XCPUScalar 2004 Pocket PC Overclocking GuideI conducted a series of XCPUScalar 2004 by Immiersoft "stress-tests" for Pocket PC
processor efficiency using the Quake timedemo.
This utility turned out to be the CPU overclocking mother of all Pocket PC downloads. Autoscaling, however, proved disappointing for PDA games.
Ideal for XScaleThe overclocking dream might be closer for users fortunate enough to have XScale processors in their PDAs. Immiersoft asserts that XCPUScalar 2004 has optimized their software specifically for these users.
This is particularly the case for Pocket PC models based on the PXA25x chipset (running at 200Mhz).
The very latest PDA chipset incarnation is the PXA27x family of XScale processors. At the time of this article they're capping out at 624Mhz.
XScale is ideal for XCPUScalar because XScale processors support "on the fly" clock changing, which is precisely what I've done for these tests.
A press release from PC World has a pretty good writeup on the advent of XScale on February 12, 2002.
You'll see that it touts XScale as the new era of battery efficiency. This may not be the case for gamers, especially when you see the results that I achieved both with and without the autoscale feature.
XCPUScalar 2004 TrialsAll tests were conducted with a middle of the road yet solidly designed iPAQ 4150. Without tweaks or hacks, its base core runs at 400Mhz.
Let's see how it performs when XCPUScalar 2004 is applied to crank it to 472Mhz:
I'm happy to report that nothing blew up during these trials. Still, I urge you to use your own discretion if you're running your own tests.
The Quake timedemo for demo2 revealed some interesting results in the above chart. I
In theory, the CPU should dynamically adjust to grant you an optical frame rate as needed.
What I found is the XCPUScalar 2004 remained on the conservative side.
Cranked To 530Mhz - No AutoscalingFunnily enough, I discovered the same thing when I treaded on hot coals and really pushed it at 530Mhz, which is over the maximum safety theshold of a 400Mhz iPAQ's processor. I enabled autoscale as a comparison test.
Initially, my PDA screen turned white with a couple of blue bands across it instead of launching Pocket Quake like I ordered it to, but setting aside some more main memory resolved this issue after a soft reset.
After this, it surprisingly executed only marginally better than the 472Mhz mode with no autoscaling.
Speaking of which, XCPUScalar 2004 will reset your settings when you perform a soft reset.
This can be a pain, but there really is no alternative. Some overclocking tools on desktop PCs wait for you to hold the CTRL key during bootup to reset to factory settings, but there is no such luxury here.
I removed my shoes in preparation of my other "walking on nails" experiment as I adjusted XCPUScalar to 530Mhz without the autoscaling feature enabled.
It was exhilarating to see Quake run better than it ever had on my older Celeron 333Mhz desktop PC. The sequence really has to be seen to be believed.
Once again, at your own risk unless they suddenly start inserting overclocking clauses into our warranties.
As you can see by these frame rates, Pocket Quake ran like greased lightning. Even the CPU hogging demo3 was pushing towards 20 fps. Very respectable indeed. Explosions and kills rolled along quite smoothly.
I'm now chomping at the bit to conduct some testing with some of the best Pocket PC emulators to use with XCPUScalar very soon.
To conclude, trying out the default autoscaling features without advanced setting tweaking will not earn you any increased PDA points in terms of gaming performance.
It seems that the unsupported clocking ranges will provide superior results for your Pocket PC, especially with XScale processors.
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