Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Overclock your EEEPC

I have just successfully "hacked" my Asus EEEPC 4G. Actually it's the latest of several "hacks"...I've managed to install XP Service Pack 3, despite the fact that it doesn't officially "fit" the 4GB internal memory. I did this by (another hack) moving Windows Temp files to the 8GB SDHC card that's permanently installed in the card slot.

Wishing to watch Netflix movies on my EEE, I also moved the temp files for Internet Explorer to my SDHC card (Netflix streaming movies require GIGABYTES of temp room for "buffering").

One of my complaints about the EEE has been that, as delivered, it really doesn't have enough power for flash-based video sites like Hulu...which makes "videos" look more like a slide show (it can, however, play most any video FILE...avi, wmv, mov). Which explains my latest "hack". I downloaded a utility called "EEECTL" from http://www.cpp.in/dev/eeectl/

NOTE: OVERCLOCKING IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS...especially if overdone and without the precautions discussed, and VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY! OVERCLOCKING CAN TURN YOUR COMPUTER INTO A PAPERWEIGHT! The faint of heart should stop reading NOW!

EEECTL is an executable program, which will need to be started every time you use it. A good thing, as you don't want to overclock your "little buddy" when reading e-mail, or "surfing"...that's just running the battery down quickly for no good reason. Once started, right-clicking the icon in the task bar allows you to adjust the clock speed to "stock" (601mhz), "medium" (828mhz), and "Full" (900mhz...the actual rated speed of the EEE's Celeron processor). Other adjustments are "FAN" (set to "100 percent" when overclocking!), and "Screen Brightness" (this can REALLY brighten the screen...at the cost of lots more battery drain!)

To verify that EEECTL was actually doing what it claimed, I downloaded CPU-Z from Download.com http://www.download.com/ This is a great utility, allowing you to read clock speed, and MANY OTHER parameters of your system! First I measured the clock speed without EEECTL, and it measured exactly 601mhz. With EEECTL set to "FULL" the clock speed was 900mnz, as claimed! (Allow your system a few seconds for changes to take effect).

At the 900mhz speed, Flash video was "smooth as buttery on hot toast"! Everything else was snappier as well. But the bottom of my EEE ran noticably warmer, so I turned the fan up to 100 percent, and recommend you NEVER overclock without taking this precaution.

This "hack" gives such a performance advantage, that I can't imagine why any technically-minded EEE user wouldn't keep EEECTL handy on their system to use when you need that little extra "kick-in-the-pants" that only "more power" can provide!

Got any other useful "hacks" for your EEE? TELL ME PLEASE!

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