Overclocking: Dual- vs. Quad-Core CPUs

Overclocking II - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.20 GHz

We continue to push for higher clock speeds. Next, the processor hit the 3.20 GHz mark, albeit at a much higher core voltage than its dual-core counterpart. To reach this frequency, we had to increase the voltage by a full 0.100 V to enable it to complete the Prime95 test without issue on a front-side bus of 356 MHz (1424 QDR).

Q6600 at 3.20 GHz

Along with the clock speed, the memory frequency increases to DDR2-854 (427 MHz), while still running at a latency of CL 4.0-4-4-12. That such a dramatically increased core voltage is needed to achieve this speed is due to the Q6600's design, which uses two dual-core chips. Here, the probability that one of the two cores has lower overclocking potential is twice as high, even though both of the dual-core parts inside use the G0 stepping. Also, two dual-cores dissipate twice as much heat, which in return results in a higher CPU temperature, leading to a higher risk of instability.

DDR2-854 is child's play for our GEIL memory

Still smooth sailing in Prime95 at 3.20 GHz

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Core 2 Quad Q6600 @3.20 GHz
CPU Frequency3.20 GHz (+33.3%)
FSB356 MHz (1424 QDR)
Core Voltage1,4125 Volt
Memory Multiplier2.40x
Memory FrequencyDDR2-854 (427 MHz)
Memory LatencyCL 4.0-4-4-12
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