Articles: CPU

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A lot of users are interested not only in performance of the new processors, but also in their overclocking potential. Especially, since Core 2 Duo E7300 and Pentium Dual-Core E5200 look very promising from this prospective. They both use cores manufactured with the today’s most advanced 45nm production process. These cores are similar to the cores in Core 2 Duo E8000 CPU series that set remarkable overclocking records. Moreover, Core 2 Duo E7300 and Pentium Dual-Core E5200 have a significant advantage over more expensive processors: due to lower bus frequency they use relatively high frequency multipliers that allow pretty significant overclocking without increasing the FSB frequency to extreme levels. In other words, you can overclock these processors without expensive mainboards for computer enthusiasts and without tricky search for optimal North Bridge voltage, CPU VTT and CPU GTL voltages.

For our overclocking experiments with the today’ testing participants we used the same testbed as described above based on DFI LANPARTY DK P45-T2RS mainboard. The CPU was cooled with Scythe Mugen (Infinity) air-cooler.

The first CPU to undergo some overclocking was Core 2 Duo E7300. When we increased its Vcore from the default 1.15V (for our test sample) to a relatively safe level of 1.4V, the processor remained stable at 4.0GHz frequency.

At this peed the processor successfully passed a one-hour run in OCCT as well as Prime95. Unfortunately, we couldn’t push the frequency any higher at this Vcore. This suggests that the CPUs from the higher-end Core 2 Duo E8000 series overclock a little better than their less expensive modifications. Not only our today’s experiments, but also the overclocking results for the youngest model in the family, E7200, prove this.

I have to say that by increasing the processor Vcore up to 1.5V we could only push the clock frequency to 4.1GHz without losing stability.

As we have already told in our previous articles, we managed to overclock Core 2 Duo E8600 with the same settings to 4.6GHz. But that was a top dual-core processor based on the new E0 processor stepping. M0 processor stepping used in Core 2 Duo E7300 can’t do the same thing, as we see. However, the obtained result, overclocking by 1.5 times, is definitely not bad at all.

After Core 2 Duo E7300, we decided to check out the overclocking potential of another newcomer – Pentium Dual-Core E5200. Since this CPU uses the same core as Core 2 Duo E7300, we didn’t expect to see different results. However, the reality turned out a bit worse than we have expected: at 1.4V Vcore the CPU remained stable only at 3.8GHz clock speed.

If the frequency goes past that number, the system wouldn’t pass stability tests in OCCT as well as Prime95. Even 1.5V Vcore setting didn’t help us hit 4GHz mark. In this case the maximum frequency when the system remained stable was 3.95GHz.

So, as we can see the overclocking potential of Pentium Dual-Core E5200 is slightly lower than that of Core 2 Duo E7300, even though they use similar cores. According to our results, the frequency difference between them during maximum overclocking makes about 200MHz.
However, even though Intel uses less overclockable cores for their low-cost CPUs than they use for top Wolfdales, Core 2 Duo E7000 and Pentium DC E5000 processors can conquer much higher frequencies than any of the 65nm Conroe or Allendale based CPUs. So, giving low-cost CPUs new cores has definitely had a positive effect not only on performance but also on overclocking.

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