Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Cheap Thrills: Core 2 Duo E6400 Overclocked to 3.33 GHz

Last response: in CPUs
Share
October 10, 2006 10:50:47 AM

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.
October 10, 2006 11:37:23 AM

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 
October 10, 2006 11:46:23 AM

Quote:
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.


Hmm, www.tomshardware.com.com ?

Try This instead...
Related resources
October 10, 2006 11:51:55 AM

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*
October 10, 2006 12:01:59 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 12:12:46 PM

Cool article, Im going home to bump mine up from 3.2 to 3.4 ;-)
October 10, 2006 12:44:54 PM

Quote:
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!!

October 10, 2006 12:48:44 PM

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
October 10, 2006 12:56:08 PM

Yeah wusy, Not much of a overclocker and Im very happy where it is. :-)
October 10, 2006 1:08:55 PM

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..
October 10, 2006 1:59:33 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 2:35:56 PM

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. :-)
October 10, 2006 2:46:11 PM

Quote:
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.
October 10, 2006 2:50:44 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 3:07:32 PM

Quote:
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
October 10, 2006 3:07:38 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 3:09:01 PM

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!
October 10, 2006 3:11:11 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 3:27:20 PM

Quote:
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? ;) 
October 10, 2006 3:29:51 PM

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?
October 10, 2006 3:33:47 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 4:02:24 PM

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.
October 10, 2006 4:10:49 PM

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
October 10, 2006 4:13:06 PM

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 !
October 10, 2006 4:23:21 PM

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.


;) 
October 10, 2006 4:29:42 PM

Quote:
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


Agreed.

My E6400 runs at a comfy 3.36 GHz at 1.34v. A higher OC is a definite (3.4 GHz was stable at 1.36v) but I like to keep my fans quiet so I run my Zalman at 2100 RPM max.

I resent the use of the word "lowly" to describe the E6400. Any CPU that overclocks 60% with an air cooler ain't lowly! And since when has any Core 2 Duo processor earned the label "lowly"? The D 805 with its 533 MHz FSB - that's lowly.

Talk about a short respite! I'm running a processor that has been on the market for just a few months and when overclocked, beats the best performing stock processor available - at one quarter of the price - and I'm having to defend it already! :wink:
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2006 4:43:12 PM

Quote:
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.

Umm both AMD and Intel use the same RAM. I'm a tad confused as to why you list RAM for an Intel system as being close to 2x as much when it's the same DDR2 memory ?!

Then there's the actual overclock achievable... around 2.6GHz for an AMD K8 seems to be the median. How is that comparable to a Core 2 Duo's median of around 3.2GHz? Taking into account the Core 2 Duo's higher IPC as well (performance per Clock).
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2006 6:11:28 PM

Tom's was using one of those early stepping press samples, you remember, the ones that showed up at test sites before retail samples hit the streets? Wusy is right, the later steppings overclock better.

That means good news for everyone buying an E6400 now, since they can expect to see even better results than the test lab got with a similar amount of effort.

This flies in the face of "These big sites always get hand-picked parts and I'll never get this far". Obviously the big site used an old sample and you can expect to go farther!

On the other hand, 3.33GHz beats the records of a few somewhat well-known overclockers using the same stepping, so you know the site wasn't babying this thing. You'll top Tom's Hardware Guide simply by getting the better core.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2006 6:25:41 PM

THG was using their new Culver City lab, I asked "who I know" and all they had on hand was some 2GB PC2-5300 kits, some 1GB PC2-8000 kits, and that new ultra-high-end Corsair XMS Dominator kit.

Obviously the Dominator kit was furthest beyond the "bang for the buck" reach of the article, but I'm sure they'd have prefered to use a 1GB moderate-cost PC2-6400 memory kit - if they'd had it on hand.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2006 6:32:52 PM

It sounds like you might have the same early stepping that THG labs used, congrats!
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2006 6:44:03 PM

Quote:
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.


;) 


LOL, I like the analogy...but I just overclocked my AMD-based rig simply because my office was TOO COLD!
October 10, 2006 10:39:32 PM

You can put me in the slightly befuddled camp as well - I'm a bit perplexed about a "cheap" setup that includes a LOT of premium components.

But congrats on the OC - would have loved to see a comparison to the E6600 though.
October 10, 2006 10:43:57 PM

It goes to show people who brought the E6400 are very smart and intelligent people.
October 10, 2006 11:36:10 PM

I got my core 6300 to 290 :roll:

core2 6300
ASRock 775i65G
SuperTalent 512 Mb DDR400 CL2.5 x2
WD2500KS 250 Gb sataII
Antec SLK1650B
Antec SmartPower 350W
October 11, 2006 1:49:38 AM

Not a bad article, but I Completely disagree with choosing a e6400 over a e6300 from a price point of view.

I have a
e6300 running at 3.15gig (stock voltage) and idles around 29C and tops out at about 45C which could hardly be considered hot on Intel stock cooling ( fan is surprisingly very quiet spinning no more than 1600rpm). Many other have similar experiences with the e6300 in other forums.

This is done on a gigabyte GA-965P-S3 MB with only Corsair 667 ram. The only thing stopping me going further is the ram (and more than happy).

If you want cheap and over 3GHz, I would say go e6300 and save the extra $40 and buy beer.
a b à CPUs
October 11, 2006 2:40:27 AM

perhaps that's the case, but early samples that were sent to these sites are not so forgiving, many early-stepping E6300's had a tough time reaching 3GHz.
October 11, 2006 2:44:13 PM

When you guys compare CPUs it is good to include some CPU intensive tasks, not games. Games are mostly GPU bound.

How about ffdshow with most popular filters enabled:
Resize Lanczos at 1920x1080
Denoise3d
Postprocessing - Nic's method.
And then run 3 different movie scenes - action, stills, landscapes.
October 11, 2006 8:03:58 PM

Quote:
If you want cheap and over 3GHz, I would say go e6300 and save the extra $40 and buy beer.


for $40 I better get more than a beer 8O


the article was a nice read. cant wait to see them test a e6600
October 12, 2006 3:59:03 PM

Quote:
I have a
e6300 running at 3.15gig (stock voltage) and idles around 29C and tops out at about 45C which could hardly be considered hot on Intel stock cooling ( fan is surprisingly very quiet spinning no more than 1600rpm). Many other have similar experiences with the e6300 in other forums.


45C at full load with stock cooling? That sounds like only one core loaded - not two. Try loading both cores to 100% with Prime95 and record your temps after 20 minutes. I think that you're in for a surprise...

http://www.overclock.net/faqs/43628-how-perform-100-tor...

Be sure to choose the "Custom" Torture Test - the others don't stress the CPU nearly as much. If the test crashes at any point for any reason, your setup is unstable and requires tweaking.

Sorry - I'm not trying to spoil your fun. Wouldn't you want to know if your system was truly stable or not?
October 14, 2006 3:33:45 PM

Not a bad article.
I would of really liked to have seen the water cooling solution used in this article been one of the new versions of the Thermatake big water 745 liquid cooling system.
http://www.thermaltake.com/product/Liguid/DIY/cl-w0076/...

I have one of these on my system and it runs well, although I have never had one before so it is hard for me to say its better then others, but
I have read a fair amount of reviews and a lot of the reviews say the Gigabyte Water coolers do a poor job of cooling ater 1 hour of usage, while the Termaltake ones provide consistent cooling and cool straight off from when the PC first boots up better as well.
October 15, 2006 7:50:51 PM

A quick look at the game benchmarks indicates that any increase in processor cost, including money spent on cooling in the pursuit of top clock speed, would be better spent on a top graphics card. We used relatively low resolutions, and increasing quality only serves to put even more bias on graphics power. Yes, the lowly Core 2 Duo E6400 appears to be "good enough" at stock speed to match nicely with an upper-midrange graphics card.

Thanks for the testing. I would like to comment in reference to BF2 gamers. I have noticed that every thing you can throw at your computer BF2 will eat it up. More CPU, more GPU, more CACHE, more RAM (up to 2GB)...it doesn't seem to be CPU or GPU limited, so for BF2 gamers go for the increase in CPU speed and/or GPU speed. IMHO :) 
October 17, 2006 8:42:42 AM

Dear Guys I need help!
I am relatively experienced in PC but new in O/C, so I think I adjusted something wrong.
My config: ABIT9pro / e6400 / 2xkingstone 512MB 667Mhz and 2xkingmax 512MB 667Mhz / ATI X800XT /6xSATAII hdds....

1 round: I increased the FSB and DDR2 V to 2V. all others remained on default. I reached 330 MHZ which means 412.5 memory bus freq. (DDR2 825) That's good considering using 667 DDRs.
2.round: I changed in bios the memory to 533 ->1:1 ratio and also inthe advaced chipset the RAM from "SPD" to manual 5-5-5-15.
I tried to encreased to 340 Mhz the FSB than the Windows became unstabil, or sometimes even does not start.... WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM??? WHAT ELSE SHOULD BE ADJUSTED? (??? N/B STRAP cpu, or MCH voltage or other....????)
I am using TT big Typhoon cooler the CPU temp 41 C only.
Other even if I change the CPU core voltage to 1,4 V the CPU-Z test shows 1.21 V (?????)
PLEASE HELP WHAT TO DO. It seems from the first round that memory could go on even over 400 Mhz...
(the PSU: Forton blue storm FS500W)
November 2, 2006 10:55:25 PM

TH didn't mention the fsb speed and cpu ratio on the 6700. they would have gotten better results to have dropped down the cpu multiplier and stepped up the fsb.

don't done correctly in my opinion.
November 3, 2006 4:23:29 AM

My E6300 on stock HSF oc'ed higher than this E6400.
I personally think E6300 is a better $/performance cpu.
I know quite a lot of people hitting above 3.5GHz with E6300 with slightly better HSF.
!