CPU speed

Posted on 2002-06-16
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a Pentium III 700 MHz PC, but it's running very slowly. When I check the BIOS, it claims to be operating at 233 MHz. How do I fix this?
Question by:wambtac
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 7082350
Does your CMOS setup (BIOS) support "soft menu" settings instead of jumpers on the MB to set the correct CPU speed?
If so then you will need to go into the CMOS setup and reset the CPU speed to the correct value. If this "value" does not stay then you may have a dead or dying battery and you will need to replace it (about $3.00)

Author Comment

ID: 7082399
I don't know what "soft menu" settings are, or jumpers on the MB, either.

I know that when I go into the BIOS CPU menu, the speed reads 233 MHz, the base frequency is set at 66 MHz with an option for 100 MHz, which I cannot seem to change to, and the multiple factory is set at x3.5 with options up to x8.0, which I also cannot figure out how to change to. The SDRAM frequency reads 66 MHz.

I don't know what most of this means, but I do know the machine is supposed to be set at 700 MHz, recently was, and I have no idea what I did to slow it down or how to speed it back up.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 7082404
What is the make and model of the motherboard?
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

rayt333 earned 50 total points
ID: 7082420
the 233 is probably a default setting, usally this is the lowest supported speed of the system. If you did not do anything to change this then you may need to replace the CMOS battery, it is a coin sized battery on the motherboard.

Author Comment

ID: 7082470
Thank you!  This was a generic computer built to someone else's specs by Fry's Electronics. It's been running slow almost since I got it; probably, it had a low battery from the very beginning. Your answer makes a lot more sense than all the "you shouldn't load so many programs" I keep getting from the techs I've paid -- especially since I'm currently using less than 10% of a 30G hard drive!
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 7082686
There are some things you can do to improve the performace.
First see what all is loaded at boot, hit (Ctrl,Alt,Delete) and note all listed programs there. Now as a test highlight each one and use "end task" to shut them dowm (Leave EXPLORER and SYSTRAY) Now see if your computer runs any faster.
Do you run Scandisk and Defrag on a regular basis? (weekly)

To stop any unwanted programs from loading at boot, go to START, then RUN, type MSCONFIG and hit OK, now click on the STARTUP tab and note all programs with a check in front of them. As a test you can uncheck any unwanted or unneeded programs to prevent them from loading at boot.

Don't let anyone tell you installing too many programs slows your system down, although this can be true if you have them all running in the background, you can disable them from loading until you actually need them to be opened.

I have a 30GB and a 40GB HD that are about 75% full and I have over 2000 exe files (programs) and I do not notice any lack of performace.

Author Comment

ID: 7083020
I scan and defrag every week, sometimes even daily if things get too weird. I've played the games with uninstalling stuff and unclicking extraneous programs in STARTUP and reconfiguring everything I can find to reconfigure. I'd just paid someone to get my computer up to speed, and within a matter of a day it was slow again.  I think your original idea was right; the battery is rundown. I shall replace. If that doesn't work, I'll be back again!

Thank you for all your help

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