Thursday, February 22, 2007

Preparing to Pinmod

What is Pinmodding?

Pinmodding is a hardware modification that allows you to take a Pentium M processor with a 400MHz front side bus (FSB) and trick it to run with a 533MHz FSB, resulting in a 33% speed increase.

What are the Materials Required?
A Pentium M 400FSB processor - I bought one on eBay.
Thermal paste - I have some handy.
A thin piece of wire (about 32 gauge) - I'll find some.

How is it done?
The mod itself is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is short two pins on the processor together by placing a thin wire in the socket to connect them.

What is success rate?
This depends on the speed of the processor. Pinmodding to 2.0GHz is almost guaranteed to be successful. Pinmodding to 2.4GHz (which is what I will be attempting) only has a 60% success rate, and that's with a voltmod to increase the voltage supplied to the processor. Here is a useful chart that illustrates how success rates decrease with increasing speed.

Why am I doing this?
The processor I currently use is a Pentium M 533FSB at 2.0GHz, so even if my pinmod is successful, it will only be a 20% speed increase from what I currently have. I decided to try pinmodding anyway because I found a good deal on a 400FSB processor on eBay and I'll need to disassemble my laptop anyway to replace the CPU heatsink and bottom case (read this if you want to know why). I decided to go for 2.4GHz because I felt anything lower would not be worth it and anything higher would be too risky.

I won't be too disappointed if this fails. I'll just go back to using my old 2.0GHz processor.

The Extreme Pin Modding Guide
The Ultimate Pentium-m Pinmod/Voltmod Guide
A Photo Guide for Pin Modding 9300/XPS

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