500 MHz FSB? Core 2 Duo Overtakes Core 2 Extreme

The Candidate: Core 2 Duo E6300

Only three months ago, we overclocked a Core 2 Duo E6400 from 2.13 GHz to 3.33 GHz by raising the FSB speed from 266 MHz to 415 MHz. Tom Soderstrom increased the core voltage to 1.5 V to make the system run reliably ; more system clock speed would have been possible, but the processor hit its limits.

Using the Core 2 Duo E6300 instead of the E6400 saves you $30, and we also recommend sticking with the default cooler that comes with the CPU. In our E6400 overclocking project we used a liquid cooling solution to provide maximum cooling for the processor, but the E6300 that we bought proved to be an even better overclocker, and doesn’t require sophisticated cooling measures. The answer likely lies in the processor stepping : the E6400 sample was an F5 stepping, while the current versions are F6.

Test Setup

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System Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E6300 (Conroe 65 nm, 1.86 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache)
MotherboardGigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 2.0Chipset : Intel 965P, BIOS : F8
Common Hardware
RAM I2x 1024 MB DDR2-1111 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)Corsair CM2X1024-8888C4D XMS6403v1.1
RAM II2x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 3.0-4-3-9)Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 XMS6403v1.1
Graphics CardHIS X1900XTX IceQ3GPU : ATI Radeon X1900XTX (650 MHz)RAM : 512 MB GDDR3 (1550 MHz)
Hard Drive I (read)1x 150 GB 10,000 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/300Western Digital WD1500ADFD
Hard Drive II (write)1x 150 GB 10,000 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/300Western Digital WD1500ADFD
DVD-ROMGigabyte GO-D1600C (16x)
ATI GraphicsCatalyst Suite 6.11
Intel ChipsetSoftware Installation Utility
Nvidia nForce 680i SeriesForceware 9.53
DirectXVersion : 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OSWindows XP, Build 2600 SP2

Test Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6

We used Gigabyte’s GA-965P-DQ6, which proved to be an excellent overclocker in our last P965 motherboard roundup.