A 4.1 GHz Dual Core at $130 - Can it be True?

Conclusion, Continued

Our comprehensive benchmarks show that an extremely overclocked Pentium D attains the best performance numbers for nearly every area of activity, including video editing and decoding, audio encoding, office applications, photo retouching and various 3D games. The Pentium D 805 also leads in the multi-tasking arena, where multiple applications execute in parallel. Those who work with complex filters and effects in Adobe PhotoShop CS2 or who use Pinnacle Studio Plus 10 for HD video editing and related rendering and encoding work will also find that this budget $130 CPU is best for their needs. Even gamers can unpack this secret weapon at their next LAN party, without others recognizing that they've got a monster inside their PC case. In any event, the results of doubling the CPU clock rate should earn them some respect!

What a view! Windows shows a CPU clock rate of 4.1 GHz. Marks of respect at LAN parties and in your circle of friend should soon follow the acquisition of one of these babies. Right now, nobody offers more capability, either!

In conclusion, we want to say that it's probably wise to also consider the risks with regard to this project. First and foremost, power consumption increases in direct proportion to clock rate: at 4.1 GHz, a fully-loaded system measures out at 210 W, more than twice the nominal specification for this CPU, which Intel pegs at 95 W. High current consumption of 125 A (!) also commands respect, and contributes to high heat output from the switching regulator. That's why we strongly recommend purchase of a high-end CPU cooler and a supplementary fan. Nevertheless, the CPU isn't subject to damage from overheating, thanks to "Thermal Monitor 2", which means overheating leads to clock rate throttling rather than device failure. That's also why the CPU core voltage should be raised only within limits, and more than 1.7 V is decidedly unwise.

Those who find themselves thinking of a new system project as a result of this story should probably get going quickly. The $130 or so a Pentium D 805 will cost you is money well spent in any case. Those who switch away from AMD will also have to spring for a new motherboard (at least $130 for a suitably equipped model) along with 1 GB of quality DDR2 RAM (at least $100). The joy of (re)building such a system adds nothing to the cost, however. For die-hard AMD fans this will mean a change of sides, and possibly politics. But hey, why not, if the results are worthwhile?

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Tom's Hardware News Team

Tom's Hardware's dedicated news crew consists of both freelancers and staff with decades of experience reporting on the latest developments in CPUs, GPUs, super computing, Raspberry Pis and more.

  • Tnias
    I am quite interested in your post regarding the D 805. Considering that it is now available for around $60.00 (03/20/09), it still sounds like a steal. We just upgraded our Adobe CS2 software to the new CS4 Master Suite, which caused the need for a graphics card upgrade. We have an nVidia GeForce GTX 260, but haven't installed it because our computer is a HP Media Center PCm7350n computers each with a 2.8 GHz CPU on a ASUS P5LP-LE mobo. Your article seemed to imply that there is software available that might adjust the clock from inside windows and we are wondering if it can on that mobo or if we will have to get a different mobo. If so, we are wondering what might be our most cost effective but stable options. We are certainly going to need a new power supply for the GTX 260, which requires 525 Watts. We are looking at just putting in PC Power & Cooling’s, Silencer 610 EPS12V power supplyand letting it go at that, but we are also thinking about upgrading the CPU and mobo if necessary.

    Of course, we would like to keep the cost down as much as possible.

    We have no idea where the best bang for the buck will be. For us a stable system is more important than blazing speed. Thus, the HP's worked fine for what we originally got them for; it’s just that our graphics and video production software are forcing upgrades in speed and power.

    The D850 chip sounds incredible and the power supply we already have to get will handle overclocking that chip. It even sounds like that chip will work in the existing mobo if we can find a way to change the clock speed from inside windows instead of from the BIOS. HP BIOS does not allow adjusting the clock speed in the BIOS but can't BIOS just be changed as well; isn't it just an EPROM?

    Anyway, even if we opt for changing out the mobo for another case compatible Asus mobo, we still have to answer the question of which board and chip combination will give us the most stable service for the least cost.

    Any ideas that might help us plan the most appropriate upgrade and the least cost?
  • amnotanoobie
    TniasAny ideas that might help us plan the most appropriate upgrade and the least cost?
    With the price of components that you need to make this run stable, and the amount of electricity that this would use, a cheap Core 2 and motherboard and DDR2 memory would cost you less in the long run.


    Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200
    Kingston DDR2 2x2GB 800MHz
    Gigabyte G31M-ES2C

    This should cost less than $200.
  • salh
  • smeezekitty
    4 year old thread!
  • salh
    11206355 said:
    4 year old thread!

    no hate pl0x