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Processor Explanation, FSB, Multiplier, Overclocking, Cache, etc

Posted on 2007-10-18
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I was hoping someone could explain to me or point me in the direction of finding out about some of the lingo on processors and what it means.  I was looking at processors and read some reviews about a dual core processor having a FSB of 133 and a multiplier of 10 and another one having a FSB of 166 and multiplier of 8.  Both processors were listed as having FSB of 1333 so I get the basic math, but I don't understand exactly what it is that has the smaller FSB.  Could someone explain that?  Also, is read somewhere else that someone was trying to raise the FSB from 166 to 200 to overclock, is that the way that a CPU is overclocked or can you also overclock somehow by just increasing the processing speed?  One other question, is that FSB the speed between the CPU and cache or motherboard?  Thank you.
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Question by:goffer
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wizeabe earned 1000 total points
ID: 20105284
Here is some sites to read up on Front Side Bus (FSB):

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-front-side-bus.htm

http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/f/fsb.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_side_bus


These sites should answer your questions, if they don't just reply again and I will go through it with you. I hope this helps.
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by:wizeabe
ID: 20105313
Here is also a site explaining "Overclocking":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overclocking


Just be careful when overclocking, it takes time and practice to get the most stable of settings and even then if you don't have adequate cooling, it might overheat.
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by:goffer
ID: 20105427
I appreciate the quick response, that information helps but it has also confused me a little.  Can you tell me this, if you have a processor labeled as 800 FSB running at 3.2 GHz (which I understand now to mean it has a mulitplier of 4) and another processor labeled as 1333 FSB running at 2.4 GHz (a multiplier of 1.8, just random numbers i'm picking) does that mean the are essentially the same speed?  Also, I think what's really confusing me (that the articles didn't really describe) is one of the things I read was that someone was trying to overclock an Intel E6420 that is labled as running 1066 FSB but the reviewer is saying that he can only get the processor up to 375 FSB.  Could you please enlighten me on this.  From the articles I understand the processor speed to be the FSB x the mulitplier, but how can you have two different FSB speeds?
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by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 1000 total points
ID: 20105564
The advertised(effective) FSB of a processor is not what the Multiplier goes from. The P4 3.2Ghz cpu with a 800Mhz fsb has a Multiplier of 16 because of the quad pumped FSB. The real FSB is 200Mhz (200x4=800) and thats what the Multiplier uses. Core 2 duos also have a quad pumped fsb, so the E6550(2.33Ghz w/1333Mhz) has a multiplier of 7, so the overclocked e6420(multiplier is 8) had an effective fsb clock of 1500Mhz(375x4=1500) so it was running at 3Ghz.
http://arstechnica.com/guides/askars/ask-ars-20040710.ars
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by:wizeabe
ID: 20105602
Sorry if those articles confused you but thankfully jamietoner came to the rescue, while I was away from my desk.
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by:goffer
ID: 20105736
Okay, I think I'm getting there, sorry must be an off day.  So are all modern intel systems quadpumped, and is it the processor that quadpumps the FSB or is it the motherboard?  
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by:jamietoner
ID: 20106390
Yes and yes, however you can adjust the fsb(and in some cases the multiplier) in the motherboards bios.
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by:goffer
ID: 20110635
Thank you both for the help
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by:jamietoner
ID: 20113319
You're welcome
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