Maximising the performance of a computer can be as simple as removing files and installing updates, yet computer buffs have been taking it to a higher level by overclocking CPUs to their absolute limits for some time.
SetFSB is a freeware program makes this task easy for advanced users by providing a benchmarking utility that handles all types of motherboards, gives clear system information and allows a machine to perform at a level not shackled by the manufacturer.
The program goes about its business by making adjustments to the Front Side Bus (FSB) part of the system that connects the CPU to the computer’s main memory. A system’s FSB is measured in MHz and varies wildly from 60 to over 400 in some cases, and the higher the number the faster the system is.
Overclocking is used by advanced users to force a CPU to operate faster than the level specified by the manufacturer. One of the main byproducts of this is increased power consumption that in turn generates more heat that must be cooled if the CPU is to remain operational and not malfunction.
Before going any further, it’s vital that you don’t play around with the features of SetFSB unless you have an advanced knowledge of your CPU. Regular users that lack the advanced hardware and computer knowledge needed to take full advantage could end up seriously damaging their system or rendering it useless.
You start off on SetFSB by selecting the clock generator specific to your motherboard from the dropdown menu and pressing the “Get FSB” button. The program will then show the frequency of a number of system components including the FSB, DDR, AGP and PCI devices, all of which can be adjusted using the sliders present on screen.
These sliders can be moved to produce various different outcomes and SetFSB lets you see how they affect the system. At this stage its highly recommended to keep a constant watch on the system parameters to make sure the temperature and CPU frequency are at a level that doesn't threaten to damage the system irreparably.
SetFSB also has the ability to run a diagnosis operation that results in the forced modification of PLL and SMBus registers. The latest version has added a range of new motherboards and works on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Me, and 98.
Verdict: SetFSB provides an easy-to-use overclocking program that doesn't alter voltage. However it should only be used by advanced users.