Even with the power of the AMD Athlon X2 and Intel Extreme Edition processors, we still find ourselves hitting a CPU limitation in a lot of our benchmarks. That is, the graphics cards have more performance to give but the processor is letting the team down.
By overclocking the processor we can see what kind of a performance increase we get. When something isn't CPU limited the performance increase isn't all that major but when we do have a CPU bottleneck, every MHz extra we can get can show us an excellent jump in performance.
The Athlon FX-60 was increased from 2.6GHz to 2.9GHz with a slight increase in the front side bus utilizing the stock X2 heatsink fan.
While we easily got the processor up to 2.9GHz, you can see that it gives a very little performance increase in 3DMark03.
3DMark05 which is more intensive then 03 begins to see a greater increase in performance when comparing the stock speed and the overclocked speed.
With 06 again being an intensive benchmark it really sees a bump in performance for both the low and high resolution when it comes to overclocking the processor.
Finally we leave with a real world benchmark and the CPU overclock giving us a serious performance increase.