Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you will might be able to get.
With stock BIOS settings, the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 runs with a 266MHz bus speed and has a 9.5 multiplier that are used to reach the final core clock of 2.53GHz. As you can see above, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard FSB runs at 267.3MHz, so right out of the box we were running slighty higher than this at 2.54GHz. Let’s start off by overclocking without adjusting any voltages to see what the E7200 dual-core processor can do out of the box.
The ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard BIOS is very simple to use and to see what the processor could do with default settings we just had to increase the ‘FSB Frequency’ setting from 266MHz to 333MHz. Just by making this one adjustment the board really picks up some speed and you can feel it when using applications.
The Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 operates with a 1066MHz quad-pumped front side bus speed, which is fast, but Intel has already released 1333MHz and 1600MHz FSB processors. Just for fun we changed the bus speed from 266MHz to 333MHz and the system was stable and solid. This basically overclocked it up to Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 clock speeds, but remember the processor has less cache. By increasing the FSB to 333MHz we could now run the DDR3 memory at 1333MHz versus the previous speed of 1066MHz. It also allowed for the overall click frequency to increase from 2.54GHz to 3.17GHz. Not bad for leaving everything in the BIOS on ‘Auto’ other than the Front Side Bus Frequency!
While a 1333MHz quad-pumped front side bus speed is nice it would be really nice to reach 1600MHz, which is what Intel offers on their flagship processors. It was possible to reach a bus speed of 400MHz, but we had to throw some series voltage (1.5V) at the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 to be able to reach these speeds. Now that a 400MHz bus speed was reached the overall click frequency to increase from 2.54GHz to 3.80GHz. This is a 50% overclock!
The highest overclock reached was at 1.55V and it was at just 406MHz. It looks like our hopes of breaking 4GHz have been dashed for the time being, but this is 51.9% higher than what we started with. Overclocking varies from processor to processor and will void your warranty, so no complaints on this nice speed boost. We did drop the multiplier down to 6 and increase the bus speed, but we were only able to reach 450MHz with stability.
When it comes to benchmarks, the overclocked Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 was running nearly identical to the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500. This makes sense as both processors use the same divider and only really differ with the amount of cache that they offer. This benchmark obviously didn’t make use of the extra cache and as a result the processors ran at nearly the same performance levels when the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 was overclocked. The overclocking helped the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 become more than a minute quicker and was nearly 34% faster than stock settings.