How To Overclock Your PSP

overclock-psp

Make your PSP MORE powerful?

You can overclock your PSP.  The chip in your PSP was designed to run faster than it does out of the box.  By default, the CPU runs at 222Mhz, but the MIPS R4000 processor was designed to run at 333Mhz with a 166Mhz bus. I don’t need to spell out for you what it means that the most powerful handheld gaming device is factory underclocked.

You may have noticed that some games start to choke in certain complex scenes, while the most complex game, God of War: Chains of Olympus (read our walkthrough) runs smooth as butter.  Well, Sony allowed developers to change the clock speed from within the game, starting with Bios 3.5, which GoW takes advantage of.  What about the other games that turn into slideshows?  How do you unlock the CPU and get them to run faster?

The answer lies in a custom PSP firmware from team M33.  With this custom firmware, you can do lots of neat things with your PSP, like run game backups, play UMD movie backups, run game cheats (by writing directly to the PSP memory), play homebrew games like emulators, and yes overclock your CPU. You’ll definitely want a 16GB Memory Stick after you upgrade your firmware.


Once you have the BIOS installed, you can install modules that let you change the CPU while in a game.  All you have to do is press the Select button for a few seconds, and a menu will come up.  You can then change the CPU and bus speed.

Changing the CPU on the fly is nice, but what if you want to make the Turbo speed your default?  Well, once you have the new M33 BIOS installed, you have access to the Recovery menu, which allows you to change lots of default settings.  To access the Recovery menu, hold down the Right shoulder button while turning on your PSP (it has to be completely off first).

Once in the Recovery menu, navigate to CPU Speed –> to be presented with a sub-menu.  The two choices here are

  • Speed in XMB“, which sets the CPU speed in the dashboard, and
  • Speed in UMD/ISO“, which sets the default CPU in a game or watching a UMD movie.

Since the extra CPU cycles use up more battery power, then you might want to only overclock your CPU during games.  Press X to cycle through the options of Default, 20, 100, 222, 266, 300, and 333.  Once you are done, click Back to return to the main menu, and then Back to reset your PSP.

There you have it.  When you run your games at 333 Mhz, then you will notice that nearly all graphic stutters and slow framerates are eliminated, even from the most complex PSP games.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.

20 Comments

  1. Ismael Santos

    May 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    My PSP is laggy hard (333 mhz) help .

  2. BigBird@Home

    February 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I'm running fullpower for at least a year or 3 now , no problems whatsover . There are ppl that had the psp running on a epic 700MHZ and then they ended the mainboard circuit from overheating . Imagine that a melting psp.

    And Sony did not intended to lower the clock , they intended to build a good battery but that did not work so lowering the cpu is the easiest way .

    Playstation has always been lazy, Look at the PSP vita.

  3. cesar

    June 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    question guys? if you change that default setting will it cause problems to my psp? rsvp pls.

    • CodeX

      December 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      No, as long as you know what you're doing…

  4. ZOMFG

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    So if you buy a chip that was intended to go 3Ghz but is sold as 2Ghz, and you manage to "overclock" it to 2.5 then it's not really overclocking? How would you know? You suck.
    V V V

    TEMPERATURE!!! RETARD IF IT GETS HOTTER ITS WORKING HARDER they would release a single core cpu running at 5.0 ghz because it would overheat

    • Nyx

      October 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      It’s not 2Ghz or 3Ghz, it’s not above 1Ghz at all. It’s 222mhz, and it was overclocked to 333mhz. Temperature is not an issue.
      Stop assuming things.

  5. Don Haynes

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Much applause from me. I get my PSP next month, and I'm gonna try this.

  6. Don Haynes

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Regardless of your personal definition of overclocking, anything going beyond the "intended" speed of the processor is still overclocking. So it was rated at 333, if they dumbed it down to 222, and you access that extra 111, then you've overclocked the damned thing. You've clocked it beyond its intended speed. Plain and simple.

  7. WhatThe

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    LOL! Yo' mama jokes are always funny.

  8. d3tox

    June 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Puss down, WhatThe,I do have an idea because I am part of the industry that buys them bulk, to begin with. These were released intended and purchased as 3s, not 2s. Headroom, in general, exist to ensure performance accross wide spectrum of aplicable architectures. Your momma sucks.

  9. StillFaster

    June 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Regardless of nitpicking, this article tells you how to make the games faster when they slow down.

  10. Syn

    June 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    You guys do know that the PSP was unlocked with OFFICIAL firmware 3.50 released by Sony.

  11. Mac

    June 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Sorry to say this… but that´s not overcloking, since the psp was originally intended to run at that speed but sony was afraid to launch it with that spec because of the low battery playing time.

  12. Dood

    June 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    How is that not overclocking? There are lots of Intel processors that are intended to run faster, but are clocked slower to produce a higher yield. Running a processor that was intended to run at 3.0Ghz, but set at 2.5, and then overclocked back to 3.0 IS overclocking.

  13. Jenna

    June 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Syn: Yes, the official 3.5 allows the processor TO BE overclocked by the developer, but older games do not utilize this and run at default speed. I have a utility that shows the actual processor speed. Even on the newest firmware Daxter runs at 222Mhz, 111Mhz FSB. You fail.

  14. Alan

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Well, this is nitpicking. Perhaps the title should have been 'Restore your PSPs Performance', but still the fact of the article is that it tells you how to make your PSP run at peak performance.

  15. d3tox

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Nope. 111 is not 'that extra', it was always there and defaulting intended. Underclocking, yes. Reverting to intended default from underclock is not overclock. That's maybe your personal definition of overclocking, Bubba.

  16. d3tox

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Dood,in this case, it was SONY's choice to underclock PSP's proc from its factory presetted operational speed, since SONY had certain concerns at the time. Underclocked unit going back to its factory default isn't considered overclocking. If this particular chip (which is originally defaulted @ 333 by Intel, and not used just as a headroom, meaning Intel sells bulk clocked @ 333, not 222) is pushed beyond 333, then it'd be considered overclocking.

  17. d3tox

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Sony is not the MIPS 4000 manufacturer…

  18. Danimoth17

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Why is everyone arguing wether or not this is considered an overclock?

    definition: "Overclocking is the process of running a computer component at a higher clock rate (more clock cycles per second) than it was designed for or was specified by the manufacturer"

    Since Sony states the processor at 222, getting it to 333 is technically overclocking even though it is built to run at 333.

  19. d3tox

    June 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    It's all good, Allan. I understand the misconception and people's tendency to mystify things (Mac, Jenna, Dood, Don) in order to score extra bragging points in front of their friends and family. Anyhow, instead of me going into 'nitpicking' and overclocking 101 (including PSP that has been done and around for a long, long time), y`all make sure that you don't fiddle with any of this with the wireless going either, unless you are into kinkyness of frying….

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