Over the weekend a blizzard has hit Michigan causing sub-zero temperatures, inches of snow, and zealous winds. This winter weather has caused the closing of shopping centers and community activities; public transportation systems and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport have also come to a halt. However, we took this opportunity to make the best of it with natural sub-zero overclocking. With the Abit AW9D i975X motherboard, an Intel Pentium 4 processor, 2GB of OCZ's Flex XLC PC2-9200 memory, and cooling provided by Mother Nature, we set off on a spontaneous overclocking adventure.
The weather hitting Michigan has caused extreme cold, massive wind gusts, and a horde of snow, which has left the western part of Michigan under a Blizzard warning until Saturday night with this vicious weather expected to continue through the remainder of the weekend. With the temperatures dropping, it was not until Saturday afternoon we determined to make the best of this opportunity by overclocking with the help of Mother Nature.
As this was truly an impromptu overclocking event, we had not planned ahead of time what hardware to use nor properly setting up a work environment. However, the basis of this system was the Abit AW9D motherboard. This motherboard boasts Silent OTES technology and is backed by Intel's flagship 975X Chipset. As we learned when reviewing this motherboard, it was a worthy successor to the Abit AW8-MAX and a great Linux motherboard in general. The processor used was an Intel Pentium 4 530. This Prescott processor had overclocked fairly well in the past, and was a processor we would not miss if it were to be taken by the weather. The heatsink used was a Spire (with Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste) and a Noctua NF-R8 Fan.
The power supply used was a Mushkin HP-580AP 580W, which will be featured shortly in a Phoronix review. Due to the frigid temperatures, an Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Herd LiveCD was used along with memtest86+ v1.70. ATI's Radeon X300SE graphics card was used while the open-air setup was built upon SilverStone's Milo ML01 chassis. On the next page we will be covering the OCZ Flex XLC memory that was used for this overclocking expedition.