Conclusion: The 4.1 GHz Dual Core Delivers Peak Performance For Pocket Change
Those who first break this bit of news to their circles of friends can count on some surprised looks - in fact, they might even find their credibility getting questioned! But it is true: a cheap CPU that costs $130 outperforms the fastest processors from AMD (Athlon 64 FX-60) and Intel (Pentium Extreme Edition 965), each of which costs over $1,000.
We bought an Intel Pentium D 805 from a local retail outlet and overclocked it up to 4.1 GHz, even though this part runs by default at just 2.66 GHz. This represents a heretofore unattained clock rate increase of just over 54 %, for which only some additional cooling is required. The secret is in the FSB clock rate, which is raised from 133 MHz to over 200 MHz; the system remains completely stable, because modern motherboards with Intel 9xx chipsets are laid out to handle FSB clock rates of up to 266 MHz. In language that overclocking enthusiasts will love to hear, the Pentium D 805 ascends to the throne as the new King of overclocking, knocking out the AMD Opteron 144.
Here's how the system looks after being reworked: a pumped-up Pentium D 805 outperforms the flagship processors from AMD and Intel that cost more than $1,000. Talk about an investment with an immediate payback!
A short while ago we tested Intel's latest flagship processor, the Pentium EE 965 (Extreme Edition), which costs nearly $1,100 at retail outlets. Even this CPU, which still isn't available at too many locations, has to surrender first place to this stealth candidate. Things look the same for the top-of-the-line AMD processor, the Athlon 64 FX-60, which also fell behind in most of our benchmarking categories.