Re: Does Mathematica work reliably in an Overclocked system

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg19902] Re: [mg19859] Does Mathematica work reliably in an Overclocked system*From*: John Fultz <jfultz at wolfram.com>*Date*: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 02:22:42 -0400*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> Is it possible that when you run mathematica in an overclocked system, it > will give you an incorrect results without you even knowing it ? > Is there any way that I can do to prevent it from happening and still > overclock the CPU ? > System: PIII450 at 600, Abit BX6 R2 motherboard, 256 MB RAM. Mathematica doesn't do any checking for over-clocked systems. So, if the CPU starts returning wrong results because of heat or manufacturing defects, there's not much Mathematica can do. I suggest you check out the GIMPS software for finding Mersennes primes, at http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm One of the things you can do with this sofware is to "torture test" your CPU and find out if things are running correctly in your over-clocked system...particularly with constant usage of the floating point unit (which may be in issue in Mathematica, as well, depending upon how you're using it). Here's a relevant paragraph from NTPrime's readme (NTPrime is the NT version of the GIMPS software) concerning CPU reliability with their software: How can this [possible hardware failure reported by NTPrime] be when none of your other programs have problems? The answer is that ntprime stresses your machine more than any other program you run. The operating system usually shuts down the floating-point unit when no programs are using it. Ntprime continuously uses the FPU, consuming more electricity and generating more heat. If the CPU is not properly cooled, errors can occur. Ntprime also constantly accesses main memory - up to 60MB per second. This constant activity will detect memory problems that other programs do not. This is why Cray Research has used a program similar to this one as part of its supercomputer diagnostics package for over a decade. and another concerning overclocking: If you have overclocked your machine, I highly recommend running the torture test for a couple of days. The longer you run the torture test the greater the chance that you will uncover an error caused by overheating. Of course, as you are probably aware, if there is a hardware problem, it's pretty much that you got the bad luck of the draw. Perhaps your chip will run well at higher speeds and perhaps not...it's a crap shoot. There's probably plenty of other software out there that will torture test your Pentium III as well...NTPrime just happens to be the one that I'm immediately aware of. Sincerely, John Fultz jfultz at wolfram.com User Interface Group Wolfram Research, Inc.