Articles: CPU

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As we have already said above, new Celeron processors use the same semiconductor dies as Pentium E5000 and E6000 series processors. It means that they should overclock up to approximately the same maximums. During our previous test sessions we saw that Pentium processors manufactured with 45 nm process can work at up to 3.8-4 GHz frequency with air-cooling alone. We expected to overclock Celeron E3300 we had at our disposal to about the same frequency. And keeping in mind that this CPU uses a high clock frequency multiplier of 12.5x, it doesn’t require any specific mainboards for overclocking experiments: it can get past the 4 GHz barrier by simply increasing the FSB from the default 200 to 320 MHz.

Overclocker experiments with Celeron E3300 processor were performed in the same testbed as described above on Asus P5Q Pro mainboard. To dissipate heat from the CPU we used Scythe Mugen (Infinity) cooler.

When the CPU Vcore was locked at 1.25 V, the CPU remained stable at maximum clock frequency of 3.34 GHz.

As you can see from the screenshot, to achieve this frequency we didn’t have to do anything supernatural: we simply changed the FSB Strap frequency to the next setting after 200 MHz – 266 MHz.

If we use the option that allows us to increase the processor core voltage during overclocking, then we can achieve much better results. Rather low heat dissipation of this processor plays an important role here too, because it allows us to push the CPU Vcore pretty high up without risking to get the die overheated.

And here are the promised 4 GHz. The CPU works perfectly stably at this frequency if we increase its Vcore to 1.6 V. And although it is a pretty high voltage setting, we don’t see any signs of overheating: the maximum core temperature during our stability tests didn’t exceed 70-75 °C. So, the new Celeron processors, just like other CPUs from the Wolfdale family, boast excellent overclocking potential: our Celeron E3300 sample, for instance, could work absolutely stable at a frequency 60% higher than the nominal one. And keeping in mind the fact that new Celeron processors are not that much slower than higher-end solutions, such as Pentium, for instance, overclocking them may help achieve pretty good performance of a good mainstream gaming system equipped with a dual-core processor.

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