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Overclocking Intel Core 2 Processors - How far will they go? - About Core 2 Processors

By: Cameron Johnson | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 29, 2006 4:00 am

About Core 2 Processors



Before we get into the specifics of the benchmarks let's first take a look at the two contenders for today's overclocking tests. First off we have the flagship of the Intel fleet, the Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800.


Core 2 Extreme processors are set to take the place of the Pentium Extreme Edition.


Core 2 Extreme supports a FSB standard of 266MHz QDR which works out to be 1066MHz. All Core 2 series processors are Dual Core with a shared Level 2 cache which Intel calls Smart Cache. Rather than having separate caches for the two cores, a larger single cache is used for both cores. This allows for both cores to access the same data in L2 cache rather than having to copy the same data onto two separate caches which increases latency and reduces the overall system performance.


Core 2 Extreme and E6700 and E6600 processors all have a 4MB cache. The major features distinguishing the Core 2 Extreme from the Core 2 Duo are firstly a slightly higher core speed and multiplier manipulation. The multiplier manipulation allows you to change CPU rations (only on X6800 Extreme) from as low at 6x all the way to whatever the board will let you go to. While Core 2 Duo allows you to go down to a multiplier of 6x, you can't select any other multipliers other than the CPU default - for example, E6600 is 9 x 266.


Core 2 Duo is the mainstream CPU in the Core architecture. It's set to replace the Pentium D series CPU which will soon be phased out of the Intel line up. Core 2 Duo runs on the same 266MHz QDR bus. Mobile notebook versions of the Core 2 Duo series processors run on a 166MHz QDR bus which gives you 667MHz. The major differenced between the Desktop and Mobile versions are the socket, FSB and energy efficiency ratings. Core 2 Duo come with the same Smart Cache system as the Core 2 Extreme but the sizes vary between 2MB and 4MB depending on the model.


Core 2 Duo series and Core 2 Extreme use the same LGA775 socket that the Pentium Extreme and Pentium D used, however, unless your board has the latest RVM specifications, you're not going to be able to run these processors on your older motherboard.


Intel 975X, P965 series and the upcoming value 946 series chipsets all have the thumbs up from Intel to support Core 2 series CPU. In fact any chipset for Intel that supports the 266MHz FSB can run Core 2 CPU's with the right voltage regulation system.


Soon we'll see nVidia come out with their nForce5 Intel Edition chipset followed about a month later by ATI's RD600 CrossFire Xpress 3200 Intel Edition chipset. Some motherboard companies are still intending on creating motherboards based on this chipset but considering the merger talks between AMD and ATI, it did put a bit of a "hammer in the works" and set things back for this very promising chipset from ATI.

Intel Core 2 Extreme, 2.93GHz


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