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If I understand correctly, clock speed specified on chip is the maximum speed that will guaranteed work with that chip. Since PIC controllers are fully static devices, you can build external oscillator such as multivibrator with 555 chip and run it as low as 1Hz if you really want to. Most chips can be overclocked but this is something that needs to be tested on case by case basis.
Monkeyxp I bought a 24 MHz x'tal for my 18F84a -20/p, I knew 16/32bit PC MCU could be overclocked and just assumed it would be the same with a PIC. Haven't tried it yet though, thanks.
tamethetikbalang orgininal post asks "how will you know if a PIC is damage?"
this I would also like to know.
Many times I thought I had fried one, and the thing keeps running, however after I program the PIC I get a brief and very fleeting error msge 'Fuse blown 0x3FFF'. I have cheked the .inc file and know the particular fuse setting. Is this ireversible and could it be affecting the pic's performance?