Overclocking the XPS M1710
One of the interesting things about this review sample we received is that the Core 2 Duo CPU is actually overclockable! This is a definite rarity with mobile computers and brings up all sorts of issues including heat, longevity, power consumption, and performance improvement.
To test the overclocking of the XPS M1710 with the T7600G, we run 3DMark, SuperPi, and Prey to measure performance improvements on the CPU and gaming ability, all the while keeping an eye on CPU and exhaust temperatures, and power consumption.
Overclocking the T7600G went pretty smoothly. All I needed to do was set the CPU frequency from a predefined range between 2.33 GHz to 3.2 GHz. As I increased the frequency, the CPU performance increased as expected.
At the maximum 3.2 GHz, the XPS M1710 performed extremely well by cutting Super Pi times drastically.
Overclocking had little effect on gaming as seen by the little change in 3DMark ’06 and Prey.
Power consumption, not surprisingly, increases as we crank the CPU above its factory settings. It goes without saying that overclocking the Dell XPS M1710 will deplete your battery much more quickly than if you run the system at the factory settings. You will have to decide for yourself whether the increased computation performance is worth the decreased battery life.
Stability didn’t appear to be an issue during my testing of overclocking even though the CPU and exhaust temperature of the XPS M1710 increased as the CPU frequency and voltage scaled up. I wouldn’t recommend overclocking while having the XPS M1710 resting on your lap… that’s just flirting with disaster.
At the maximum overclock of 3.2 GHz, the fans on the notebook were spinning at full RPM which explains why the temperatures are actually cooler at 3.2 GHz than at 2.833 GHz. While it was a little noisier at 3.2 GHz, I didn’t find it irritating in any way (I’ve heard notebook DVD drives that make more noise).