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TurboSlugs: Adventures in overclocking

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  • linuxjacques
    THIS WILL (oh so) VOID THE WARRANTY ON YOUR NSLU2. From the early days of the nslu2-linux project, the developers and many users have noticed certain signs
    Message 1 of 46 , Jun 30, 2005
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      THIS WILL (oh so) VOID THE WARRANTY ON YOUR NSLU2.

      From the early days of the nslu2-linux project, the developers and
      many users have noticed certain signs that the slug was not running
      at 266MHz core speed.

      Be it comparing benchmarks with dev boards, looking at bogomips,
      or running Dhrystone tests, the slug appeared to be running at 133MHz
      core.

      In the last 24 hours, we have discovered this suspicion to be true,
      as well as a way to modify the slug for true 266MHz core speed.

      Remember, this will void the warranty on your NSLU2. We take no
      responsibility for your actions.

      Intel Application Note 25406701 talks of ways to downclock IXP42x
      using the Expansion Bus Configuration Register 0
      (see http://www.intel.com/design/network/applnots/254067.htm ).

      After much testing with scopes, writing of ARM assembly, and more
      scope testing, it was discovered that removing a resistor on the board
      will cause it to run at 266MHz core speed.

      Bear in mind that only the processor core speed changes - the RAM bus
      and PCI bus speeds are unchanged (133MHz and 33MHz respectively).

      While this is not a true "doubling" of whole device speed, it has led
      to some significant speedups:

      Perl compile went from 90 minutes to 60 minutes

      Python compile went from 52 minutes to 36 minutes

      For instructions on how to perform the mod, see
      http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/OverClockTheSlug

      You can find a new "TurboSlugs" database on the Yahoo site listing
      slugs which have been modified in this manner.

      Pretty much the entire dev team contributed to this discovery.

      Did we mention that this will (like totally) void the warranty on your
      NSLU2, and that we take no responsibility for your actions? Sure we
      did. Don't bother sending your legal folk our way ...

      Have fun,

      The NSLU2-Linux Development Team
    • Mark Hood
      ... friend or ... soldering ... and ... in ... Thanks Rod, that s good to know. I may end up doing something like Jason did with a snipper of some sort. The
      Message 46 of 46 , Jul 12, 2005
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        --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Rod Whitby <list.yahoo@r...>
        wrote:
        > On 7/12/05, Rob Lockhart <rlockhar@g...> wrote:
        > > I would suggest if you can't do this yourself, ask either a
        friend or
        > > someone at a nearby EE hardware lab. You can't use a blunt
        soldering
        > > iron tip to do this without risking possible damage to the pads
        and
        > > corresponding traces.
        >
        > Note that we had a choice between two resistors for this mod, and we
        > chose the one which was safest to remove with a blunt instrument.
        > There are no traces underneath or running parallel to the resistor
        in
        > question, so it would be pretty hard to damage something.

        Thanks Rod, that's good to know. I may end up doing something like
        Jason did with a snipper of some sort.

        The detailed tips from Jeff and Rob are inspiring though and much
        appreciated. I'm going to open up my slug, take a look at the task,
        and see if I'm up for a little desoldering.

        Thanks everybody!

        -- Mark
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