The 1ghz overclock


notyu1459

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I heard earlier that the Pandora had a recommended overclock of up to 800mhz, 900mhz acceptable, but reaching the gray area. Now suddenly someone "figures out" how to overclock to 1gz and everyone jumps at the option greedily. I don't understand. Wouldn't that put the CPU, under immense stress and shorten its life span? As far as I can understand we could've overclocked that high before, but no one has ever wanted to. Is this way of clocking any safer? What's the big deal?
 

Letalis Sonus

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The problem is not the clock itself, it's the voltage. The OMAP has different voltage modes which can be used, hitting the 1GHz limit e.g. requires the higher OPP5 mode which wasn't made available until HotFix 4. Overclocking itself is quite safe, it is only stressing if you're running on a higher voltage which results in more heat and power drain. By default it is running on OPP3 I think, anything above will reduce the lifetime of the Chip (but it should still last a very long time) and anything above OPP5 will kill your warranty (OPP5 is the max specified by TI I think).
 
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levi

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Plain overclocking will also increase power consumption and heat output too, so it's not quite that simple - but I'd agree that overvolting it is more dangerous. If it was easy to glue a heatsink to all the parts that will be sped up (I'm not clear on what, other than the CPU is affected by overclocking in the Pandora) it would be safer to go higher - as I understand it the killer is heat, not anything else (though chips will malfunction if taken beyond their frequency limits too - but aren't usually damaged by it).
 

notyu1459

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So what are the downsides to overclocking that high? How much of the lifespan is lost, etc?
 

Letalis Sonus

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as I understand it the killer is heat, not anything else
It's not the heat, it's the energy flowing through the silicon. Just pasting a cooling element on top won't help a lot.


If a CPU hangs, it is caused e.g. by a clock signal being ignored because the electromagnetic influence was just too heavy and the internals of the CPU went crazy. The higher the clock gets, the more noise gets into the clock signal (and data signals etc) and it is just a question of time until something gets confused. If you rise the voltage the signals have a higher peak and are therefore easier to recognize, so it slightly neutralizes the influence of the noise, but it also increases the energy flowing through the lines inside the CPU. On the one hand this leads to more heat and power drain, on the other hand it stresses the lines and rises the possibility that something might "break through", burning a new line through the silicon.


On a desktop PC the heat plays a major role, because you have lots of it. But the OMAP runs cool, by cooling it down you only reach a very small success and it still does not prevent that slightly damaged lines may result into hot spots that will "burn" the CPU, because the heat is simply too punctual. It's like eating lots of dark chocolate to not get cancer, they say it will help but how many chocolate do you have to eat to really make a difference?
 

levi

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It also doesn't help that the OMAP chips like previous ARM chips (I assume) is packaged in plastic, which acts as an insulator. Still, either way I have overclocked ARM chips in the past and found that gluing a heatsink to the top does let you push them a little further. Not blown one up yet either (though I do always have my finger on the trigger when I know I'm overdoing it). The old DEC StrongARMs could pump out a bit of heat if you pushed them hard enough.
 

EvilDragon

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I think I remember reading somewhere that overvolting the OMAP3530 to OPP5 reduces its lifespan to 5 years, but don't quote me on that :p
Yeah, me too. I think the normal lifespan is 20 years and it goes down to 5 years.


Still, 5 years running time when overvolting to OPP5 is a lot ;)
 

notyu1459

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Yeah, me too. I think the normal lifespan is 20 years and it goes down to 5 years.


Still, 5 years running time when overvolting to OPP5 is a lot ;)
Yeah, for overvolting to OPP5. I want my Pandora to last WAAAY longer. I don't care if it becomes "obsolete," as long as it still is capable of the same things it did when I first got it. I hope there aren't applications that will make it mandatory for you to overclock, so you have to kill your device in order to use it.
 

lulzfish

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Yeah, me too. I think the normal lifespan is 20 years and it goes down to 5 years.


Still, 5 years running time when overvolting to OPP5 is a lot ;)
Yeah, for overvolting to OPP5. I want my Pandora to last WAAAY longer. I don't care if it becomes "obsolete," as long as it still is capable of the same things it did when I first got it. I hope there aren't applications that will make it mandatory for you to overclock, so you have to kill your device in order to use it.
Hopefully most games will run fine at normal clock speed, since a lot of people won't want to risk overclocking.


5 years is longer than I can remember owning any computer. I think I got my tablet in 2001, and it died in 2005 or 2006. I got this laptop in 2007 (and my Palm PDA), and my server at the end of 2009. But for something as important and useful as the Pandora, 20 years might not be long enough.
 

Coldbird

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I will treasure my Pandora when I receive it (will be some time... 2nd batch order...) - so overclocking to 1ghz is out of the question. ;)
 

Aninhumer

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Is that 5 years running time or 5 years of average usage?


I rather doubt many people would use their Pandora for much more than 8hours per day on average, if that, (unless they're running a server or something crazy), so that would become 15 years at least. Also you're unlikely to be running at 1GHz all the time.
 

thedarkspectrum48k

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Im reminded of an expression - if it aint broke - dont fix it!


What apps need 1Ghz ?? - I run permanently on 850 (not overvolted) and it kicks arse!


Its like having a ferrari you can enjoy it at 100mph (anr more!) - why in god's name would you put rocket fuel in the tank (so strain it to go faster) ?
 
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DJKoma

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So other devices running at 1 ghz are actually using other overclocking modes? For instance the dreaded iPad - apart from allegedly having 2 ARM cores - uses basically a ARM cortex A8 running on OPP5?
 

tsh

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So other devices running at 1 ghz are actually using other overclocking modes?
Only if they are using the same OMAP device. Build it different, it will perform differently. Like comparing a 2l F1 engine with a production engine. The F1 engine is all precision aluminium, so revs higher. Both can run on race fuel or propane, and give different performance depending on the fuel. One runs forever, the other is designed to only work for a limited time (actually, that probably applies more to the RF in a phone, not the CPU, but you get the idea).


As to what happened, I think maybe some people have decided that 5 years from now, even if it isn't obsolete, they may have stopped using the pandora for cpu intensive functions, and are being a little less precious about their not even arrived yet toy.
 

Poem58

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So other devices running at 1 ghz are actually using other overclocking modes? For instance the dreaded iPad - apart from allegedly having 2 ARM cores - uses basically a ARM cortex A8 running on OPP5?

Seems there's a bit more to it then a simple overclock. (See Apple A4 wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A4) which states...


The Cortex-A8 core used in the A4 is thought to use performance enhancements developed by chip designer Intrinsity (which was subsequently acquired by Apple)[10] in collaboration with Samsung.[11] The resulting core, dubbed "Hummingbird", is able to run at far higher clock rates than other implementations while remaining fully compatible with the Cortex-A8 design provided by ARM.[12] Other performance improvements include additional L2 cache. The same Cortex-A8 CPU core used in the A4 is also used in Samsung's S5PC110A01 SoC.


So my guess is just like other chips out there, there are different "Flavors" if you will, with different capabilities. While ours was designed to run at 600Mhz (yet seems to be set standard at 500mhz) our ability to overclock can give us a boost to be closer to what the best of the best Arms out now can do.


So 20 years of usage 24/7 means 60 years of 8hrs a day 365days or overclock to get 15 years of constant 8 hours a day 1Ghz speed. Considering you wouldn't be running 1Ghz for 8 straight hours most likely I think we've entered into the realm of the controls and housing or screen or other hardware failure before the chip wears out.


Since it appears you have to have a battery to run the Pandora properly there won't likely be a way to even run the system 15 years from now without some form of battery hack.


So use and enjoy! That is after all WHY we bought one!
 

darfgarf

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Since it appears you have to have a battery to run the Pandora properly there won't likely be a way to even run the system 15 years from now without some form of battery hack.
works fine with no battery btw, just don't put the battery in/out while connected to the charger
 
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