Earlier this month I was able to write up an article on overclocking the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ AM2 processor using both air cooling and water cooling with promising results and now I have gotten the chance to do the same on the Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 processor. Overclocking the E6300 and 4200+ AM2 both proved to be easy and fun experiences, but I have to admit that overclocking the AMD processor was simpler. I didn’t have to do any mods to the motherboard and make a trip to Radio Shack, but hey what fun is overclocking something if you don’t have to work for it?
It’s clear that the Intel Core 2 processors are the fastest processors out on the market and paired with the right motherboard and cooling solution these can be insane overclockers also. The Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 will set you back $193 and the Corsair Nautilus 500 we used to cool it is another $149.99, so to hit an overclock 24/7 like this you’ll have to invest in a decent cooling solution to keep everything nice and happy inside your case. Our testing also showed that the XFX GeForce 7600GS graphics card was limiting our graphics performance at resolutions of 1280×1024 and higher with no AA or AF enabled. Turn on that eye candy at 1024×768 and we were GPU bound once again. We wanted to run a 7600GS as it’s a mainstream card and to help so that if overclocking is something you want to try in the future a mainstream card isn’t going to hack it in the real world.
Those with a sharp eye might notice that we used an Engineering Sample processor in this article, but we also have retail boxed processors here that perform EXACTLY the same. We actually tried our E6300 processors on three different Intel D975XBX ‘Bad Axe’ motherboards using both retail and our ES processors with all of them reaching a maximum overclock of around 44-46%. We actually used the slowest of the group for this article as we didn’t want to lead people on and that just happened to be an ES processor.
Well that wraps up another article that was fun to work on from our perspective. It’s always fun to put away the X6800 processor and X1950 Crossfire graphics cards and get out the mainstream hardware that our readers actually use and see what it can do. Sure our system was GPU limited on some of the game benchmarks and we could have used lower memory timings, but that wasn’t the point of this article. We wanted what the average joe runs and for many that’s roughly $150 graphics cards, $200 processors, and mainstream CL4 memory.
Legit Bottom Line: With proper cooling the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 with the Conroe core is very overclockable and can be had for roughly $193 shipped.