Author Topic: N64 Overclocking: Sorting through misinformation  (Read 7376 times)

Offline jungerman

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N64 Overclocking: Sorting through misinformation
« on: August 15, 2013, 01:46:45 PM »
If you've performed an overclock, please list your N64 model number here, the multiplier that your console is stable at, and the games that work.

Hello everyone. I posted about this on ASSEMbler as well, but nobody seems to know too much about this.

I've been writing a blog post on Nintendo 64 overclocking. Halfway through, I realized I didn't know anything about Nintendo 64 overclocking. Time for a bit of community Q&A. Mostly Q on my end. Hoping you guys can point me toward some correct information on this mod that seems rife with misinformation.

Right, so diving right in. The N64 natively multiplies its standard processor speed by a factor of 1.5 (despite what some people think). There are many reports of successful 2.0x overclocks, but not so many at 3.0x. This is the only successful report of a 3.0x overclock that I've found, and I'm a bit skeptical about whether it's legit. I've been researching overclocking mods for at least 6 hours now - no other successes (at least from what I can see.)
Question: Is stable 3.0x overclocking actually achievable?

Up next: board revisions. According to Link83's infinitely useful big post on N64 board revisions, we can see that NUS-CPU-04 is the first one to rock the shiny new "CPU-NUS A". Apparently this is the processor you want if you're going to do an OC. MarshallH recommends boards that are NUS-CPU-05 or later, though. I've heard of people having success with 04s. The post I linked to above is, again, the only reported stable 3.0x overclock, and it uses an NUS-CPU-08 board. If there is something to this, it may have something to do with the fact that the 08s got a new clock chip - a single MX8350MC instead of two MX8330MC's. I asked on #n64dev, and marshallh doesn't seem to think there's anything to it other than it just being a new part that behaves exactly the same.
Question: Has anyone found that some boards using the newer CPU (CPU-NUS A) overclock better than some other revisions that use this CPU?


One last question. There's a lot of conflicting information on whether some games actually speed up (as in, in-game time moves more quickly). For example, Goldeneye. I've seen many people claim that overclocking on Goldeneye does nothing more than increase the framerate, however, that is simply not true. Watch this video and you'll see clear as day that the overclocked game runs more quickly. The same is true for Super Smash Bros, as is seen earlier in the video. Confusingly, though, in this thread, the second post claims that Perfect Dark runs faster when overclocked. However, when I compared a (supposedly) overclocked run of Perfect Dark and a normal playthrough running at standard speed (note: Youtube Doubler syncs much better if you refresh the page after you both videos begin to load), you'll see that there is no difference at all in the rate at which the in-game cutscene progresses. That leaves three possibilities: either the "overclocked" run wasn't, the guy in the above thread is wrong, or cutscenes progress at normal speed in Perfect Dark, but gameplay is sped up.
Question: Has anyone found that Perfect Dark does, in fact, run more quickly when overclocked? Is there any list of games which work well when overclocked?

On the subject of that last question: I doubt anyone has taken the time to come up with a list of how well games behave when overclocked, but is there any sort of trend? Do most games run in-game time faster, or do most just pull more FPS? Or some weird combination, like Donkey Kong 64 (again, see second post in the thread linked above)?



Thanks for answering any of these questions as you can and reading through this wall of text. I'll be sure to share my post when I've conducted enough research to write an intelligent article.
- J

Offline public-pervert

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Re: N64 Overclocking: Sorting through misinformation
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 06:09:36 AM »
I'm too lazy to read everything you wrote, but, I've performed overclock at multiple consoles and never get the 3.0 to work, just the 2.0x.
Also 2.0 seems very stable yet. No games crashed at all, never.

Perfect Dark and 007 Goldeneye speeds up the game. Just those 2 games I've noticed it. So, if you're a speedrunner, don't try to cheat on this.