Intel Dual Core Processor Specs - Finding the "Gold"

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Best bang for the buck – E2160, E2180, E4300, E6400 and E6600 – Joe

SUMMARY: Best bang for the buck – E2160, E2180, E4300, E6400 and E6600.

The purpose of this article is to take a look at Intel’s Processor Datasheets and discern what might be possible overclocking targets for different CPU series. The approach I’m taking is not to look for extreme overclocks, but rather what to expect with pad modding CPUs to run at stable speeds with standard cooling on motherboards that lack changing FSB settings in BIOS.

The “E” series dual core and subsequent processors are the subject of this article. The first clue as to what to expect from the “E” series was found in the Pentium D dual core datasheets. These CPUs were Intel’s first desktop dual core CPUs using the LGA775 mount.

One indicator of what might be possible is to take a look at the FSB Frequencies in the Intel Datasheets:



From this we speeds ranging from 2.4 to 5 GHz. Actual production CPUs topped out at 3.73 GHz.

Intel Pentium Extreme Series



Pentium D Series



Dual Core Processor Specs – “E” Series and Later

“E” Series overclocking turned out to be an easy overclock, not surprising considering the predecessor “D” series. The basic strategy I’m pursuing here is to identify easy, stable overclocking of low speed CPUs. One approach as to determining where a CPU Series might top out is to look at speeds in the preceding series. Based on the “D” series, it looks like 3.60 GHz is the extreme for the “E” series – back this off by 10-15% and we get 3 to 3.2 as an upper bound.

Another approach is to double the speed of the lowest CPU in a series – the E2140 came out at 1.6 GHz and doubling gets to 3.2 GHz; not a bad target! More likely back that off by about 10-15% for an overclock with stock cooling.

Intel’s FSB Frequencies range from 1.2 to 2.4 GHz based on the datasheet:



The “E” Series FSB is 200 MHz; this means that pad modding a low speed, low cost CPU to 266 or 333 MHz could hit something like 3 GHz with stock cooling.



A good candidate is the E2160 series; with a multiple of 9 (9 x 200 MHz = 1.8 GHz), CPU speeds of 9 x 266 = 2.4 GHz and 9 x 333 = 3.0 GHz are reasonable overclocks without going to extreme cooling or increasing CPU voltage. The E2180 is also possible for an easy 10 x 266 = 2.67 GHz, but I think 3.33 GHz may be a bridge too far for stock cooling.

E2000 series “chip of choice” – E2160 and E2180

Core 2 Duo Possibilities

E4000, 6000 and 8000 Series CPUs come in a wide array of frequencies, ranging from 1.2 GHz to 5 GHz.





The E4000 series started out at 1.8 GHz – double that to 3.6 GHz, back off a touch and something like 3.0 to 3.2 GHz looks like a good target. The E6000 Series started out at 1.86 GHz double and back off gets to about 3.0 – 3.2 GHz as well. The E8200 Series starts out at 2.66 GHz – same rule gets to 4.5 to 4.8 GHz.

However, for pad modding the CPU, the E8000 series pad modding is only viable with a motherboard that will support 1600 MHz. The E6000 Series features a 266 and 333 MHz FSBs and the E4000 Series 200 MHz. The latter two series have more interesting options given their lower frequencies.

The E4300 looks like a great way to get a super overclock. With a 9 multiple, pad modding to 333 MHz gets to 3.0 GHz – not a stretch for this CPU. The E6300 starts at 1.86 GHz @ 266 MHz. With a 7 multiple, the best would be 7 x 400 (assuming the motherboard will support 400 MHz). A better CPU for an easy but high overclock would be either the E6400 or E6600 – the higher multiples (8 and 9 respectively); these would yield 2.7 and 3.0 GHz without any cooling or voltage mods with motherboards supporting 333 MHz FSB.



“Chips of Choice” – E4300, E6400 and E6600


Intel dual core CPUs are great overclockers, especially for PCs with motherboards that lack overclocking settings, typical of systems from the likes of Dell, HP, etc. Pad-Modding CPUs in these PCs may turn a poky budget box into something with a little more punch at almost no cost.

See Intel LGA775 Pad Modding for a pad-modding How-To.

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