To evaluate how big this reserve is and to better understand if the new Prescott 2M core with N0 stepping will be beloved by overclocking enthusiasts we decided to test the new Pentium 4 660 processor working at the nominal 3.6GHz clock rate during overclocking. The test system we used in this case included the following hardware components:
- CPU: Intel Pentium 4 660 (3.6GHz);
- Mainboard: ASUS P5AD2-E Premium (LGA775, i925XE Express);
- Memory: 1024MB DDR2-667 SDRAM (Corsair XMS2-5300, 2 x 512MB, 4-4-4-12).
- Graphics card: PowerColor RADEON X800 XT (PCI-E x16);
- Storage subsystem: Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB (SATA150).
To cool down Pentium 4 660 during our overclocking experiments we used the best air cooler for LGA775 CPUs available in the market today: Zalman CNPS7700Cu. We didn’t increase the CPU Vcore during overclocking: the top processors based on Prescott 2M core as well as their predecessors can hardly benefit from this trick. We overclocked the processor by raising the FSB frequency over the nominal 200MHz, the PCI Express and PCI bus frequencies were locked at the nominal 100MHz and 33MHz respectively.
Before we pass over to the actual results of our overclocking experiment we would like to remind you that the maximum frequency we managed to obtain for the Pentium 4 570 processor on Prescott core with E0 core stepping equaled 4.3GHz. We didn’t expect our Pentium 4 660 based on a core with more transistors to show anything like that. However, our tests showed that we should have had more trust in that baby.
The CPU-Z screenshot below is a clear evidence of our success:
In other words, Pentium 4 660 working at the nominal 3.6GHz overclocked to 4.33GHz. It is a very good result, which proves that the Prescott 2M core boast a pretty significant overclocking potential. This way, we can state that slower Pentium 4 6XX CPU models may turn into very interesting overclocking solutions.
We in our turn have to say once again that Intel’s decision not to release any 90nm CPUs with the clock frequencies over 4GHz is most likely based on some marketing reasons rather than the exhausted technological potential. As we have just proven once again, the existing Prescott and Prescott 2M cores with E0 and N0 core steppings can easily run at 4GHz+ frequencies.