The JBnator Diaries – Overclocking your iPhone or iPod Touch

Hey folks, I’m baaaack. I know it has been a while since my last JBnator article, but nothing much has been happening on the Jailbreak scene. Until now that is. With the recent iPad Spirit jailbreak and a few other bits of interesting stuff I finally have enough to put out another half-a-dozen or so articles. So, let’s get to today’s hot topic: overclocking your iPhone/iPod touch.

As many of you know the performance of most of the electronic devices today is largely governed by two aspects: CPU speed and RAM. We’ll talk a bit more about RAM in some of my next articles and focus on the CPU speed for now. One thing few people know is that for some reason (probably power consuption) Apple is underclocking the CPU’s of every iDevice. To be more specific, the CPU that powers the iPhone 2G and 3G, as well as the earlier iPod touches is actually designed to sprint at a whopping 600MHz instead of the measely 412MHz for the iPhones and 533MHz for the iPod Touch 2G. Same goes for the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3G which are clocked at 600MHz instead of the potentially possible 833MHz. Just think of the possibilities if you could unleash the full power of your iDevice! Well, as it turns out, you can…

As inquisitive minds over at the have discovered, by renaming or slightly editing the Power Management configuration file of the iDevice it may be possible to squeeze some extra performance out of your handheld Jesus device. Before going into any detail, I would just like say that personally, I’m on the fence about this and haven’t yet and do not intend to try it on my own device. Furthermore, the community has basically split in two regarding the hack, with one part marvelling at the glorious results and the other saying it a load of bull crap and it doesn’t work.

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. Neither I nor will not accept any responsibility for any damages to you iDevice, the data stored on it or your personal well-being should you follow this guide.

At the moment there are two basic ways of hacking the devices. As I noted above – the first one deals with renaming a file (which would make it impossible to find by the OS) and the other simply tweaking several entries in it.

Our toolbox for today:

  • iPhone 2G/3G/3GS or iPod Touch 1G/2G/3G already jailbroken and activated
  • iPhone Folders – download latest version at the author’s site
  • iPhone apps – download off Cydia:
    • iFile (the shareware version will be more than enough)
    • afc2add

First – the safer way (but possibly less performance gain):

  1. Open iFile on the iPhone (just ignore the shareware notice) and navigate to /System/Library/System Configuration/PowerManagement.bundle/
  2. Tap on the file
  3. Tap on the Edit button at the top left to switch modes
  4. Find the Reduce Processor Speed key and change to look like the following

    <key>Reduce Processor Speed</key>

  5. Repeat Step 4 until all of the keys have been changed. There are about 15 of them, some having the value 1, some 0. Make sure all are 0.
  6. Reboot

You should see a performance boost from your handheld Jesus. Or not. Anyway, for die-hard experimentalists there is an alternative route, which possibly gives a better boost.

  1. Open iFile on the iPhone (just ignore the shareware notice) and navigate to /System/Library/System Configuration/PowerManagement.bundle/
  2. Tap on the arrow next to file
  3. Tap on the Name field and add .bak
  4. Tap Done
  5. Reboot

That should be it. As I stated above, I DID NOT try it on my own device. Also, the jailbreak community is split on whether this actually works. But if you’re looking to get some extra juice out of you iDevice and are prepared to take the risk – please comment with your results.

Oh yeah, you can always check out the full listing of my JBnator pieces on the forum as well as discuss anything iPhone, iPod or iPad related.

P.S. There are a few other, potentially much safer ways to get some extra performance out of your iDevice which I am testing out right now. Look for more JBnator articles soon – only on!

[source hackulo]

A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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