The PC motherboard had an option for pre-loaded configurations to boost the 3.3GHz clockspeed to anything from 4GHz up to 5GHz, so I started with one of those for a modest 4.4GHz. Unfortunately under load, the processor temp started creeping up beyond my comfort zone at 70C, so that course of action was quickly dropped.
Next I found a couple of overclocking guides on the web, but these seemed to spend a lot of time looking at memory speeds as well, plus when I used the recommended Vcore value they started at, it turned out to be nowhere near enough to get the PC to boot. I had some scary moments with the PC looking like it wouldn't even POST, but completely removing the power lead for a few seconds was enough to reset things.
In the end I took a leaf from Intel's own advertising blurb "Overclocking so easy, your granny could do it." and simply raised the clock multiplier and then brought the Vcore voltage up in steps until the machine was stable. The result is that the i7 3.4GHz is now running happily at 4.5GHz. Funnily enough, though the processor does naturally run hotter under extreme load (and by that I mean using a test program to drive all four processors to 100%, something that rarely happens in real life), the temperature quickly stabilises into the low 60Cs, well within safe tolerances.
After that I thought I'd take a turn around the island of Rhodes, one of the few places I have actually flown to. My flightsim mini-goal is to replicate that flight from Manchester International to Rhodes, but for this I just fired up the default ultralight at Rhodes International Diagoras and let fly. The default FSX terrain for the terminal isn't bad, but as I gained altitude I realised that something was wrong. There were absolutely no other buildings visible outside the terminal. Now I knew in real life that the last time I visited (about five years ago) the area around the airport was a bustling scene of development projects (most of them half completed thanks to Greece's strange tax laws.) Puzzled, I headed north up the coastline to Ixia (where I had stayed) only to find it too was unspoilt countryside. Cresting the northern plateau to where I would expect to see Old Town and the harbour spread out below.... again absolutely nothing. The coastline showed the distinctive outline of the harbour, where legend has it the great Colossus of Rhodes once stood, but there were absolutely no signs of habitation. Clearly FSX had thrown me hundreds of thousands of years forward in time to a later geologic epoch where all trace of humanity had been erased from the planet.
|The only building on the island.|
|Flying over the freeware version of the city and harbour.|
|GAP's Rodos payware, flying over Old Town. You can|
clearly see the old fortress modelled.
|Arrived at Heathrow|
I've also finished all of the Private Pilot lessons in the Learning Centre, but after several tries I gave up on the "checkride" at the end. It's a very fussy examiner, on one occasion failing me because my roll-out was both too early AND too late. Which is funny because the maneuver she failed me on didn't include a roll-out. Go figure.
Next up I'm planning to move onto the Instrument Flight section of the lessons and get a little more comfortable with VORs and ILS. I understand the theory behind both, and in practice I've been able to futz my way onto the glideslope about 75% of the time, but I really don't have a firm enough grasp on either to be confident about them.