Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Pentium 4 2.6GHz Northwood Socket 478 Overclockability?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
February 22, 2006 5:49:19 AM

I have the processor listed in the title. I've currently overclocked the processor from 2.60GHz to 3.01GHz (400MHz increase). Both the idle and load speed increased 2-3 degrees Celcius, so it is now running at 30 degrees Celcius at idle, and about 44 degrees Celcius at load.

My question is, how much more juice do you think I can pump out of processor before it becomes a problem? I have the exact same processor in my laptop (same socket and everything), that is running at 30 idle, and 58 load (Dell Inspiron 5100, notorious for running super hot).

Do you suppose I could get the processor up to 3.5GHz without bad stuff happening? Does anyone know what the average OC-ability for that specific processor? The following is what heatsink I have on the processor:

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1683...

It does real well at keeping the processor cool (as can be noted by the 400MHz OC with only a 2-3 degree increase).

What is the temperature threshold for my processor? I know that I won't really do any damage on it by overclocking it if I keep it under the threshold.

Thanks for the help!
February 22, 2006 6:15:16 AM

For northwoods, Intel recommended a max die temp of 55c. They do like to play it safe though, so a little higher may be safe.
It's hard to know how high you can OC without knowing more about your silicone. Is it a P4a, P4b, or P4c. You can answer by tell us what your stock fsb is. A P4a has a 100/400 fsb, a P4b has a 133/533 fsb, while the P4c has a 200/800 fsb.
All of the northwoods are good OCers, but the P4c is generally the best.
You are attempting a 1/3rd OC. That is major. Some of the "c"s have been able to do that, but generally a better hsf is required.
The best coolers for your chip come from Thermalright an Zalman.
No one can predict how high a particular chip will OC, or as they say, your milage may vary. So long as your temps stay low enough, and your system is stable, push it up more.
Good luck, and great OCing.
February 22, 2006 6:25:41 AM

With CPU-Z, I am getting a 100MHz frontside bus. So, with your information, I've got a P4a. Is there a reason that the "c"s overclock so much better than the a's? Is that due to the increased stock fsb?

With the overclock done with my processor, since the multiplier is locked (at x26), my motherboard raises the fsb to allow for overclocking. Currently, it is at 116MHz. I'm running RAM at PC2700 (DDR 333). Therefore, theoretically, I should be able to increase the fsb to 166MHz before the memory starts to take a crap on me (at 1:1, but I think I'm running at 5:4). That would increase my CPU speed to......[doing some math].......4.32GHz. Obviously, that would take one hell of a heatsink to pull that off. And that is including the fact that my motherboard locks the speed on the PCI and AGP slots, which I am unsure as to whether or not it does that.

Well, thank you very much for your post. It was certainly extremely helpful, and it has given me the encouragement to try to do a bit more OC'ing (and testing with Prime95). I appreciate any help I can get! :D 
Related resources
February 22, 2006 7:03:33 AM

I used to have the same chip, manufactured in Malaysia, can't remember the stepping...but needless to say I was managing 3.25Ghz (250Mhz FSB) using PC4000 memory and a MSI 875P Neo-FIS2R Mobo. Didn't push it anymore as it was running synchronously with the memorys top speed. Didn't need any more juice to have that setup stable for 2+ years, had it passively cooled by a thermaltake fanless 103 and 2x 120mm case fans keeping it at 25 idle and no more than 40 load.

Try lowering your memory speed to 166 or 133 and then upping the bus speed - mightbe able to push your chip to its max, then decide whether you need to buy some higher speed memory.

Another thing...I have heard people putting 1.6V through the 2.6C and its been fine with a decent heatsink.
February 22, 2006 7:06:09 AM

Having a P4a is a real mixed blessing. They are very much bandwidth starved. Because of that, they are not great performers.
Even at stock speed, a P4c 2.4ghz would outperf your chip @ 3ghz.
Of course, the more you OC, the more bandwidth you get, so OCing is a great plan.
Some of the lower models, like the 2ghz were able to reach a 133 fsb, so there is hope.
BTW, the reason the P4c chips overclocked so well was because of a major refresh, when 3ghz was the standard. Many people consider it the best silicon Intel has ever put out.
a b à CPUs
February 22, 2006 7:33:04 AM

my 2600 is a poor overclocker and makes a c class cpu look bad - i managed 3.12ghz max, but otherwise most of the c's could do 3200 and above, but thats luck for you.

oh and btw - 55*c max safe temp? my bios posts 50 as idle in bios, and on the desktop 40*c and under load with my old crap case - 69*c - two boards posted similar temps so it cant be off, so 55*c is total bs for safe temps.
February 22, 2006 7:35:09 AM

Did you have a 2.6a or 2.6c that you got up to 3.12GHz?
a b à CPUs
February 22, 2006 11:04:59 AM

"Do you suppose I could get the processor up to 3.5GHz without bad stuff happening?"

No. :-)

I'd settle for 3.2-3.4G at the most unless running some pretty extensive aftermarket cooling solutions...

If Northwoods wood routinely run at above 3.4G successfuly, Intel would have released them above 3.4, which they did not.
February 22, 2006 11:33:46 AM

Yep, my old 3.2 P4c topped out about 3.4/3.6 :( 
February 22, 2006 12:16:04 PM

My 3.2C does 3.6Ghz on air at stock Vcore no problems, but its I have to slacken my memory timings too much, so, I run it at 3520Mhz (220x16), which allows me to run my PC3200LL at the tightest possible timings, while remaining totally stable.

Both ram, and cpu are running standard volts :) 

My previous 2.4C, and 2.6C both did 3.4Ghz stable, but it did require quite loose timings on the memory with the high FSB speeds. I find the 3.2C with tight timings to be the 'best performer'

All northwood 'C's have Hyperthreading, and 800mhz FSB, and they were the 'best clocking' Northwoods. The best Northwood 'c's appeared to have 30 cap's on the bottom, while lesser clockers often had fewer capacitors.
February 22, 2006 1:00:54 PM

i have one 3.0C running at 3.66 stable on stock air for over a year. at first i tried 3.9 but could only get it to run in bios, windows would not boot. highest temp 49cel. my own pc is a 2.4c and it has been running on air stock fan/sink at 3.12 for over two years, 42cel max. Back in the day when intel made these chips they were not happy as many users found that these chips were a much better deal than thier new prescott at the time. Northy were all getting 20% oc'ed with or with out the extra capsitors those that have the extra capsitors were getting 30%+with no trouble, no heat. you might notice the intel stopped production of these chips. you can get A', B' chips and the ever present D' chips, but no more C chips. intels move to the first prescott core was the start of AMDs move to pass intel. prescotts were so hot that they often ran at core max stock and intel added stepping to slow the cpu down to make it seem cooler.
!