Getting the hardware tweak monkey bug

Quite by accident, I bought for my HTPC what apparently is the CPU over-clocker's favorite board for AMD processors, A-Bit's NF7-S. My criteria for buying the board was just that it had an optical audio output to hook up to my Sony receiver for DVD's. With it I bought a mobile Athlon XP 2400+ because a lot of users reported it running cooler than normal Athlons. It also happens to be unlocked, so you can clock it as you wish. This good accident was matched with another good accident, in buying a really good cooler for the thing.

The last good accident was that I unintentionally clocked it at 2.0 GHz, though it's spec'd for 1.8 GHz. So for $77, I'm getting roughly Intel P4 2.6 GHz performance for about $70 less, and I don't even need that performance for playing iTunes, DVD's and Beyond TV shows.

So now I'm getting all geeked up about this over-clocking stuff, and the crazy cooling schemes people use to make these things sing. Seriously, they spend so much on the cooling gear that they could've just bought the faster CPU to begin with, but I guess that's not the point.

So now I'm tempted to upgrade my office computer, mostly to make the forthcoming RCT3 run at ridiculously high frame rates. Right now I have an old Athlon 2000+ and a not-that-old Nvidia 5600 video card. Simply buying a faster video card may not give me the boost I need if I'm bound by the CPU, so I'm not sure what I'll do. I'd love to get an Athlon 64, but they're still kinda pricey and who knows when 64-bit Windows XP will finally go retail.

Have I mentioned that I'm doing everything but work lately? :)

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