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Nintendo NES Overclocking Guide

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-everyone's-been-waiting-for dept.

Hardware Hacking 229

Deven "Epicenter" Gallo writes "I've perfected a process by which to overclock the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to run games smoother without slowdown. The NES CPU normally runs at 1.79 MHz, I've reached a stable maximum of 4.2 MHz, about a 230% overclock. The games do not run faster than they should, the CPU never overheats, and most games are perfect up to 3.3 MHz!" Here's the guide on how to perform the modification, along with photos and demonstration videos

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O A SASAOIo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183928)

FORSY {PRSY/// O A tje pme ueaj yeha

yeah!!!

Moved my hands

yeah yeah yeah yeah

BEAVIS

Yay! (1, Funny)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183932)

Does it run Linux? :D

Re:Yay! (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183966)

No! The question is:

Does it run Longhorn? =)

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184072)

No, it doesn't run Linux, but it does run Contiki [www.sics.se] !

That's nothing (4, Funny)

FractusMan (711004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183933)

I overclocked the NES to about 300MHz once. It was easy. First, I took the NES case itself and opened it up, revealing the delicate insides. Using a small screwdriver, I removed the mainboard and switches and power supply from the plastic case. Then I threw that shit away. I put in a small motherboard with a 266MHz Intel, hooked up a keyboard and mouse and monitor, and small HD. Downloaded an emulator. Used some fancy soldering to hook the NES controller up to the parallel port. Boom, there you go.

Re:That's nothing (-1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183957)

Actually that technically isn't overclocking, it's probably more described as a mainboard upgrade. What you've done is replaced the original motherboard with a new one, which is the same as replacing the case of a complete other computer with the NES case, so it's not really overclocking.

Even if you wanted to call it overclocking anyway, you wouldn't have 300MHz of nintendo, as you'd be getting less than that speed from the emulator. Maybe 100 MHz?

Don't brag when you don't know what youre on about

Best Online Anime Gallery's [sharkfire.net]

Re:That's nothing (1)

KinkifyTheNation (823618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183964)

Actually, that technically isn't being serious, it's probably better described as a funny joke.

Re:That's nothing (4, Funny)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184004)

Does your emulator use NES cartridges? Is blowing at different speeds and angles across the unit and cartridges the solution to all its technical woes?

I didn't think so.

Re:That's nothing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184014)

That's not funny at all. Just annoying.

What else can I overclock? (0)

acidradio (659704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183934)

I have an XT somewhere that runs 4.77MHz. Can I overclock it now to 6 or 7MHz without it needing a chip fan?

Warning! (5, Funny)

falzer (224563) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183936)

Think carefully before overclocking your NES. This procedure will most likely void the warranty.

Re:Warning! (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184119)

This NES isn't dead!

It's pining for the fjords!

What to do with old Nintendos! (0)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183938)

1) Overclock them to 800Mhz and watch them explode
2) Put firecrackers in them and watch them explode
3) Stick them in the microwave and watch them melt then explode

Then you can get to the real business of playing Nintendo games on an emulator that has better resolution, a faster processor and better sound than the original. As a bonus, you no longer have to blow on the cartridges to get them to work.

Ah, the good old days. How glad I am that I will never, ever have to live through them again.

Re:What to do with old Nintendos! (2, Insightful)

uvsc_wolverine (692513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183950)

Ahh, back when all you had to worry about was dust. We've come so far. Now all we have to worry about are tiny scratches ruining your investment.

Blowing is a waste of energy (4, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183977)

you no longer have to blow on the cartridges to get them to work

Gah, this old myth.

Again, blowing on the cartridges generally does nothing. You're not getting a bad connection due to an infinitessimally thin layer of dust, unless you've been letting these carts sit around for a decade or more.

The reason NES carts don't work nicely is the poor connector in the console itself, and the fact that using 2 different types of metals in a connection leads to massive corrosion. The way to fix this is to scrub the hell out of the cart connections using a Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Why did blowing seem to work back in the day? The corrosion isn't uniform, and odds are the removal and re-insertion of the cartridge not only removed a tiny bit of the corrosion, but also moved it over a tiny amount, thereby establishing a strong connection. Remember having to remove-and-blow 5 or 10 times before it would work? Could THAT much dust have accumulated?

Trust me, I've spent the past 5 years re-conditioning old NES decks and cartridges. Haven't blown on a single one, but short of a dead deck the rubbing alcohol trick has led to every single cart I own working (several hundred and counting).

Re:Blowing is a waste of energy (1)

nado (101599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183995)

Are you 100% sure about that alcohol thing? It says in the manuals not to do that... I'd like to get my games to play again, so if you're sure there's no harm, I might try it...

Re:Blowing is a waste of energy (5, Interesting)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183999)

They say not to do it in the manuals because they were selling their own cleaning solution at the time and wanted you to spend money on their product.
I used to do it all the time. Perfectly safe.

Re:Blowing is a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184001)

It's fine, I do it all the time also. Just be sure the alcohol you use has totally clean water in it (distilled or whatever). I think it's normally 70% alcohol, 30% water.

Re:Blowing is a waste of energy (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184015)

For severe corrosion I used a pink pencil eraser, and polished the copper till it shone.

Always worked.

I seriously think most of the corrosion these carts suffered from was caused by excessive humidity due to all the spitting and hot breath. The kids who spit on them all the time were doing it out of habit, not because of a real reason.

Blowing works, but hurts more than it helps (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184092)

Blowing DID help get problem carts to load, but only if you blew warm air. The moisture from your breath was often enough to give those carts and bad connectors the extra connection they needed to load. The problem with this method is that the same moisture that helped the cart load further corroded the contacts over time.

Remember having to remove-and-blow 5 or 10 times before it would work? Could THAT much dust have accumulated?

When you blow warm air from your lungs and get enough moisture in there, you never have to blow more than once. My friends always wondered why they could blow a dozen times in a cart and it still not work, and I was able to do it the first time - everytime.

Not that I suggest anyone do this on a regular basis. The alcohol/q-tip method is the correct one, as the parent pointed out. Someone else asked if this is really safe when the carts and manuals specificaly say not to use alcohol to clean carts. Well, I learned this method by calling Nintendo customer support in the 80s. They said to mix a half part water with a half part alcohol, but that got to be too big a hassle for me. I've cleaned hundreds of carts (and other electronics) with straight rubbing alcohol for years. Works like a charm.

Re:What to do with old Nintendos! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183984)

o/~ I used to do lots of things...

I shouldn't really admit to this, because its an Ultra-Bastard thing to do, but when I was younger (12?), we hired a Nintendo, with a 500-in-1 cartridge and dialed a pizza. We played it ALLLL night, trying the 40 different variants of Super Mario Bros, etc.
Before we took it back, we jammed bits of our Hawaiian pineapple on the cartridge, and then inserted it into the console...

We returned it the next day, complaining that it "didn't work very well" and got a refund.

Try blowing on that sucka...

}:>

Which reminds me of the time my mate was eating a chocolate bar, and spat/oozed chocolate all over the inside of a floppy disk and put it in the Acorn at school... then we held our sides laughing as student after student corrupted their disk of precious work.

In the words of Darcy Clay - "Jesus I was Evil"

Kids, don't try this at home...

Re:What to do with old Nintendos! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183994)

You weren't evil, you were just being an obnoxious little git.

Re:What to do with old Nintendos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184005)

Seeing as NES sound emulation is usually awful, and "higher resolution" from an emulator provides all the benefit of blowing up the image in MS-Paint, I fail to see your logic. With a $6 replacement 72-pin connector, there is no fiddling with cartridges to be done. You just put them in and they work. Blowing almost never does anything, it's the repeat action of pulling them out and putting them in that does.

the good old days are today (2, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184130)



Rusty,

I'm not trying to contradict you or be a smartass.

Ah, the good old days. How glad I am that I will never, ever have to live through them again.

Today is the good old days for tomorrow. Kinda sucks to think of all our current cool shit in that context, but back when it was the good old days, we thought our cool shit was as cool as we now think of our cool shit.

1.79 to 4.2MHz on air cooling (4, Funny)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183939)

That's pretty impressive - more than double clock speed increase.

I wonder how far it could be pushed with heatsinks & active cooling. Time to being those finnish guys and their liquid nitrogen in, see if we can push it past 6MHz

Re:1.79 to 4.2MHz on air cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184100)

What the hell is the matter with you? 4.2MHz should be enough for anyone!

ohhhh..... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183941)

"... and most games are perfect up to 3.3 MHz!"

which explains why you went up to 4.2mhz.....

Re:ohhhh..... (5, Interesting)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184007)

For Science! ... I started to see minor glitching around 3.6, 4.0 was pretty wacky, 4.2, crazy. But it was fun. I certainly wasn't going to stop raising the clock because it wasn't practical. ;)

Re:ohhhh..... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184026)

which explains why you went up to 4.2mhz.....

I think you mean "went down" to 4.2mhz, right?

Other Systems (0, Redundant)

Kyle Hamilton (692554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183942)

do you know if there will be a guide for other systems?

Re:Other Systems (2, Interesting)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184013)

If some more systems are donated, absolutely. :) My next candidates are the Sega Master System, Saturn, maybe the Game Gear too. Also the Sega Nomad / Mega Jet if I can get my hands on one. *hint hint*.

Re:Other Systems (2, Interesting)

dosius (230542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184109)

With the Master System, Game Gear and Nomad, would it not be easier, as they use stock CPUs, to simply upgrade the CPUs? I think the Nomad is a Genesis derivative, right? and I think 68000 and Z80 CPUs twice as fast as the Genesis' 68000 and Z80 exist...

Moll.

I'll just go find my old NES... (-1, Offtopic)

uvsc_wolverine (692513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183946)

...and go do this right now. Looking...looking...looking...ah found it! Now if only I can find some games...I think I've got one of those crappy knock-off bible games somewhere...

Good (1)

Pres. Ronald Reagan (659566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183947)

I'm glad people like this guy put their smarts towards such fruitful and useful tasks.

Re:Good (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183960)

You never know...Mega Man fans would love this. There were so many parts that dropped to 30 fps because of too much going on. Now if they could only deal with the 8 sprites per scanline limit to eliminate flicker (i.e the score counter in Jackal)

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184058)

I quite enjoyed the slow-down/flicker effects of in MegaMan. It was like an intense action scene in a movie - time slows down letting you soak it all in.

Re:Good (2, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184134)

When we were kids and didn't know better, we thought the slowdown was a special effect in the game.

mmmmmm (-1, Redundant)

metricmusic (766303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183948)

excellent! imagine a beowulf cluster of these.

Jumpy games? (2, Interesting)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183951)

I'm curious, the article summary ( or the webpage, I can't remember ) mentions that now all of your games will run smoothly. I don't remember any games not being very smooth, but then, I was a small child at the time.

What are some games that could stand to be played on an overclocked NES?

Re:Jumpy games? (4, Informative)

metricmusic (766303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183967)

I remember getting Megaman for a christmas present many years ago and it had slowdown at some points when there were alot of enemies on screen. Here aa review on the game that mentions the slowdown in it: http://www.nesplayer.com/reviews/mm2r.htm

Re:Jumpy games? (2, Informative)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183972)

Most games were smooth most of the time. But there were a few that, during more intense parts (relatively speaking), tended to slow down. SMB3, as demonstrated in the video on the site, was one of those. With enough objects moving around the screen it did get a bit choppy.

It certainly wasn't a big enough problem to affect the games' playability. It was noticeable, however, on the rare occasions that it happened.

Re:Jumpy games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183988)

Quite a few games would lag when switching screens or doing a 'fire blink' or 'swirl' effect. Off the top of my head I can remember that Legend of Zelda, Rygar, Kid Icarus, Metal Gear, Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, Golgo 13 and Metroid all had lag that could actually interfere with the game to some extent. Lag was not really a huge deal in most games - I think Mega Man 1 was the only game I can remember that regularly killed you if you failed to take lag into account.

Re:Jumpy games? (1)

SFSouthpaw (797536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184002)

In addition to the other games mentioned, I remember 1944 getting particularly bad @ some points (though being a shooter, you could use it to your advantage sometimes).

Re:Jumpy games? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184003)

AHHH the dreaded nes slowdown as we called it? How young were you? I didn't get my NES until I was 8 but the stark memory of Contra and Ducktales both slowing down when there were too many sprites on screen will always be sketched into my brain. Contra was difficult to slow down, as were most games. I think 2 player during one of the boss battles got hit. Ducktales seemed to get it a lot more often, especially the transylvania level. I don't know whats worse, that I remember, in detail, the specifics of games over 15 years ago, or that I wrote about them in a public space :)

It dosen't slow down-slide show style.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184032)

But the games start to move in slow motion when
there are too many sprites on the screen at once.
In fact, I still see this today with my Dreamcast
and Crazy Taxi.

(this makes me wonder why 3d PC games
often suffer the slideshow effect, intead
of gracefully going into slow motion.

Re:It dosen't slow down-slide show style.... (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184111)

(this makes me wonder why 3d PC games
often suffer the slideshow effect, intead
of gracefully going into slow motion.


From what I've seen that comes from running out of texture memory and trying to stream the textures from the main memory through the AGP. Because the AGP is too slow to do that while pushing through the scene data and maintaining a good framerate you see a sudden jump as the data per frame increases tenfold. Some games do gradually go into slowmo but that's usually because the CPU can't catch up (as the drawing limits of the GPU are rarely exceeded or even met).

Re:It dosen't slow down-slide show style.... (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184132)

Come to think about it, you probably didn't mean the jump from 60 FPS to 2 FPS but the game running on at the same speed. That's because of time dependant physics as opposed to frame dependant which allows the games to run on varying framerates without a difference in speed. A NES game running at 200FPS would be unplayable, a modern game at 200FPS is merely more fluid. This kind of behaviour is necessary with 3d games as framerates tend to be less stable with 3d grapics (and varying amounts of free ressources).

Re:It dosen't slow down-slide show style.... (1)

shamilton (619422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184154)

Since console CPUs all run at the same speed, the games make no effort to have consistent timing. Thus, under load (which is functionally the same as the CPU slowing down) the gameplay itself slows down. PC games need to run at the same speed regardless of CPU speed and framerate. As the framerate drops, the visual difference between frames becomes greater, which exaggerates this so-called "slideshow."

As it happens, some PC games have poor or no timing code. Example: Parts of FFVII for PC are unplayable on modern PCs (ie. motorcycle chase.) Also, Need for Speed: Underground speeds up annoyingly when there isn't much action. To me, that is unacceptable for a modern game. Then again, I don't have a wing on my '86 Dodge Stratus, so I didn't really play it much.

Re:Jumpy games? (1)

I_Human (781026) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184035)

Tecmo Super Bowl - I still play that game ;) The players flicker on it, especially towards the middle of the TSB field with the big pretty logo on it.

Re:Jumpy games? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184039)

>What are some games that could stand to be played on an overclocked NES?

Doom 3

Re:Jumpy games? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184136)

you just thought of them as a cool slow motion effect.

with quite many games you could see slowdown/jumpiness every now and then when there was a lot of action on the screen.

Next, we start overclocking coffeemakers.and then: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183955)

then we water-cool our coffeemakers...

Why? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183958)

Many of you are probably asking, why in the world would you do that? Here:
What does this accomplish?
It's very common for games to push the consoles they are designed for to their limits, or beyond them. When this happens, the game slows down while it tries to execute all the instructions being thrown at it. Overclocking can greatly alleviate, or completely remove, this lag and make the games smoother and more fluid.

Re:Why? (1)

srlxprmntln (842329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184110)

Thanks, exactly what I have been wondering. Talk about a entry that completely jumped out at me and made me laugh on the RSS Feed.

This may have been useful info, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183970)

say in the late 80s. Sheesh, I'd rather read another microsoft bashing article on here then this.

I got one question.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183973)

umm why?

Ummm (2, Insightful)

peterprior (319967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183978)

"The games do not run faster than they should"

So what's the point in overclocking it? Faster load times?

Re:Ummm (2, Funny)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183981)

Because nerds love to overclock things. Improvement or not, ITS STILL GOING FASTER. ;)

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184020)

I say screw overclocking, how about parallel processing? Take this NES flash cartridge that has a nice 40Mhz PIC on it for example. Prototype pic [comcast.net]

It might be interesting to write a game using that. It's not available yet, though.

Load times? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184046)

I, for the life of me, don't remember waiting for games to load until the introduction of cd/dvd-roms.

Am I mistaken here???

Re:Load times? (1)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184055)

The SNES had 'load time' disguised with very long credits due to its absurdly slow 8-bit bus and 16-bit chips, also its need to drop CPU clock when it read from ROM (the cartridge). But aside from that, yes, load time is almost purely a CD-ROM thing in game consoles.

Re:Load times? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184101)

In my experience, loading program/data to the SPC-700 chip can be pretty slow. And all the RAM in the system allows for more compression, so more time for unpacking..

Other than that, SNES loading times should theoritically be shorter than on NES (if the game was coded similarly).

Re:Ummm (1)

Goldfinger7400 (630228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184106)

They are referring to the fact that the games only have a consistant framerate where they didn't before, and that it's not going to make things move around faster in-game, like a turbo of some sort.

Fake Overclocking? (1)

billysk8r (827793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183998)

After viewing the videos, it seems that this is a little less overclocking and a little more speed hacking. If you listen carefully to the sample videos, there is a key change in the background music when the overclock is applied. That, at least to me (correct me if i'm wrong), seems to point toward some kind of tweak of speed rather than tweak of processing power. Perhaps the NES games weren't coded to handle any other cpu speed.

Re:Fake Overclocking? (3, Interesting)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184018)

The audio hardware in the NES is partially included into the CPU. Raising its clock then, raises the audio hardware's clock and shifts up the pitch. Were I going to try and make a hoax I'd at least lock down the pitch when speeding up video, wouldn't I? ;) Make no mistake, it's overclocked.

A nice concept, but... (4, Informative)

Quietust (205670) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184006)

...there would be some very significant side effects to such modifications:
1. NES audio is generated within the 'RP2A03G' (CPU) chip and is based on clock cycles, so doubling the CPU clock will cause the audio to go up an octave (assuming it even runs). The site mentioned in the article actually pointed this out, so it looks like it's legitimate.
2. Games which use cycle-timed code will no longer work properly - Battletoads is the first that comes to mind.
3. Some NES cartridges only used 250ns PRG ROM chips, which is only good up to 2MHz; go any higher and the game may not run at all.

Re:A nice concept, but... (5, Informative)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184022)

I tested about 10 games out (some of which I listed info about on the site). I don't have any that refuse to run-- every one handles at least 3.0 MHz. The pitch increase isn't as bad as theory would suggest it should be. In fact, it seems to kind of improve the tone of audio in some games, and a lot of the time, 'out of key' audio is put back IN key (most notably Metroid). That's my 2 cents. Sticklers for 100% perfect original audio won't be thrilled I'm sure. But I'm damn finicky and it still doesn't bug me.

Re:A nice concept, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184079)

How do you know all this if I may ask?

Pfff, what a lot of work for nothing (1, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184008)

Buy some decent PC, download Snes9x [snes9x.com] , quickly peruse the source files to find the sync code and screw it up, compile, run and watch Mario jump through all the screens at mach 3.

How's that for overclocking uh? And if you're desperate to impress your friends (no doubt all over 35), buy one of these micro-mobos and stick it in a NES box as a clever disguise.

Re:Pfff, what a lot of work for nothing (1)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184024)

You mean like this [junkmachine.com] ?

Trust me, this guy's true overclock mod looks much much easier. Jamming that CD-ROM drive under the cartrige cover looks tough.

Re:Pfff, what a lot of work for nothing (3, Insightful)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184028)

SNES9X is ... a SNES emulator. This article is about the NES ... at any rate, a lot of us prefer real hardware to inaccurate emulators.

Why not in the first place? (1)

Sean Johnson (66456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184029)

Why didn't Nintendo overclock this way in the first place? If there allegedly isn't any problems with overclocking it now with heat buildup and all, why not? They could have boasted they have a faster system than even Sega with thier "blast processing" Sonic the Hedgehog mascot thingamagig. I mean geez, c'mon!

Re:Why not in the first place? (3, Interesting)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184034)

It's very bad form to buy a chip and overclock it, then sell it like that. There's also no guarantee each chip will be STABLE outside of spec. It's a luck thing. Any rate, The manufacturer would be pissed. So, Nintendo'd have to buy the higher rated chip. Which cost more money. And as we all know, Nintendo has a very tight collective wallet... and back then, those 1 or 2 MHz on a CPU rating could come at a real premium.

Overclocking the Clock itself (1)

mahesh_gharat (633793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184033)

Can I somehow overclock the clock in my office, so I can go home early?

By reading all those overclocking articles on slashdot, I think clock is the only remaining thing to be overclock.

Now, please do not come back to me saying that overclocking the internal clock is the first step to done before overcloking anything.

Re:Overclocking the Clock itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184144)

Hey, if you did that then it would look like you got less work done in a day. You'd run the risk of getting fired for a drop in performance.

You need to underclock your clock so it looks like you get more work done in the same 'hours' then the boss will think your a great worker.

But then you would have less real hours left in the day to play overclocked NES.

Cheers.

I wasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184036)

4 megs of download bandwidth for that?!? (I know it's free, and it still isn't worth it)

What does it say when someone is stoked about a framerate increase on a 20-year-old system whose ROM is probably 128kb and video is 5 -mega- bytes for 30 seconds.

It's cool to figure archaic stuff out, certainly,

Sorry to say this, but...man, could you waste your time on something else?...maybe even something that someone will find somewhat remotely interesting at somepoint of time somewhere...please?!?

Inject.

Re:I wasted... (1)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184047)

Wow, way to be obnoxious. No one's making you download anything. Quit whining.

Re:I wasted... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184090)

As long as you're here, I have to ask - are those gigantic image watermarks in the center of your images [epicgaming.uk.ro] really, really necessary?

The biggest problem I experienced (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184042)

The biggest problem I experienced was the flickering of the graphics when the screen became overcrowded.

I think that this would not be solved by this hack, because that has to do with maximum bits per scanline, rather than clock speed...

Re:The biggest problem I experienced (1)

g00z (81380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184104)

I think that had more to do with the fact that screen data was minipultaed as the screen would draw, so you only had so many cpu cycles per scanline that you could execute. The problem was a lot of those sprites depended on specific raster timing, that if missed (because the opcodes took too many cycles) would tend to flicker. Of course, this is just a guess based on how things worked on my expereinces with the commodore 64 that (sorta) shared the same CPU as the NES (6502).

Question (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184045)

You call the lines on the board a trace. Is it correct to also call that a bus, like what you call those traces on a PC's motherboard?

Re:Question (1)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184051)

Some of them, like the path between the CPU and the RAM, that's a bus. Others can just be things like power and grounding, which are just traces providing, well, power and ground. :)

Re:Question (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184054)

Thats what I thought but wasn't 100% sure. Wanted to ask a "master" ;) Always love to learn!

Re:Question (1)

duncanbojangles (787775) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184068)

I tried responding to your question but found out rather quickly that I have no eloquence when it comes to speaking, or writing in this case. Wikipedia does a much better job.

Electrical Bus [wikipedia.org]
Signal Trace [wikipedia.org]

Re:Question (2, Informative)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184085)

Technically:

All copper lines on a PCB are traces. This includes power and ground lines, excepting large areas of copper, which are usually called planes. Also, there are things called "ground shields", which are actually not connected to ground - they're electrically isolated continuous bits of copper used to provide electromagnetic shielding.

Anyway.

Traces are the copper lines on a PCB - buses are composed of multiple traces carrying a collection of related signals (for example, an address bus is N traces, each carrying one bit of the N bit address.)

OMG! Time is moving faster! (3, Interesting)

simrook (548769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184056)

Go and download the Mario Brothers 3 vid from the site and watch the count down clock. Not only does he double the clock speed on the motherboard, he also cuts the time in half that one is able to beat a level!

Either that's the explination, or some wierd time warp has opened up and defied the laws of relativity via NES. Perhaps that's why I got the orignal Zelda for christmas.

So wait.. why does this matter anyways? Just get an emulator. Still..Hella sweet mod. Right up there with softmodding an xbox.

HoHoHo - Simrook

Re:OMG! Time is moving faster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184159)

No, the time is right in the overclocked version, it's just that with the normal clock speed with all the slow-down the clock actually slowed down a bit.

Refresh mod? (1)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184062)

So now the question is... can we fool the box's timer into running at a faster sync rate? ie make a 60fps game refresh at 80 or 90? Anyone know if (modern) tv's can even handle this kind of signal without crapping themselves?
It would be nice to mod my NES to make the games a little more... challenging.
I'm still waiting on the NES Linux kernel hack...

Temperature and timing (2, Interesting)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184065)

I have a little experience with the NES and emulation ;)

The music gets out of whack and the time in the game doesn't work correctly...you can see it happen in the video of SMB3.

I'd also like to have one of those laser thermal sensors take the temperature of the chip on the normal clock speed and the overclocked speed.

Geek factor = 10; usage factor = 2. If you can find your NES, let alone have it work, all the power to you. If you give up, you can always hit zophar.net and emulate them.

Re:Temperature and timing (2, Informative)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184069)

The time works fine-- it's SLOWING DOWN below the PROPER speed when it lags. The overclocking stops it from slowing down-- it's going the speed the programmers intended. As for temperature, I estimate both to be pretty much indistinguishable, but around 75-85F. Not exactly a heat emergency.

Just in time for Christmas! (2, Funny)

Okonomiyaki (662220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184066)

Slashdot has gotten really slopppy. Wasn't this story supposed to be posted 15 years ago?

The main cpu is in the cartridge if I remember (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184070)

I remember reading a story at Nintendo power which discusses how the system works.

The CPU and rom are in the game cartrige while i/o, video, and sound are on the main system.

This was over 15 years ago in the mind of a 7th grader so I could be wrong. Also I could have been reading about the Super nintendo that was coming out very soon.

But I believe teh Snes put more cpu power in the main unit compared to its ancestor to drive the cost of cartridges down.

Re:The main cpu is in the cartridge if I remember (1)

Epicenter713 (761169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184081)

That's pretty off, sorry. The CPU is in the main unit. Putting that in the cartridge would be insane and make each cartridge cost massive amounts of money. The logistics would also be bizarre. As for the SNES, they put very little raw processing power in the machine (it was horribly weak, a hacking of the NES hardware really) and the games were enhanced by chips like SuperFX in the cartridges, which drove their price UP.

Re:The main cpu is in the cartridge if I remember (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184089)

Nope, CPU was in the main system. A few games (SNES, at least) had coprocessors inside of the cartridge; I recall Star Fox being one of them. There might have been coprocessored NES games, but I'm not certain.

Re:The main cpu is in the cartridge if I remember (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184095)

That was probably it.

Even though I was young, I knew it made more since to put the main processor in the system.

Donkey Kong 3d and Doom for SNES did this. I remembered the nintendo power article when I was curious as to how they got the game to run several years later.

Re:The main cpu is in the cartridge if I remember (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184113)

NES carts used special ASICs so the NES could address more memory, and added various other features.

The first NES carts just had 2 ROMs and the 'lockout chip' (which actually is a little CPU, running in sync with the other lockout chip in the system to thwart unlicensed game publishers).

Has everyone forgotten about the Legend of Zelda? (2, Informative)

ShimmyShimmy (692324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184103)

I'm surprised there wasn't a Zelda demo on the site. Whenever there was a room of those Jumping guys that turned into bats when you stab them, the system would lag like hell if you made too many bats. Also if I remember correctly, those pancake guys (?) that ate your shields never did much for the framerate either. ...Finally, a better solution to killing those guys than the Magic Sword

coolest mod since 2600 tape drive games (1)

f05t3k (837340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184129)

Am I the only person that had the old 2600 tape drive games or are those turned into ROM emulators? The Dragon Hunting RPG one was rad, better than any commodore 64 game I played. Unfortunately I let a friend borrow my 200+ 2600 collection cause my step-dad was a crackhead who asked if he could sell them and my 'friend' refused to give them back.

What about a 2600 overclocking mod? Pac Man, MS Pac Man would be so much better then you couldn't run through the ghosts to cheat.

NES Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11184146)

The server must be powered by a overclocked 4MHZ NES because the speed it's running at would make you think it is.
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