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Overclocking the Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 makes me happy! May 15, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in General.

In the last few years I’ve been running computers from Dell and HP, but when I first switched to PCs from the Mac about 10 years ago I always built my own machines. Back in the day of the overclocking my Celeron 300MHz processor to 464Mhz it was great fun. The Celery (Celeron) was cheap and you could very easily squeeze a 50% or greater overclock out of it with just a bit of tweaking and some better cooling. Heck, often you could get that without anything but the stock cooler.

Recently I sold my Dell Optiplex Pentium D system and decided to build a system of my own. I picked up an EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard, which is an amazing board. Fast, stable, and loaded with all the extras. I suppose that’s why it’s getting so many rave reviews. Reading up on the overclockability of the E4300 processor, I got one of those for now with an eye to a quad-core processor later in the year. I also picked up some nice PQI Turbo DDR2 RAM (2GB kit).

So today I finally got around to some testing. I only have the stock cooler on the processor and I haven’t fiddled with any voltages yet, but the results are impressive:


I’ve got it running at 3.0GHz very stably with a 1.35GHz FSB. I ran the PCMark05 CPU and Memory benchmarks to see just what that means in terms of performance:

Stock Settings
9 x 200 = 1.8GHz CPU, 800MHz FSB 5-5-5-16 timing

Stock Speed
CPU: 4516
Memory: 4038

Overclocked Settings
9 x 337.5 = 3.0GHz CPU, 1350MHz FSB, 4-4-4-12 timing

Overclocked Speed
CPU: 7689
Memory: 6470

With that overclocking, I’m getting a 70% increase in CPU performance and a 60% increase in memory performance – for free! w00t!

How does that compare to other CPUs? Well, check this out. Sharky Extreme has a good review of the Core 2 Duo processors and the processors’ respective PCMark05 CPU and memory performance figures. The results are fantastic.  My overclocked $115 processor beats out the $970 Core Duo 2 X6800 Extreme CPU (well, at stock speed anyhow). Happy days! 🙂

My system / Core 2 Duo X6800
CPU: 7689 / 7515
Memory: 6470 / 6059



1. jon - May 15, 2007

What benchmark programs do you like to use?
I see you are using CPU-Z. I like the Rightmark series of programs a lot actually.

2. amazingrando - May 15, 2007

For this test I used Futuremark’s PCmark05. It’s a good synthetic test for a general idea of system performance. In particular I used the CPU and memory benchmarks. The CPU benchmark does things like file encryption, compression, and audio encoding, both single and multithreaded. 3Dmark06 is also very popular for 3D tests, but there is also SANDRA 2007 and ScienceMark suites. A lot of people prefer application (as opposed to synthetic) tests. They’ll use FRAPS for frame rates in games or Divx encode times or other apps like lame encoder, Photoshop, or Cinebench. Using specific apps will give you a better indication of performance in the apps you’re using the most. Of course, these are all Windows benchmarking tools.
For Linux, there are many benchmarking apps. For Linux on the desktop application benchmarking seems to be the way to go. Sites like Phoronix.com use Enemy Territory, hdparm, Gzip, LAME audio, and RAMspeed, but I would also add to this GCC compiler and Xvid video encoding.
Good luck!

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