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I have a laptop (Compaq Presario V5000). It's about 4 years old now. My dad bought it at Walmart on Black Friday for $389 (it only had 384MB of memory (now it has 2GB)). It has seen 3 Windows OS's and 4 Ubuntu's (I dual boot). The hard disk has begun to fail. I already have all the data backed up.

I wouldn't say my computer is slow, but I wouldn't say its fast either. The processor is a Mobile AMD Sempron 3300+ which runs at about 2.0 GHz. The current tempature after being on for about 6 hours is 43 C (or 104 F).

So I'm just wondering:

  • 1) Should I overclock it?
    • 1 a) If so, how much?
  • 2) What is the max temp I should allow it to reach?
  • 3) What kind of performance boost would I see (I do a lot of programming)?
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Overclocking a laptop is a risky move, overclocking this particular laptop is more.

As you know, most laptop BIOS don't support overclocking and heat-dissipation will be a real problem as well. Moreover, a few more MHz don't mean substantially better performance.

I suggest for you to replace the HDD. A new HDD with higher RPM and a better cache would make a real performance difference, you could look at (for example) the WD Scorpio Black.

So responding to your answer:

  1. No, you don't; and probably you can't

  2. CPUworld says 95°C is absolute maximum temperature

  3. If you replace the HDD, you would definitely see a performance boost, especially boot times and file access

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I don't think I'm gonna upgrade this one, all the components in it suck. I'm actually looking to buy a new laptop. Preferably one with the i7 processor. – Lucas McCoy Dec 19 '09 at 4:07

From AMD Sempron 3300+ Processor Review :

The overclocking side was a bit more difficult than with a comparable Athlon 64 or Athlon 64 FX, as although the Sempron 3300+ supports Cool 'n Quiet technology, it had no facility to downshift the multipliers on our reference systems. That made any overclocking attempt one of purely increasing clock speed, which we managed to attain up to a 236 MHz speed, which resulted in a 2.36 GHz core at 1.5V to 1.525V.

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I don't see the connection between the dying hard drive and overclocking.

If the computer is fast enough for you, get a new hard drive and carry on using it, its a faster machine than I have.

If its not, overclocking is not going to give you a big enough increase in performance that you are going to be happy with it.

If you just want to play before getting rid of the machine don't bother if you sell it or give it away you'll get more out of that than you will by playing at overclocking.

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