Intel P3 450 – Next Great Overclocking Chip?

I know is listing less expensive CPU’s in the CPU Databases, but seeing that in the near future that P3 450s will drop in price to $248 in lots of 1000 and SSE will be needed in some games, I thought you would be interested in my experience at overclocking my P3 450:

The P3 450 has a 4 ns L2 cache, the same as for the P3 500 and 550. After a lot of experimentation I believe that the maximum speed that a 4 ns cache can attain is 292 Mhz. Here are the results for my CPU:

P3 450 99070833-Q219 Malay SL3CC

The memory I’m using is Corsair BX CAS 2, 128 MB, on an ABIT BX6 Rev 2 motherboard. No additional cooling was needed at all bus speeds.

4.5 x 103 = 464
4.5 x 112 = 504
4.5 x 117 = 527 – 2.1 volts required, PCI bus @ ¼, L2 cache speed 263 MHz
4.5 x 124 = 558 – 2.1 volts required, PCI bus @ ¼, L2 cache speed 279 MHz
4.5 x 129 = 580 – 2.1 volts required, PCI bus @ ¼, L2 cache speed 290 MHz
4.5 x 133 = 599 – Failed at Windows start screen at all voltages

I have been running this CPU at 580 now for over two days with no lock ups at all. I don’t have a temperature probe for the CPU but my motherboard reports a system temp of 89 degrees F. I believe that a 450 P3 will overclock to at least 560 every time. This is a considerable advantage considering the SSE extensions. I have included three benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 99, Mark 99 Max and Wintune 98.

I also believe the P3 550 which is due out soon will be the first CPU that will not overclock without commercial cooling. Because of multiplier locks on Intel’s CPUs, the P3 450 is the most overclocking-friendly and may actually clock higher than a P3 500. It has been reported on SharkyExtreme and Firing Squad that their P3 500s wouldn’t reach 585, so the maximums for the 3 CPU’s theoretically would be:

P3 450 580MHz 4.5 @ 129MHz
P3 500 560MHz 5.0 @ 112MHz
P3 550 566Mhz 5.5 @ 103Mhz

Ed Downing

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