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GUIDE: 3+GHz Core 2 Duo Budget System for $426 (Overclock)

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April 28, 2007 7:47:47 PM

********** SHOP LIST **********

NOTE: This is my second(2nd) version of the similar guide I wrote 6 months ago. The main difference between these two(2) guides are the prices ($631 vs $456), CPU (E6300 vs E4300), RAM (1GB vs 2GB), and Graphics Card (7300GT/X800GTO vs 7600GT/X1650XT), and as you could compare, this latest guide's recommendation is not only better than the previous setup, it is also $175 cheaper. The list of item that I recommend here are solely based on a low budget system (and will remain a budget system), and would definitely achieve the results of hitting at least 3GHz. You might think that some items don't suit you, instead of other alternatives, which might be cheaper and better, if that's the case, go ahead and purchase that instead, but I can't guarantee that you'd achieve the same result as mine, as you might get better/worse results. Some might argue that X1650XT is a better graphic card than 7600GT, but I prefer 7600GT, as it could be purchased for a cheaper price after rebate. My personal advice, read from this guide, learn from it, and shop smart, and buy whatever fits within your budget. There is always a difference between $456 spent on a 3GHz system, compared to $2000 spent on a 4GHz system, but whether that kind of money is available to everybody, would be a question to be answered individually. I personally think for the price you're paying for this system, would definitely be good money spent.

CPU: Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale (Retail Box with HSF) - $114
HSF: Stock HSF - $0
M/B: BioStar TForce965PT (Open Box) - $52
RAM: 2x 1GB SuperTalent PC2-5300 DDR2-667MHz CL5 - $56
GPU: 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 - $75 ($110-$35MIR)
HDD: Seagate 7200.10 160GB SATA2 (3.0Gb/s) - $52
DVD: 16x DVD Writer - $29
FDD: 1.44" Floppy Disk Drive - $5
PSU: ChiefMax 650W $20
CASE: Generic Case (without PSU) - $12
FAN: 4x 8CM Fan ($1.50 each) & 1x 12CM Fan ($5 each) - $11

TOTAL: $426


Price Updated on June 12, 2007.


********** EXPLANATION OF CHOICE **********

Quote:
CPU: Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale (Retail Box with HSF) - $117

As this is the cheapest C2D available on the market, and a proven great overclocker, I chose this processor. These Allendale cores has a 2MB L2 cache, instead of the 4MB on other higher end Conroe models. But benchmarks have proven the 2MB in cache differences only accumulate up to a mere 2-3% increase in performance, which I personally think doesn't do any justice for the price difference.

Quote:
HSF: Stock HSF - $0

You may want to purchase a better HSF, which will cost you more money, but the stock HSF shouldn't have problems getting you above 3GHz for the time being. Since we're low on budget, we don't want to spend more money on something we've got, that we've already paid for along with the retail box CPU.

Quote:
M/B: BioStar TForce965PT (Open Box) - $52

I chose this motherboard as this is the cheapest proven overclockable motherboard on the market. I've purchased two(2) of these, Open Box OEM from NewEgg and both has proven to work flawlessly. This model does not come with RAID, but if RAID is desired, purchase the Deluxe edition of the same model. Other alternatives would be to purchase Gigabyte's lineup of motherboards with the P965 chipsets, especially S3/DS3 which has been proven to be of great value. Since we're building a budget system, we'd avoid RAID, as RAID motherboard costs more, so do extra HDDs. But if you want to have a RAID system, go for the other alternative motherboard recommended above, or even purchase a RAID Controller Card later in the future.

Quote:
RAM: 2x 1GB SuperTalent PC2-5300 DDR2-667MHz CL5 - $83

If you've been staying around and reading reviews on RAM modules recently, SuperTalent have been producing pretty good RAM modules. The best RAM modules in the market are equipped with Micron D9 chipsets, but they come at a higher price. I have personally got great success from these SuperTalent modules, and the price is unbeatable. Since our goal would be to hit 3GHz, we aren't really putting much stress on the RAM, therefore it makes sense to go with the choice I've chosen above.

Quote:
GPU: 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 - $75 ($110-$35MIR)

Since we're building a budget system, we need to make sure we're spending good money for our graphic cards. After looking at all the graphic cards below $100 available, we came to conclusion that 7600GT and the X1650XT were the best cards for the money. The X1650XT produces a slightly better raw performance in games, compared to 7600GT at stock speed, but it can be countered with a mild overclock. The $35 Mail In Rebate offered is unbeatable. The other reason to stick with DirectX 9 cards would be that none of the DirectX 10 card in the market justify the price of its performance, unless you have money to spend on 8800GTS, which could be purchased for $219 after rebate. The only card falls under the $100 from the DirextX 10 models are 8500GT, and the performance compared to what we've chosen is totally unacceptable, whereas the 8600GT is priced around the $150 region, with a very mild advantage over 7600GT, which doesn't justify for its $75 price tag difference. It'd be wise to stay with 7600GT for the time being.

Quote:
HDD: Seagate 160GB SATA2 (3.0Gb/s) - $52

The reason I chose Seagate was because of the fact that the 7200.10 models are running on Perpendicular Recording Technology. You could go with any SATA2 (3.0Gb/s) HDD you're comfortable with.

Quote:
DVD: 16x DVD Writer - $29

Need I explain further? :p 

Quote:
FDD: 1.44" Floppy Disk Drive - $5

Some may need it, some not, but this definitely comes in handy when you want flash your bios, or even running MemTest86+ on a bootable DOS floppy disk. (NOTE: BioStar's motherboard has built-in MemTest)

Quote:
PSU: ChiefMax 650W $20

If there's any parts that I have doubt in my guide, it would be this power supply. I have had bad experiences with ChiefMax, and some good ones. My first ChiefMax PSU I used for a Core 2 Duo setup was about 3 months ago on a E6300, and has proven to be a reliable power supply for me. After since, I've built 4 systems on top of this ChiefMax model, and has yet to have any problems. After overclocking, the Vcore fluctuates 0.08V between idle and load, which is indeed very good. 650W is way more than enough for the parts I recommended above, and even if ChiefMax can't supply 650W of pure power, anything between 400-450W would power up this system easily. You may choose another brand of PSU which comes at a higher price tag, but I would stick with ChiefMax till I face problems with them. According to some reviews, some of ChiefMax's PSU may be shipped Dead On Arrival (DOA), and you may want to check for such problems and get it replaced ASAP.

Quote:
CASE: Generic Case (without PSU) - $12

Since we're building a budget system, we don't want to be spending too much money on a case. Better branded casings may have better air ventilation, but this can be solved with adding more fans.

Quote:
FAN: 4x 8CM Fan ($1.50 each) & 1x 12CM Fan ($5 each) - $11

Since we're using generic casing, which doesn't promote good air flow circulation, we'd need plenty of extra fans to counter that issue. Some may perfer to go with 12cm fans instead of 8cm ones, if you do, purchase a casing that would allow you to install them.





********** INSTALLATION/SETTINGS **********

*** NOTE: Each system reacts differently, and these settings might differ on others, but shouldn't have problems achieving 3GHz, as I've achieved (9x 412MHz) 3.708GHz with a full load temperature at 66C, but decided to bring it down to 3.573GHz running 60-61C at full load. Your settings may (most probably) be different, especially Voltages, precisely Vcore and Vdimm, therefore take extreme precaution and test it based on trial and error. If you have any problems/questions regarding the settings, feel free to ask them, and I'll be helping you out with it, as long as I still own the same setup, I could still fully support/help with troubleshooting, etc.

1) Assemble all the parts, and install all those Fans to increase casing's air flow circulation.

2) Flash Bios with Latest version. (P96RH404)
Note: Customized hacked Bios available from http://www.lejabeach.com/Biostar/965pt/

3) Enter Bios Settings

********** FOR BIOSTAR TFORCE965PT **********
CPU Thermal Control: Disable
Limit CPUID MaxVal: Disable
C1E Function: Disable
Execute Disable Bit: Disable
Virtualization Technology: Disable
Shutdown Temperature: 70C (Auto Shutdown if CPU above 70C)
*** CPU Voltage: 1.40V ***
FSB Termination Voltage: 1.4V
(G)MCH: 1.55V
Memory Voltage: 1.80V
PCIE Clock: Fixed 100MHz
System Memory Frequency: 533MHz (1:1 Ratio)
CPU Clock: 334MHz
DRAM Timing: 5-5-5-15 (NOTE: I have successfully run 4-4-4-12 @2.1V)


********** FOR GIGABYTE MODELS **********
Advanced BIOS Features
- Disable CPUID Max to 3
- Disable No-Execute Memory Protection
- Disable C1E
- Disable TM2
- Disable EIST
- Disable Virtualization Technology

PC Health Status
- Disable Smart Fan Control Method

Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)
- Press Ctrl+F1 for Advanced Settings
- CPU Clock Ratio (CPU Multiplier) at 9x
- CPU Host Frequency (FSB) at 334MHz
- PCI Express Frequency at 100MHz
- Disable CIA2
- System Memory Multiplier at 2.00 (1:1 Ratio)
- DRAM Timing at 5-5-5-15 (NOTE: I have successfully run 4-4-4-12 @2.1V)
-DDR2 OverVoltage Control NORMAL (1.8V)
- FSB OverVoltage +0.2V (1.4V)
- (G)MCH Voltage +0.1V (1.55V)
- *** CPU Voltage at 1.40V ***

*** Your settings may vary. Some may achieve stability at higher voltage, whereas some may achieve stability at a lower voltage. ***



Room Temperature: 25.9C - 28.1C (Reading from my Room's Digital Thermometer)
CPU Temperature: 39C (Idle) - 55C (Full Load)
Passed Prime95 Torture/Stress Test for 15 Hours 26 Minutes.
Passed MemTest86+ 1.65 for 11 Hours 21 Minutes.





********** PICTURES (NEEDS UPDATE) **********

The pictures below were not updated, as I did not have a MMC card reader to upload the pictures from my latest system I built 2 days ago, which is similar to the setup I had above. I will update the pictures as soon as I get a MMC card reader.

The pictures below are from E6300 running at 3GHz, which was my previous version of the same guide, priced at $631. The new setup should look slightly different, and better as well, since the major difference here is an upgraded 7600GT, as opposed to the 7300GT/X800GTO in the previous guide, and 1GB vs 2GB of RAM.

- Invoice (Red-Boxes are censor box. Had to do it to protect my privacy, and my part's serial number for registration/warranty purposes, and yes I'm paranoid)


- Parts


- Case: Front


- Case: Side (Closed)


- Case: Side (Opened)


- Case: Side Panel


- Case: Inside


- Full Load after more than 10 Hours 50 Minutes


- Passed Stress/Torture Test for 10 Hours 52 Minutes with 0 Errors and 0 Warnings


- SuperPI


- 3DMark2001SE


- 3DMark06


- PCMark05






********** EXTRAS **********

This system can definitely overclock much higher (Intel's specified max temp is 61.2C, but I've seen friends who run 24 hours stable at 67C). What I'm trying to prove here with the settings and temperature is that, these settings can be easily achieved, with a mere $456. I will try to post more pictures, and possibly more benchmarks, so check back soon.

Wilson
April 28, 2007 8:26:38 PM

Nice guide. However, I am very skeptical about temperatures with a stock hsf @3Ghz. Are you stressing it with TAT or just Orthos/ Prime95? TAT seems to increase the temperature much more than Orthos at full load. I have a E4300 @3GHz, 1.29V, an ACF7P, x23 TIM, and many case fans. I idle at 27C and TAT load at 54C, but Orthos load is only 46C, both read from speedfan.
April 28, 2007 9:07:34 PM

I stress them with Prime95, on two instances.
I've got plenty of fans running through the casing, which dropped the temperature by 6C, as opposed to without any fans. Those $11 invested in fans in exchange for 6C during load, helps out a lot.

Besides that, I have not encountered a E4300 that wouldn't overclock to at least 3GHz that I've personally dealt with on stock HSF. This is my 4th E4300 I'm overclocking since February.

Anyway, I'm going to attempt to lower the Vcore slowly, till I achieve absolute stability at the lowest Vcore possible, and therefore expect the CPU temperature to be lower.

To lower your temp, you might want to consider lapping your HSF.
Related resources
April 28, 2007 9:37:09 PM

I actually did lap the heatsink. However, I do suspect the cpu is slightly concave. I suggest you try running Intel TAT and see what temps you get @ 3GHz and stock cooling. I bet you it is Much higher that you get with dual Prime95. What I mean is the temperature as read by Speedfan while TAT is running, not on TAT itself (it typical reports 15Chigher than actual). Let me know the results. I am curious.
April 28, 2007 10:18:43 PM

I'd say if you're putting together a guide not to use open box products since those are kind of a one time deal. I'd say that you used such and such open box products, and then maybe suggest an optional non-open box product that the people using the guide could use. Also giving links to all of the parts would be good.

Anyway, looks like a great guide tho.
April 28, 2007 10:18:44 PM

great guide, WiZ83!



i'm planning a budget build and i will certainly use this as a place to start. thank you very much!
April 29, 2007 2:49:05 AM

I did recommend a few motherboards.

The BioStar TForce965PT's brand new costs $90, and the Deluxe version costs $105. The difference between them is the non-Deluxe uses ICH8 Southbridge, without RAID, whereas the Deluxe version uses ICH8R, which comes with RAID. The board I used before this was the Deluxe version, and decided to give this non-Deluxe a try, and it worked out perfectly.

The other budget boards I recommended are Gigabyte 965P S3 and DS3, difference are Catalytic Capacitors vs Solid State Capacitors. I read some users having problems with setting up RAID on Gigabyte's motherboard, my first attempt to setup RAID on them seemed to be a bit difficult, whereas the RAID setup for BioStar's motherboard seemed to work flawlessly on my first attempt. Gigabyte's JMicron RAID Controller seemed to be not as easy to setup as Intel's on-board RAID Controller.

If you purchase a non-OpenBox version, you'd still be able to get the whole system around $500, which is really cheap for the performance you get. Some people had problems with OpenBox, but you get 14-days from NewEgg to test things out, and if it doesn't work as it's supposed to, send it back, and NewEgg will issue a 100% Refund on it, or replace em' if they still got them in stock. Out of the last 9 systems I built, 6 has been Open Box, and only 1 came DOA, and NewEgg handled them well. In fact, all Open Box from NewEgg I received, did indeed looked like new, and there wasn't any screw marks, or any signs of usage, and the best of all, it comes with its retail box, and full accessories.

Quote:
I actually did lap the heatsink. However, I do suspect the cpu is slightly concave. I suggest you try running Intel TAT and see what temps you get @ 3GHz and stock cooling. I bet you it is Much higher that you get with dual Prime95. What I mean is the temperature as read by Speedfan while TAT is running, not on TAT itself (it typical reports 15Chigher than actual). Let me know the results. I am curious.


All the temperatures from SpeedFan, CoreTemp, and Intel TAT report the same temperature, with CoreTemp's temperature 1C higher occasionally. I even had a temperature/heat sensor sticked to the heatsink and it shows the right temperature. Trust me, I know what I'm doing, this is not the first time I overclock. :wink:
April 29, 2007 3:15:10 AM

Nice 1 cuz
Im not 100% convinced on the temps, but ive never tried so....
Do i smell a sticky here?
April 29, 2007 3:22:31 AM

My previous guide gained almost 70k views, and most people did try to ask a moderator to sticky it, but it didn't get stickied. I personally think this guide should serve a good reference, at least for the next 3 months to come, or till a graphics card's price drop.

Regarding the temperature, it's only 3GHz, it's not that high, and each and every four(4) E4300 I've encountered, hit more than 3GHz on stock HSF. But like I said, I've got an ambient temperature of around 25-28C, sometimes lower as I've got AC on most of the time now.
April 29, 2007 11:36:25 AM

lol, i don't see the point in tesating with TAT, if only TAT can get to them levels, and nothing else can, why test that high? nothing is going to reach it...
April 29, 2007 12:29:46 PM

i would love that system at Stock Frequancys i mean Damn for under $500 thats an amazing deal
just one year ago THG did a budget system it was was something like
gf 6600
amd 3000+ and 512ram or something
It makes me want to save my cash and get somethign like that
April 29, 2007 2:01:09 PM

Hello

is there a way you can tell me the voltage range for the memory in your guide. Is it compatible with gigabyte ds3?

Thanks.
April 29, 2007 2:48:27 PM

excellent guide. That's what I call a "best bang for the buck". I'm going to build a system for a friend soon, seeing your guide gives a lot of inspirations. Thanks again.
April 29, 2007 10:29:23 PM

Vdimm can be set to 2.2V max on the BioStar motherboard, and yes, it is compatible with GA-965P-DS3. I've built a lot of systems off the S3 and DS3 motherboards.

If you need higher than 2.2V, you can do a Vdimm Mod.
April 30, 2007 8:56:54 PM

Could you post alternatives for the SuperTalent RAM? That brand isn't too common here in Canada it seems. Is the Corsair ValueSelect any good, for instance?
May 1, 2007 12:50:06 AM

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) PC2-6400 DDR2-800 is selling for $100 After Rebate.

Buy.com
$140 - $40 Rebate = $100

If you're a new customer to Buy.com, you could apply $5 off $50 coupon @ http://www.buy.com/retail/coupon.asp?prid=88301879&adid...

If you're new to Google Checkout, you can save a further $10 using Google Checkout.

$100 - $5 - $10 = $85 (Free Shipping)

Hope that helps. :) 
May 1, 2007 12:16:09 PM

Quote:
By making this guide you make it sound like everyone can have a 3ghz core 2 pc for under $500, while the truth is you can get a far more powerful amd system in general for that same budget
Exactly what kind of AMD system for under 500$ is much more powerful than a Core2Duo at 3Ghz? 8O
May 1, 2007 3:22:24 PM

This BioStar motherboard is indeed a very good overclocker. The default bios supports up to only 400MHz, but if you flash the bios, it hits up to 600MHz.

The reason I went with this motherboard is because I read a lot of reviews, even TomsHardware, Anandtech, and a few other sites reviewed this board against the Gigabyte, Asus and MSI lineups of motherboards, and this motherboard is the only one to hit 580MHz. And if you search up google, go to dedicated forums for this motherboard, you'd see many people having trouble with this board, but once the bios is flashed, they're all grateful, and a lot of them RMA their S3 and DS3 motherboards to go with this.

The initial bios needs to be updated, and once you've done that, you're almost guaranteed a high overclock, depending on your CPU/RAM combination.

I personally am not a BioStar fan, nor am I an Intel fan, but I go for the best bang for the buck.

I'm having a finals now, I will update my guide further, and thanks for the comments Taco, I appreciate your input. :) 
May 1, 2007 4:50:19 PM

Quote:
By making this guide you make it sound like everyone can have a 3ghz core 2 pc for under $500, while the truth is you can get a far more powerful amd system in general for that same budget
Exactly what kind of AMD system for under 500$ is much more powerful than a Core2Duo at 3Ghz? 8O\


lol was kinda wondering that myself (maybe he means that some other components could be better with a cheaper CPU and mobo ? although thats a tough one since the CPU is just a little over 100$ and the mobo is cheap as well....)
May 1, 2007 5:45:01 PM

Quote:
Quote:
FDD: 1.44" Floppy Disk Drive - $5

Some may need it, some not, but this definitely comes in handy when you want flash your bios, or even running MemTest86+ on a bootable DOS floppy disk. (NOTE: BioStar's motherboard has built-in MemTest)


DIE FDD!!! die die!

You can easily run Memtest, or any other program designed to run from a floppy disk, from a bootable CD with the use of VFD http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd.html in 32bit windows, a bootable floppy image (download it from anywhere), and any current cd burning software. For the love of god please stop buying them. You only encourage lazy programmers to keep making apps for them. I persoanlly flashed my BIOS from CD then ran Memtest from CD on my last computer build after forcing them to run on a bootable CD. If your motherboard will boot from a flash drive it should be even easier.

Otherwise the build looks ok. The PSU is maybe a bit on the cheap side and some of the prices seem a bit lower than what might be readily obtainable or reliable. You can't exactly make a "guide" that tells people to buy something for a price using gimmicks that may not be available. You may as well tell them to buy a FAR case w/ PSU that'll sure save a bundle on a computer build but you might have to wait awhile to find one and who knows what the quality control will be like when you get it.

Without gimmicks, open box deals, cheap PSU or MIRs the cost for this build is closer to $580, no? Still a decent gaming build at that price.

For a mid to low-end rig that won't have heat issues or put large electrical load spikes on the PSU a cheapy psu rated for ~2x what the system requires should work fine. Not for an OCed gaming rig.

Oh, and it's a dvd "writer" ;)  (firefox w/ real time spell-check rules)
May 1, 2007 6:13:03 PM

A new Guide, eh Wiz? Good job!

And remember people, this is a Guide, not a rulebook. Temps, specs, etc can vary, but overall I say it's a great resource to newbies looking to do performance on the cheap.
May 1, 2007 11:26:17 PM

Tacos, I have to agree on your argument on the PSU, but I will have to tell you one thing. This BioStar motherboard that I'm using, if you do enough search and read up, it is proven to be a very stable motherboard. In fact, I ordered 2 of these from NewEgg, as they only allowed me to do a maximum of 2 orders for open-box promotions, and the current system I recommended here is running on 3.4GHz, and the other one is currently running on 3.708GHz on BigTyphoon + Silverstone FM121. I've already got a buyer to pay me $800 for the 3.7GHz system, and I'm still testing it, and it has been proven to run 100% stable passing dual Prime95 stable for 24 hours at maximum 62C full load, I'm still trying to reduce Vcore, and other voltages, and tweak around, and then work on overclocking the graphics card for him. All the problems with the motherboard has been solved with bios update, as far as I'm concerned, after reading some ppl's complaint. The motherboard you're recommending (DS3) is indeed a great motherboard, I've built several systems off S3 and DS3, but if you could save $80 by just flashing bios, don't you think it's worth it? I would flash a bios just to save $10, nonetheless $80. So, I don't quite understand why you're still not convinced this motherboard is indeed a good stable overclocker's motherboard?

Quote:
... you can get an oem x2 3600 for $69, a fairly good RETAIL am2 board for under $100 or a bit over $100 if you want integrated gfx, a nice arctic cooling freezer 64 for under $20 at most sites, and have roughly $300 more to spend on parts and these are all new products here. If you want to go openbox, you could save tons more money and get the cpu+mobo and cpu cooling for $100 total if you looked hard enough, meaning roughly $400 to spend on other components and you'll still have a fairly fast computer. I personally wouldn't buy an intel board below the quality of the ds3, and that one is pretty constantly at $130, so if you got a proven oc board, the cheapest you could go would be over $200, or perhaps a bit under if you go openbox, but the amount left for a worthwhile psu would be more, something that really counts and people overlook it


If you want to save even more, go AMD, I could even go out purchase a full 486 system for $20, no doubt about it, but it can't provide you the performance a C2D could. You're mentioning fanboy, I'm personally a fan of AMD, but I will not pour money into something that that doesn't justify for what I paid for. The 3.7GHz E4300 system I built, is in fact very stable, like I mentioned above, I did a benchmark, and beats Athlon FX-62 and 6000+ in all the SuperPi benchmark I did. I decoded a 120minutes video and compressed to XViD in 98 minutes, which no AMD processors could do that for. And tell me, which AMD processor could overclock as much as any C2D, especially on a stock HSF. Besides that, Intel is running on 65nm, and AMD on 90nm, which uses more energy, produces more heat, and harder to overclock in overall as well. Talking about efficiency, hands down Intel the winner. Perhaps you might be left behind in terms of technology, C2D's are no similar to NetBurst, it's a total new structure, and I'm quite surprised that I've got many friends, who are actually convinced AMD is still leading the processor market. There's a reason AMD is going through a business restructure, they've been losing a lot of market share, and they haven't been able to produce a product that could even come close to beating Intel's lineups, and thus, their fastest processor the Athlon X2 6000+'s initial price tag is not at $1000, it's actually $225. About a year ago, you will not be able to buy AMD's fastest processor for less than $700.

Again, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of AMD, but I will not pour more money into a sinking boat, and I do not wish AMD to go out of business. AMD is the reason Intel's price has gone down and become more affordable, and I want them to stay in the market, as it would be of great help to us consumers.
May 1, 2007 11:52:51 PM

Taco, it seems it is you who are portraying the fanboy... since you are trying to bust up the party on how to build a KILLER RIG for on the cheap...
And no, AMD does not have competion that can beat the performance for the prices, period.
And yes, they do overclock stable. I have no problem running 3.2GHz 24/7 on air and stable running orthos, granted I have not run it more than an hour, but enough for me to be comfortable... besides, what other times do you stress your system like orthos....
No BFD since at all other times your PC never reaches that level of output... hence it is stable.
May 2, 2007 12:20:31 AM

I've owned both AMD and Intel, and I'm no fanboy either way. There are pros and cons to each. Yes, AMD offers a cheaper solution.....and it can be a very good solution for a gaming rig. An X2 3600, cheap mobo, 2 gigs RAM, and a good vid card is great for gaming, no doubt.

On the other hand, an overclocked C2D offers much more horsepower, but it also costs more, generally speaking. And depending on how hard you push an overclock, it isn't for everyone. Duly noted.


So Taco has a point. However, Wiz's post was not about which solution is better. It is simply a post for people that WANT to go with C2D, this gives them the opportunity to learn HOW to overclock fairly easily, and how to do it on the cheap. So for someone who plans on going Intel, this is very useful. Wiz has not made any argument for/against AMD, he is simply saying that if someone wants to do C2D on the cheap, then here's how.

Is AMD or Intel "better"? It depends. But the proper answer is: "It doesn't matter." That is not the question. Rather, the question posed here in this topic is: "How can I get an overclocked C2D gaming rig on the cheap?". And the answer is: "Read Wiz's Guide".


Now, let's all move beyond the AMD/Intel thing, it has no place here. Nor does open box/OEM/retail. Wiz isn't being deceiving.....he's stated his reasoning right off the bat, and also stated that it was his PREFERENCE, and that everyone can choose another option. So no need to knock that either and split hairs. Let's also move beyond that.

This Guide isn't for everyone. But for those looking to do some easy overclocking for a budget gaming rig on a C2D platform, it's very good and easily understood by newbies. Hopefully this will save most of us alot of time from rehashing this info over and over again.

So, thank you Wiz for your Guide. It is what it is, and serves its purpose well.
a b K Overclocking
May 2, 2007 12:21:08 AM

Thanks WiZ83 this will help me build a budget PC for my cousin.
May 3, 2007 6:09:58 PM

SkyGuy, actually, I'd never recommend an AMD system no matter what, unless they come up with something that would beat Intel in terms of both price and performance. The cheapest computer I'd say built on top of a E4300, and an expensive computer would be a higher-end C2D or C2Q.
May 3, 2007 6:45:44 PM

liked the first one
this is even better 8) gratz :!:
one thing i would change though is the PSU, witch is very cheap (sorry but i have a bad experience with this psu brand, it destroyed my old pc... :? )

sticky this
May 3, 2007 8:13:25 PM

yes AMD is cheaper than Intel, and yes i do agree that his system is nice but i wouldnt ever push it that far, i personally am not much a clocker( not a big fan of it ) but sometimes for the extra juice you have to, my point is that instead of biching about how this and that isnt that great, i would just say its a good guide for budget builders :) 
May 4, 2007 1:08:18 AM

Quote:
You don't get it do you? You can be a fan boy if you want, but try constructing me a worthwhile 3ghz c2d build that will survive a 48 hour orthos test without any problems or temps through the roof on the nb or cpu itself. Conroes will hit over 60c same way an am2 will if you push the chip, something many people don't seem to keep in mind. If you would want to spend money on openbox parts and what not still not have that great of a mobo, go ahead, be my guest, but don't ask any one here for help when you can't get your computer to be stable.
Ok, so if it's not stable at 3Ghz, chances are it will be at 2.7Ghz. Or even 2.6Ghz. Ok now tell me what AMD system at 500$ can beat that, since that was my original question to you?
May 4, 2007 2:37:50 PM

Quote:
And that's where the issue lies, sometimes it's not always about performance. If you wanted a cheap dual core for searching the web or just general use, the x2 3600 with a $30 mobo is really hard to beat, I'd like to you to come up with a conroe based computer that's under $100 for the cpu and mobo combined

Once again, it's not always about performance, sometimes it's about budget issues and also plenty of people don't oc, a stock x2 3600 compared to a stock e4300 won't have much performance loss, not enough to make a difference anyways

of course you are right about people buying a budget pc
they don't care how fast it is, since they use it for mostly word and exell anyway
however i think this pc from the OP isn't meant for these people, but for gamers on a budget who like to OC, he said it himself. and the OP definately succeeded in that. i don't think you can get an AMD gaming pc for this price...
May 4, 2007 3:40:00 PM

Quote:
Once again, it's not always about performance, sometimes it's about budget issues and also plenty of people don't oc, a stock x2 3600 compared to a stock e4300 won't have much performance loss, not enough to make a difference anyways
Ok so since you're not answering my question, I take it there is no AMD system around the price of this build that can beat it.

Sure, for the absolute cheapo system the X2 3600+ Brisbane is great, but this is not the absolute cheapo system, it's the best you can get for around 470$, and it's a great deal.

No?
May 4, 2007 8:22:49 PM

I am pushing this system to it's absolute limit.

9x 408MHz = 3672MHz @ 1.475V

Vdimm @ 2.1V running 4-5-4-12 @ 816MHz

Stock HSF, and it's running 64C.

The stock HSF and CPU's IHS has been lapped, and I applied Arctic Silver 5 on it.

Passed Prime95 for 26 hours 12 minutes.

MemTest passed 13 hours.

It won't boot above 409MHz, even if I release the RAM's timing to CL5 and increase to 2.2V

Power supply has been running all week long, and was on the old system for the last 3 months, it's still running without problems. Go ahead spend more money on a better PSU if you want to, I'm still trying to push the limit of this PSU to see if it's gonna run unstable any time soon. Once it fails, I'll let everyone know, I got 2 systems on the same PSU at the moment. The Vcore fluctuate a bit more now, 0.12V between load and idle, so I'm gonna observe what's gonna happen soon and keep everyone updated.

I will most likely reduce it down to 3.5-3.6GHz later, but I'm testing things out.
May 4, 2007 9:01:45 PM

open box mobo?
garbage psu?

you might get lucky with an overclock on that mobo and psu, but I certainly wouldnt bet any money on it...
May 4, 2007 9:10:40 PM

I don't quite understand why people are arguing over the quality of the motherboard.

Do a google search on this motherboard, many sites has reviewed this motherboard and has been proven to be of great quality and overclocker. If you do not like that, you could go with others that I have recommended if you read through the entire guide.

The PSU, like I said, is the biggest doubt in my recommendation, but I'm not having any problems with it now, and I will keep everyone updated once I face any problems.



Taco:
Everyone thinks I'm lucky, even my old guide's E6300 setup hit 3.409GHz on stock hsf, and Dario thinks I'm lucky. I think I am lucky. Give me some time, I might be free next week, as I'm already done with finals, I might just take the HSF off, and look at the steppings and keep you guys updated with it.

P.S. - Does your friend has a bunch of fans around his casing to cool off the temperature within?
May 5, 2007 6:56:25 PM

How do you explain having all 4 E4300 and 3 E6300 above 3GHz, all on stock HSF?
May 6, 2007 3:50:59 AM

Can we all please move past this? This has long ago become pointless......AMD vs Intel, blah blah blah. Been there, done that.

This is a Guide for people who wanna OC an Intel C2D on the cheap. That's it. Accept it, move on people.

If someone else wants to write a Guide for OC'ing AMD on the cheap, then do it.


Move on already, this is gonna get full of 20 pages of fanboi-he-said-she-said crap blah blah blah. Enough already.

Spend the time trying to help people who need it rather than trying to convince those that are not open minded.

Sheesh...........



Oh, and for the record Taco, a 3ghz C2D spanks a 3ghz AMD. It's a proven fact, I can point you to the article link here at THG. You should know better.......let's turn the page already.
May 6, 2007 4:08:14 AM

good point. seconded. STFU arguers! :evil: 

(holy cow! thats a real word! hahaha. i don't think i've ever said "arguers" before).
May 6, 2007 6:30:31 PM

I'm not convinced Wiz is trying to "convince" anyone. He's simply stating that if someone wants to get a kickA$$ system on the cheap, then it's possible. He also stated in his original post that people are free to change things, do retail, swap a PSU, whatever. He made no false claims otherwise.

Hell, someone could substitute in a Seasonic PSU and 8800GTX if they wanted. That wasn't the point. The point was that it's possible and this Guide tells how.

Similarly, it's possible to do a volt mod for a 4300. But that doesn't mean everyone should do it. And it doesn't mean they can't buy a 6600. It would simply mean a volt mod is possible for those that WANT to.

Same with this Guide, for those that WANT a cheap C2D that can overclock like a champ, then it's possible.

I think this debate has gone way beyond the point of reasonableness, it's also far past splitting hairs. Let's all accept the Guide for what it is, NOT what it isn't. And then let's move on to more important debates.

:roll:
May 6, 2007 9:39:14 PM

If you're talking about GHz, you can easily overclock Pentium D 805, which will easily hit 4-4.2GHz. 3GHz on C2D will outperform anything else offered by AMD.

Besides, didn't I state somewhere in my guide asking readers to "Use this as a guide to learn, and judge for yourself." I didn't ask people to follow my guide entirely.

All I'm trying to do is write a guide that would help people out, just like in the early days, when I needed help, instead of starting a thread in every forums asking what kind of budget parts I could go for a good, cheap, overclockable system. This is a single guide, or should I say, a guideline, to what you can potentially do with $450 bucks, if you have more money to burn off, hats off to you, but not everyone is as fortunate as you, to burn more money else where.

And stop arguing about the PSU already, I've already addressed that issue if you read through the whole guide, I said, that part is the only part that I had doubt over.

And you just mentioned 3GHz is nothing fantastic on E4300, but didn't you say that E4300 has problems achieving 3GHz on stock cooling?
May 6, 2007 11:54:12 PM

The temperature is in fact below Intel's specified max temperature of 61C. The PSU is running stable for now, and I have yet to see any problems with it.
Like I said, once I encounter problems with it, I'll let everyone know, and will warn everyone of it.
For now, 4 systems running on that PSU aren't giving any problems.
May 11, 2007 4:00:23 AM

Someone is interested in buying this system, so it's probably going to be sold next week.

I'll build a new system the week after.
June 24, 2007 4:57:23 AM

I would like to get wiz's advice on attempting a hassle free oc mechanism.

I am interested in getting a low fsb c2d
then upping the fsb in a motherboard which already supports the higher fsb.
and keeping as many settings stock as possible..
ex.
take a 200 fsb c2d and take it to 266 or 333fsb
or a 266 and take it to 333
with stock voltage/hsf
on a motherboard which is already rated for 266/333

Has anyone had any luck with this type of overclock?
I am mostly confused regarding straps and what not which people keep talking about. Will have to read up on it.

My idea is a cheap processor ( i am in germany)
110 euro for a e4300 or e4400 with 2mb cache 200 fsb
and take them up to 266 or 333
whatever my mobo will let me.
so maybe 1.8 * 1.33 or 1.8*1.66
or 2*1.33 or 2* 1.66
the key is I don't want to raise stock voltages too much... can I get away with it??

Do I need to get any special type of ram to pull this off?
Or will regular pc 800/667 do?

Haven't figured out the mobo yet.
2 options, cheap route = asrock core 4 around 54 euros here.
Other option i am Contemplating is a cheap p35 mobo (around 110 euros). That way its future proof so if/when I have more cash I can pop in the next generation core.
Another reason I want to keep the mobo around is I plan to buy an oem version of win vista 64 which will get tied up to the mobo!!

Posting this here , because Wiz seems to know what he is talking about
P.S good posts , like your basic build,
Price/performance = key.
though would make default=brand new parts and secondary=open box.
Minor beef, no big deal.
Especially since I cannot get the same open box parts/prices here in germany!
I'm trying to do 3 things price/performance/future proof. I would like to eventually upgrade to a quad core once I have enough cash. I have heard the prices for the quad core will come down to sub 266 by end of july.

Regards,
Raja
June 24, 2007 6:23:11 AM

rajak1981 - What is your current rig? Do you have any parts to keep?
June 24, 2007 7:04:49 AM

sheesh taco's give it up, stop bagging on the OP. he did a good post, the motherboard is good the psu bad everyone knows he can change that. Stop portraying the fanboy as rich said. :roll:
June 24, 2007 1:43:55 PM

I have got lots of parts right from the beginning

ultra old cards geforce 1/2/3 :) 
agp gfx cards, 6800 gt
pci e cards 7800 gt
one 7950 gt
might get an 8800 gt or something next.
1 gb pc 3200 ddr ram.

I am more interested in the oc part.
In fact I am planning to build 2-3 new pcs. I am going to be using these pcs for trading workstations.
my question is not about a full rig.
I am more interested in knowhing which c2d/mobo/chipset combo is best for oc with stock settings.
I would like to raise the bus from 200-333 or 200-266 without messing around too much with multipliers or voltages.

Would using a p35 chipset help? Considering its already rated for 333? So it shouldn't need more volts or extra cooling and shouldn't be a drag??

I am not looking for extreme performance yet just a minor improvement.
I'll do the extreme overclock with the core 2 quad or core 2 quad 45 nm later when they do come out at reasonable price points.
June 24, 2007 4:30:07 PM

RAM prices increase over the past few weeks.

Okay, updates anyway.

PSU still running good, the guy who bought the system is very happy with it, haven't rebooted the system for a while now according to him.

I attempted to build 2 more setups with similar rig, notice a couple problems.

Not all E4300 are capable of hitting that FSB, I got a setup that refuse to go above 322MHz FSB, and E4300's Vcore are very inconsistent, on some setups it can run perfectly fine below stock Vcore, some needs really high, as high as 1.4-1.5V to run 3GHz.

But then, all the setup I build on top of Super Talent modules are great. The 3GHz (9x333MHz) are running it on 1:1 CL4 (4-4-4-11/12) timing, and even tried running 266MHz at CL3 (3-3-3-8/9) timing, and passed memtest for over 36 hours. So, I still highly recommend these modules.

That cheap PSU is on 4 systems now, none failed so far, maybe the system is not putting enough stress on the PSU at the moment.

Anyway, after since I discover the inconsistencies in E4300, I'd highly recommend E6300/6320 over E4300, although it costs more, but I've yet to encounter any of those that wouldn't hit beyond 3GHz on stock HSF.

And by the way, eWiz had the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro going for $19.95 free shipping, don't know if they still have the deal.
June 24, 2007 4:32:35 PM

And oh, by the way, I've read it on other forums that some E4300 has a FSB wall, and it could be easily countered by BSEL MOD, there are 266MHz (1066) and 333MHz (1333) BSEL MODS, that are pretty easy to perform, although I haven't tried it yet, I will give it a try when I have the time to rip everything apart.
June 24, 2007 7:09:07 PM

Looking for max bang for the buck
code speed bus cache price mult new bus overclock
e6700 2670 1066 4 290 10 333 3336
e6600 2400 1066 4 209 9 333 2999
e6400 2130 1066 2 169 8 333 2662
e6420 2130 1066 4 174 8 333 2662
e4400 2000 800 2 124 10 333 3330
e4300 1800 800 2 124 9 333 2997
e6320 1860 1066 4 149 7 333 2324
q6600 2400 1066 8 490 9 333 2999
e6850 3000 1333 4 304 9 333 2998
e6750 2670 1333 4 221 8 333 2668
e6550 2330 1333 4 193 7 333 2328


Wiz can you please rank these processors in order of their ability to hit a higher bus speed without a new hsf. and preferably without overvolting.
Basically I am interested in knowing if intel is selling us some hidden gems :) .
Can you also tell me whether there is any significant difference in stock hsf which comes with all these different processors?

I wouldn't want to buy such a slow core that it comes with a stock hsf that is half the quality of the higher end c2d.
For instance if it is true that we can take a 6300 @ 266 (which costs 150) to 333 fsb without significantly overvolting then we effectively have a e6550 which costs 193..
If we do the same for a 6400 (cost 169 here in germany)
it goes and becomes 6750 which costs 221 here.
and finally if we can overclock the e6600 it goes from being a 2.4ghz 209 euro processor to a e6850 which is a 3ghz 304 euro processor :) 
Also another nice thing about the q6600 would be that even if I get stuck at stock 2.4 ghz its not too slow a cpu :D . I could live with it.
I am not too interested in overvolting to start off the overclock.
If intel's binning process is efficient then there really should be no such easy overclocks for people like me. If however intel is churning out higher quality cores then maybe there is room for a free overclock.

Kindly reccomend the best pick among these candidates
Reward = gain in $ (if chip overclocks to higher level)
risk= cpu dies?? but the risk is only there if we significantly overvolt?
I suspect without overvolting the risk to the processor would be very near 0?

Basically I am looking for an expert to rank the outcomes in order of probability.
I do know that if we were to do something simple like just raising the fsb it would be one of the easiest overclocks.
I remember doing something like this with old celerons a very very long time ago.

Regards,
Raja
June 24, 2007 8:45:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:
CPU: Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale (Retail Box with HSF) - $117

As this is the cheapest C2D available on the market, and a proven great overclocker, I chose this processor. These Allendale cores has a 2MB L2 cache, instead of the 4MB on other higher end Conroe models. But benchmarks have proven the 2MB in cache differences only accumulate up to a mere 2-3% increase in performance, which I personally think doesn't do any justice for the price difference.

Not true as the E2140 is cheaper at around $81. Its a 1MB C2D that doesnt perform as well at the same clocks as the 2 and 4MB versions. The E2140 does require 3.1~3.2GHz to match the performance of the X6800.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium-e2...
I hear it can OC to 3.6GHz on air.
http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-2250-view-Pentium-e21...
June 24, 2007 10:35:34 PM

I can't tell which overclocks best, because I build only systems that are best bang for the bucks. People around this forums, and people in real life that I know, know me very well that I build cheap systems, and overclock every single juice out of them. So far, I could only tell for E4300, E6300, E6320. Anyway, E6300/E6320 are more consistent in terms of overclocking, because it has soldered IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader).

As for the cheapest C2D, at the time this guide was written, E4300 was the cheapest on the market. I don't know how well the E2xxx overclock, but I may soon build a system based on that.
!