Saturday, May 05, 2007

Article: The Journey with Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320, The Last Ditch Effort for 100% overclock (Part IV)

Being the fourth and final installment of the article, I will share my benchmarks and notes about my attempt to bring this processor to new overclocking heights on air. If you haven't read up on it yet, make sure to check out the previous installments here (3rd), then here (2nd), and first installment here. Expand to read the continuation...

The 500MHz wall has been breached already, and at this kind of overclocking, there's no other way but up. The motherboard, processor, and memory are all operating way beyond their stock settings, and at the brink of hitting the wall. But this is not an excuse to stop, as I have stated from the start that I will push the processor farther than my earlier attempt. I am now focusing my attention of breaching 100% overclock. It's daunting to say the least, unless I use better aftermarket cooling device, this is looking more and more impossible. As much as I am a chicken in overclocking, I have just got to try it this time.

::Overclocking and Benchmarking Notes::
Reaching for 100% overclock is certainly not easy, specially with a freaky ambient temperature of 36c, an old unlapped overused Thermalright* XP-90, unmodded Asus* {5B Deluxe and a mere OCZ* DDR2-800MHz Platinum Rev2 memory. The processor and motherboard chipset are both overclocked at ~95% while the memory hits a good 30% overclock at CL5-5-5-15. The processor needed massive voltage of 1.6v just to make it post at 532MHz. After tweaking other settings, 100% overclock is breached! Click on the image for the validation.

However, at 100% overclock, I can't complete any kind of 3D benchmarks save for Aquamark 3, only 2D benchmarks are working fine. After several tweaking hours, like lowering the multi and loosening RAM timing, or bumping the NB and SB voltage, I gave up and pushed down the overclock to just 520MHz. At this clock speed, it is rock solid, and no benchmark can bring it to a halt. I have added a link to FutureMark ORB for all the 3D benchmarks run as well as PCMark05 for comparison and proof of testament to its rock stability. Click on any of the 3DMark and PCMark05 benchmark to visit the ORB compare link.

Doom3: Low Quality-640x480

3DMark Benchmarks:
3DMark01: Overall

3DMark03: CPU

3DMark05: CPU

3DMark06: CPU

Aquamark03: CPU

Multimedia/Multitasking/Multithreading Benchmarks:
Cinebench: Render Score

Cinebench: Render Time

PCMark05: Overall


SANDRA: Multimedia

wPrime: 32M

SuperPi: 1M

Memory Benchmarks:
SANDRA: RAM Bandwidth



::Concluding Thoughts on Overclocking Experience::With this final installment, it is clear that the new breed of processor, Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320, is overclocking nicely compared to its younger brother Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300. The additional 2MB of L2 cache didn't pose any threat to overclockability, but instead helped boost scores by a noticeable margin when benchmarking.

While I am not able to find the maximum clock frequency that the processor can achieve due to limitation, I am quite sure that enthusiats who have more money to burn for better cooling, memory, and motherboard can achieve much higher. Given the problems I encountered with overclocking, I can only conclude that the motherboard and temperature are the two primary culprits that has prevented me from reaching rock stability with 100% overclock.

The Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320 is an overclocking king like the original Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300, FSB wise and clock frequency wise. Till next, I hope you have enjoyed reading and learning from this article like I have enjoyed testing and tweaking it. FanBoy out...

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