Contingent Power. . .

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A few people are starting to say that the C1 steppings aren’t very good.

I think this is a matter of unrealistic expectations and unwise overclocking purchase decisions than anything else, so I want to make clear what you can and cannot reasonably expect from these chips.

The pattern I’m seeing from databases and forums is that most of C1 stepping chips get to 3GHz relatively easily, and not much more than that. It looks like anything above 3.2GHz short of extreme measures is a “lucky chip.”

This is about what I expected.

Some people seem to be expecting 3.5-4 GHz after they lay out big money for a very high end PIV, and when they don’t get it, they say it stinks.

I’ve seen people buy a 2.8GHz and complain that they didn’t get a GHz overclock out of it. That’s just crazy.

If you aren’t going to be happy with “just” 3GHz; don’t buy these things. If you want 3.5-4GHz, you might get 3.5GHz from a further tweaked Northwood next spring, but realistically, 3.5-4GHz will probably have to wait for Prescott.

What is going to be so good about the C1 stepping is that you’ll be able to get a large percentage overclock from a cheap 1.8GHz chip, not a large percentage overclock from any C1 stepping chip.

A few have questioned whether or not we’re ever going to see such a thing as a C1 stepping 1.8A since Intel didn’t list one in one of their spec updates.

First, Intel doesn’t list processors as soon as they decide they’re going to make them. A processor isn’t even up to be listed until Intel is actually making (and usually shipping) them.

We know about them before they’re listed because Intel will first announce (some) new chips in what is called a Product Change Notification. Processors mentioned in the PCN don’t get added to Intel’s website lists until later.

Second, Intel has multiple lists on their website. They have the Processor Spec Finder and the Specification Update lists.

Third, Intel doesn’t continually update at least some of the lists. They only update the Specification Update list about once a month. The next update will be November 14.

Fourth, Intel’s lists aren’t kept up or coordinated very well. You often find processors on some lists, but not others. For instance, one of the 1.8A C1 CPUs, the SL6LA, is listed in the Specification Update, but not the Processor Spec Finder. The SL5E7 (which a C1 2GHz chip) is listed in the Processor Spec Finder but not the Specification Update.

All together, this makes collecting sspecs for a particular stepping a bit of a task. Even when you look through all these places, occasionally one slips through the cracks and pops up out of the blue.

Here’s the best list we have as of the moment:

C1

Ed

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