Cheap Thrills: Core 2 Duo E6400 Overclocked to 3.33 GHz

pschmid

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Great performance doesn't have to come with a big price tag. A little common sense and some tweaking allow an entry-level Core 2 Duo to break through performance barriers without breaking the bank.
 

unbiased4u

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Good read. The Intel stock cooler is very good considering the 1 Ghz overclock. I'm impressed with the stock Intel cooler! Me likey! :D
 

Whizzard9992

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Cool article.

It's funny how so many ppl forget about the PWM. A simple inverted case fan with the heat sink fins redirected will do the same trick (US$0.50 per heat sink, if necessary).

Very cool how gigabyte added the fan to the water cooling kit.

Personally, I think I'd spot the extra $95 for the E6600 over the $70 zalman cooler. It would give me an easier upgrade path. I can get the zalman later on for $70, where an E6600 would cost me the full $300. I use CPU intensive apps.

*edit* stupid typo */edit*
 

SidVicious

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That CPU definetly would have reached a much higher frequency with a real DIY watercooling system, I don't understand why THG keep promoting crappy pre-built kits and still won't do any stress testing such as 24 hours worth of dual Prime95 in their "overclocking" articles.
 

Skidd

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That CPU definetly would have reached a much higher frequency with a real DIY watercooling system, I don't understand why THG keep promoting crappy pre-built kits and still won't do any stress testing such as 24 hours worth of dual Prime95 in their "overclocking" articles.
Really? Lets see now where did I put those pics. Ahh here we go, here is your so called "crapy pre-built kit" cooling my E6400 running at 3.2ghz
which would be a 1.2ghz overclock with the fan on its lowest setting, but yeah your right its crappy LOL!!

 

Scribs

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OCing is always a bit of a gamble, and maybe I just got a lucky chip, but it kinda sounds to me like THG was testing the overclocking with a bit of a dud 6400. I have mine running at 8x410 (3280MHz) at somewhere around 1.36V I think (I cant remember exactly, Im not at home, but its well under 1.4V). I pushed it up to 8x425 (3400MHz) at 1.4V (Zalman 9500 cooler) and decided not to push any futher just because I didnt want to go out of the 50's for temp. I kinda think that other chips than what THG had might have performed a fair bit better with the water cooling kit on them.

Scribs
 

Gam3Ra

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I'm running my E6400 450x8 for 24/7 with CM Hyper6+ with 2 fans on 7V
It can overclock higher with that cooler, but I'm just a gamer, no need more..
 

jcrash

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I don't understand. You cost justify a $40 increase in cooler, but you ignore a $250 in memory cost? And yes it is that much because your average power user isn't going to install 1GB on a machine these days as you did.
 

wolfman140

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They used 1.45v? That's a lot of juice. I've got mine up to 3.0Ghz on like 1.34v. However, I can't go any higher I believe no matter what voltage because my temps will go over 60C and it fails dual Prime95. "Get a better cooler!' you say, well I have a Zalman 9500 but its not doing the trick for me. I don't know why but my temps are really high and I've seated that thing 3 times with no better luck. I think I'll have to go water cooling before I can start OC'ing higher. Oh wait till winter and leave the heat off. :)
 

Homerr

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I don't understand. You cost justify a $40 increase in cooler, but you ignore a $250 in memory cost? And yes it is that much because your average power user isn't going to install 1GB on a machine these days as you did.
This bugs me too, every single article on the net seems to go on about the low CPU cost but ignore rediculous RAM prices (and even $250-300 mobo prices at times).

Coming from the AMD side recently I'm in sticker shock still. In the AMD camp a Biostar Tforce mobo for $70 and $150 for RAM would do the trick for a decent overclocker. On the Intel side it's $200-300 for RAM and $170-300 for mobo's. Currently an Opty 165 o/c system can get to near 3ghz for $400 for cpu, ram, mobo, cooling. On the Intel side we're talking maybe $200 more minimum to reach the o/c sweet spot.

I know Intel cleans up on performance, but I wish that articles like this would use several different sticks of RAM and have the price of "the guts" which would include CPU, RAM, mobo, cooling (and maybe PSU too). Think 'balance' and quit giving us articles with outrageous RAM or mobo's - what about the cheapest way to get an E6x00 system to 3.0ghz? Nevermind the extra $300 it cost you to get to 3.33ghz with the water kit and uber-ram.
 

M_with_one_M

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It is very strange that THG ignores the extra cost for more expencive RAM and motherboard for overclockers.

If you really want to make a performance/cost analysis for overclocking, you have to compare cheap motherboard and ram with small overclock to a max overclocked system.

It is also strange to make a comparison without e6300 nad e6600. Perhaps e6600 with stock cooling is better value than the systems tested.
 

quantumsheep

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Great performance doesn't have to come with a big price tag. A little common sense and some tweaking allow an entry-level Core 2 Duo to break through performance barriers without breaking the bank.
What i want to know is why this guy's post count never goes up...

Yes, i know it's a bot..But still
 

_TOMO_

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you dont need uber ram for a high overclock with core 2 chips.the review just used good ram for running all the overclocks at a 1:1 ratio,theres no reason why you could'nt use value ram and change the ratio.

of course theres no escaping the high mobo cost on the intel side and maybe extra cooling for top overclocks, but thats nothing compared to the savings you are making overclocking the allendale to higher than the top conroe models.
 

breedalot

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i agree about the rem and mobo but maybe they dont as in a month ram may be down 50% then the artical is out of date!

sorry to say:
in a month ram may be down 50% please please please!
 

DiverDave

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Something else that was mentioned in another discussion was what does O/C do to the lifetime of the part. Intel and AMD will characterize their part to have some x lifetime at y operating conditions. Increasing the voltage or FSB changes those conditions and presumably the lifetime of the part. Now it might be that the current lifetime is on the order of decades and the increase due to O/C reduces it only a couple of years. But it certainly is an interesting question....if you O/C does your failure rate due to end of life of the chip increase dramatically.

Of course a lot of folks who heavily O/C probably upgrade regularly so the point might be moot.
 

ninjahedge

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you dont need uber ram for a high overclock with core 2 chips.the review just used good ram for running all the overclocks at a 1:1 ratio,theres no reason why you could'nt use value ram and change the ratio.
Wouldn't that reduce the throughput on things like FP calcs and such?

You do a higher ratio, you are effectively reducing the memory throughput and may change the results on the calc intensive tests.

What I would like to see, along with a lot of people here. is a lineup, possibly a spreadsheet, showing net cost for all this stuff at the lowest possible range to achieve what is needed.


Take the 6400, the 6600 and any comparable AMD and put them in with the cheapest crap you can get to make them OC to "point A" Then give us the stats.

If you can get better net performance from any of them for less once you figure the MB, memory, chip and cooling I am SURE many non uber-clockers here would appreciate it!

Oh, one thing though, forgive me for not wanting to go and do the EE, but what is the power consumption on these things? Are we talking 2X more wattage to crank this sucker up (all things included)? If you are planning on having a system like this for 2-3 years, the cost of operation due to the OC is another consideration.

I don't want the lights dimming in the living room every time I load up to check my Hotmail, ya know? ;)
 

CJK79

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Nice article, indeed!

Would have been interesting to see what the temperatures and power consumption were at the different levels...


.....or is that too much?
 

FITCamaro

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My E6600 is running at 3.0GHz on a P5W DH. When I try to go higher, it doesn't post. I tried upping the voltage but it doesn't want to. But hey, at 3GHz, its plenty fast. Oblivion plays at an avg of 45 fps @ 1280x1024 with HDR and all the details on (literally I've enabled everything I can find in the .ini) and increased LOD distances.

Maybe when I decide to go the water cooling route I might try to go higher. One reason I haven't is despite setting my voltage at 1.4V, I am only actually seeing like 1.35-1.36V. Thermaltake said this is controlled by the motherboard so I dunno, maybe somethings wrong with my motherboard. Its rock solid at 3GHz though. I installed SETI@Home and it maxes out both cores for hours when I'm not home.
 

PSYCHoHoLiC

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The intel stock cooler isnt too bad, just really noisy, I grabbed an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, because it was cheap.. hehe, but im impressed with it, my E6300 is at 3.0Ghz Stock Voltage, My memory holds me back around 3.3ghz though.
 

_TOMO_

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performance would'nt quite be the same if you ran a higher ratio,but there would'nt be alot in it because clockspeed rules.

mushkin High-Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz

Thermaltake Big Typhoon

ABIT AB9 Pro

all that is needed for one hell of a overclock and at a total of 600 USD

now for a non-overclock setup

Rosewill 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533

MSI 945P Neo3-F Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945P

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 Conroe 2.66Ghz

and a grand total of 741 USD

also remember the overclocked setup will destroy the non overclocked and would more than likely match or beat the EE Conroe.

all prices was taken from newegg
 

chuckshissle

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That amazing! 56% Overclocked! Money wise it's not that cheap, I mean you for the same budget you can get the E6600 and a good HSF and do some overclocking. But that's still amazing going over 50% in overclocking on water !
 

ninjahedge

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Tomo, take a stock E6600 and OC it within factory and that would probably be what I would be interested in seeing.

Not taking a 6700 with its premium pricetag and saying "look the newest celery to hit the street blows it away with this OC setup!!!"

I have no doubt, coming from the old-school 300A crowd that the 6400 can give these cards a $/Gflop run for the money, but how does that compare to things like the E6600, the cheapest kid on the block with the additional cache? How does it compare, $/$ and watt to watt with a comparably equipped system, and how much strain does this put on each?

I would not want to have to replace the chip after a year of running the sucker regardless of how cheap they would probably be at that time (it would still take about an hour to replace it, give or take).


I guess these are the hardest questions. It is easiest to say "this is the cheapest" or "this is the fastest" because it is hard to refute that kind of absolute data, but "Which is the best vaue" is very hard, and even more so when you introduce things like OC into the mix.

Most of us here are probably looking for a chip that we can put into our system, without having to get a $220 MB and Uber-Ram (I think I am using "uber" too much... :p) and not have to worry about:

-Vacuum cleaner noises when you start cranking it
-Wattage/Heat production enough to keep half the house warm in winter.
-Wear and tear causing the chip or other components to quit their day job and become strippers in Patterson NJ.


Just a thought to youse mugs out dere, includin' all of yas that wright these here articles.


;)
 

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