdogs2/xps420.htm

It’s a nice read with lots of picture, and I will make some reference to it in my (short) post.

So that guy was able to crank-up the speed of it’s 2.4GHz Q6600 to 3.0GHz by shorting two pins of the processor. This has the effect of making the Front Side Bus run at 1333MHz, instead of the stock 1067MHz speed. I did some more research, and this modification is well-known, and called the “BSEL MOD”.
But there is something more. There is no need to go out and buy a defogger kit. You simply need to isolate the bottom pin from the socket, and with little luck, this should have the same effect ( I have not seen a post from someone for whom it did not work ). So read again the tutorial, it explains very well how to open your computer case and reach your CPU.

Here’s a picture of the modified Q6600. Note the tiny amount of tape covering only one pin. I know the picture is blurry, as I had to hold the processor to make sure I would not spread thermal paste all over my desk.

Modded Q6600

( Click on the picture for a better view, the mod is in the bottom-right corner )

I put the CPU back in, boot-up, and launch CPU-Z.

CPU-Z from a modded Q6600

Core Speed : 2.99GHz

FSB : 1330MHz

All seems right and working fine. I was worried in the beginning about the RAM, because it was already running at 333MHz, which is the max of my DDR2 PC-5300. But the ratio changed from 2:3 to 1:1, so my cheap ram that came with the machine still works good at the same speed. With the 1:1 ratio, Vista even gave me a better score !

All in all, it took me about 10 hours of looking around, trying softwares like cpucool, clockgen and such, with no success… and less than 10 minutes to do the hardware modification. It’s been a week now, and the machine still runs with perfect stability.

Note : I’m not responsible if you blow your own CPU/Machine/Cat, use at your own risk :)