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Overclocking Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600

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zhangmaster12 25th July 2007, 20:52 Quote
i dont get the buy joe a pony part -_-
KMS-oul 25th July 2007, 21:17 Quote
Very very good article. Cant wait till my water cooling kit and my cpu arrives.
Geektechnica 25th July 2007, 21:40 Quote
This is very encouraging. I'm putting together a Q6600 system with an Abit IN9 32X-MAX board and water cooling. My plans were for a modest and stable overclock of about 3.0Ghz. Judging by the results here I might bump that up to 3.2GHz or so. Even with watercooling I'd rather keep a step or two back from the "bleeding edge." ;)
Tulatin 25th July 2007, 21:41 Quote
Want stability? Lower the GTLREF, or NB Reference Ratio, i believe it is. .603 should do you well.
craigotech 25th July 2007, 21:42 Quote
Any chance of overclocking and testing your Q6600 with an Asus Commando? I really don't want to buy a new board until the X38 and next gen nVidia boards come out in the fall but $266 for 3.2GHz Quad Core goodness is hard to pass up!
poenanie 25th July 2007, 22:48 Quote
I'm having a hard time waiting to ensure myself a G0 stepping atm , I hope they'll be quite "mainstream" in about 10 days .

I'm gonna oc this one with a thermalright ultra 120 extreme with a scythe 1600rpm fan , i might post my results once i'm done with it ^^
Dogers 25th July 2007, 23:30 Quote
I think I'm missing something here? :o
Isn't PC2-8000 memory rated at 1066MHz usually? In the test setup it was stated to be running at 800Mhz, yet CPU-Z shows it running at ~360MHz quad pumped, making it ~1500MHz?! :?

I've been AMD a while, so not really paid attention to how recent (well.. :) ) Intel's work :o
chrisb2e9 25th July 2007, 23:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by moshpit
I have to say, it was a great review up until the Supreme Commander test. I'm SOOOOOO sick of people using the built-in test and thinking that's how you should test quad core support in that game. WRONG! The game makes use of extra cores ONLY if there's enough AI ingame to push the extra cores, and the in-built test only uses 2 AI's. Without a FRAPS test using at least 6 AI's (prefererably 7, the maximum number of AI's a skirmish can use) you'll never see more then the second core at work.

I've seen this game work all 4 cores of a Q6600. It takes one hour of gameplay with the 7 AI's and by the end of that hour all 4 cores are at variously busy levels. BUT! That means the person running the test has to stay alive for that time and be a good enough player against 7 AI's all trying to kill each other and you. If you try this on the stock Supreme Commander .exe without the >2Gb fix added to the .exe, the game will still become unplayable even with all 4 cores churning. This scenario can only be tested properly with the >2G exe fix, 4 cores, and 4Gb of ram. Without those 3 things in place, forget trying to run that scenario and forget trying to find out what games of the future will really need.

thanks for pointing that out. I used to support the e6850 based on the fact that in reviews it would outperform the q6600 in supream commander. but now that I have read what you said I understand why.
Jodiuh 26th July 2007, 00:36 Quote
It's def got "I'm a power user" written all over it, but for my current needs, a quad's just overkill right now. Games, light av encoding, etc...that's all fine w/ a C2D around 3.3Ghz. Does anyone have any other real world apps they're seeing improvements in on a quad?
Tim S 26th July 2007, 00:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by moshpit
I have to say, it was a great review up until the Supreme Commander test. I'm SOOOOOO sick of people using the built-in test and thinking that's how you should test quad core support in that game. WRONG! The game makes use of extra cores ONLY if there's enough AI ingame to push the extra cores, and the in-built test only uses 2 AI's. Without a FRAPS test using at least 6 AI's (prefererably 7, the maximum number of AI's a skirmish can use) you'll never see more then the second core at work.

I've seen this game work all 4 cores of a Q6600. It takes one hour of gameplay with the 7 AI's and by the end of that hour all 4 cores are at variously busy levels. BUT! That means the person running the test has to stay alive for that time and be a good enough player against 7 AI's all trying to kill each other and you. If you try this on the stock Supreme Commander .exe without the >2Gb fix added to the .exe, the game will still become unplayable even with all 4 cores churning. This scenario can only be tested properly with the >2G exe fix, 4 cores, and 4Gb of ram. Without those 3 things in place, forget trying to run that scenario and forget trying to find out what games of the future will really need.

Thanks for your feedback and although I agree with the principles behind what you're saying, it's unfortunately beyond the realms of practicality. :(

One hour per CPU, 14 CPUs is at least 14 hours just to benchmark SupCom once - I wouldn't ever run with numbers that I've only run once, as there is no guarantee that they're accurate. Thus, we can multiply by at least three (potentially more if I "die" during a benchmark run) meaning at least 42 hours of benchmarking Supreme Commander.

To put that into perspective, I could run around 6 CPUs through the whole of our current CPU benchmarking suite in the same amount of time. :)
zero0ne 26th July 2007, 04:46 Quote
not sure Tim, But my guess is you can automate and change the perftest if you wanted to.

May be something to look into over at the SupCom forums for future benchmarking on Quad Cores.
exilim2040 26th July 2007, 05:25 Quote
AWWWWWWWW n i just went n got an E6850! Anyone know how that overclocks?

Another thing< quad core isn't that beneficial just yet sorta rite?
chrisb2e9 26th July 2007, 05:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by exilim2040
AWWWWWWWW n i just went n got an E6850! Anyone know how that overclocks?

Another thing< quad core isn't that beneficial just yet sorta rite?

I agree with that. there are some cases where the quad will do a lot better than a dual. But if you look at the majority of games and past games that dont use extra cores, the extra clock speed will got a lot farther.
A lot of people are going quad because they dont want to have to upgrade down the line and for games that support 4 cores the quad will be a better performer than the dual.
outlawaol 26th July 2007, 07:09 Quote
Wow... excellent review. Pushing the fsb past 1333 (my prime number on a new CPU/build) is what I was looking for.

Thanks Tim for getting this review done so fast, you rock!

Any comments on a ASUS P5N32-E 680i / Q6600 OC combo? That mobo is one I've been eyeing up for awile. Also, how well would a AC 7 pro handle the quad OC?

This will really be my "first" build. At least where I have bought parts specificly for a new PC.

Thanks for having compassion on the noob! :D
Tim S 26th July 2007, 08:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zero0ne
not sure Tim, But my guess is you can automate and change the perftest if you wanted to.

May be something to look into over at the SupCom forums for future benchmarking on Quad Cores.

I'll have a look, but I did have a look into it before (I prefer to use my own benchmarks instead of "pre-configured" benchmarks) and wasn't successful finding anything.
NormanBates 26th July 2007, 09:57 Quote
Hi there

I'm one of those who had the mythical celeron 366@550MHz

As of today, I'm still using one of those AthlonXP2500+@2.2GHz in my main PC at home

And I know some other people who were using it until very, very recently: they have all changed it in the last few months, for a C3D 4300@3GHz. My patience will pay off, I believe, as I will get a Q6600@3GHz in september-october

My point is... I think we are what you could call a mainstream overclocker: I don't need to be on the bleeding edge, but I want really, really stable operation, and i don't like fiddling with the settings; I believe the possibility of getting top of the line performance with entry level parts by just changing FSB speed is what made celeron366 and AXP2500 so popular: no need for voltage increases of any kind, no FSB Strap options needed, no super-expensive cooling, just increase FSB and you are set to go

Now, it looks like you can't achieve 3GHz with E4300 or Q6600 without slightly increasing voltage, so some additional fiddling is necessary, but I tell you: if you want to appeal to the masses the question to answer is ¿how easy is it to get 333x9=3000 on a Q6600?

I really miss the CPU database at www.overclockers.com...
[USRF]Obiwan 26th July 2007, 10:31 Quote
i wonder where my AMD x2 4800 (s939) will be placed in the benches. And how much money it would take me to 'upgrade' to a Qcore intel. And very important, if its all worth it? It will probably cost me a new mobo, expensive memory and a very expensive processor. Or should i wait for the new amd range, wich will also require a new mobo, mem and processor.

I think i just hold on a little bit longer to my curent setup...
Delphium 26th July 2007, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by outlawaol
Wow... excellent review. Pushing the fsb past 1333 (my prime number on a new CPU/build) is what I was looking for.

Thanks Tim for getting this review done so fast, you rock!

Any comments on a ASUS P5N32-E 680i / Q6600 OC combo? That mobo is one I've been eyeing up for awile. Also, how well would a AC 7 pro handle the quad OC?

This will really be my "first" build. At least where I have bought parts specificly for a new PC.

Thanks for having compassion on the noob! :D

I have had some good results with the Asus P5N32-E SLI board, so far have tested it with a QX6800 and managed to squezze an extra 600mhz out of it to 3.522ghz while remaining very stable, I think I could get more out of it using some better RAM that im awaiting to turn up any day now.

I am also investing in the Q6600 in about a week from now, again using the Asus P5N32-E SLI board, ill be using water cooling for this system, but if you can hold on for a week, ill let you know how that board clocks with the Q6600 seeing the abilities with a QX6800, its looks promising ;)
Shielder 26th July 2007, 11:45 Quote
Hi all, first post so be gentle :)

I've been looking at upgrading my XP2500 (stock only, couldn't even get 1MHz overclock out of the thing!) to a C2D (and I'm an AMD fan too!), since I saw the performance of the C2D compared to the Athlons. Now a C2Q is just within my reach I was wondering if anyone has managed to pair up a Q6600 with a 650i based mobo and overclock it to a FBS of 333MHz? My funds can stretch to a C2Q, but not a 680i based board as well.

What board would people suggest? I was looking at the Asus P5N-E, but I am open to suggestions. I don't really want to have to go over the £90-100 barrier if I can help it (preferably not over the £75 barrier or I'll have to reduce the spec of some of the other components I want to use).

TIA

Andy
NormanBates 26th July 2007, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
Hi all, first post so be gentle :)

Now a C2Q is just within my reach I was wondering if anyone has managed to pair up a Q6600 with a 650i based mobo and overclock it to a FBS of 333MHz? My funds can stretch to a C2Q, but not a 680i based board as well.
Andy

What's wrong with P965 and P35?
M@tt 26th July 2007, 12:59 Quote
Just orderied a Q6600 £165 inc next day delivery :)
Shielder 26th July 2007, 13:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanBates
What's wrong with P965 and P35?

I want to be able to go SLi in the future if I need to. But I'm not against using either Intel chipset.

I just don't htink that the ATi performance is good enough and Crossfire just doesn't seem to work (from what I've read on t'internet anyway).

Andy
Delphium 26th July 2007, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
I want to be able to go SLi in the future if I need to. But I'm not against using either Intel chipset.

I just don't htink that the ATi performance is good enough and Crossfire just doesn't seem to work (from what I've read on t'internet anyway).

Andy

Hi, well if you plan to go SLI later then the 680i chipset would be advisable.

Here you can see the specs between the nvidia chipsets...
http://www.nvidia.com/page/nforce_600i_tech_specs

Take note that the two SLI PCI-E slots are rated at 8x only for each PCI-E slot, or 16x if only using a single card.
So if you can afford to buy another SLI gfx card, then i would advise looking at the 680i SLI chipset over the 650i SLI chipset.

Not much point in inserting another gfx card then bottle necking it at the PCI-E bus, unless of cause the cards in which you plan to use for the SLI setup, use no more than 8 PCI-E lanes each.

Checking out the nvidia gfx cards, it seams that the vast majority of the GeForce 7 series and above use 16 PCI-E lanes, but will work with 8 PCI-E lanes at a downgraded performance.

Just something for you to take into consideration ;)
Tim S 26th July 2007, 16:01 Quote
Lots of questions - I hope I haven't missed any here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigotech
Any chance of overclocking and testing your Q6600 with an Asus Commando? I really don't want to buy a new board until the X38 and next gen nVidia boards come out in the fall but $266 for 3.2GHz Quad Core goodness is hard to pass up!
Hey there, welcome to the forums - I will have a go this weekend if I get the chance. I don't think I'm going to have the time to run a full gamut of benchmarks, but I will at least see if I can get some overclocking action going. I'll report back but I have a feeling it'll be a fairly similar story to the P5K. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogers
I think I'm missing something here? :o
Isn't PC2-8000 memory rated at 1066MHz usually? In the test setup it was stated to be running at 800Mhz, yet CPU-Z shows it running at ~360MHz quad pumped, making it ~1500MHz?! :?

I've been AMD a while, so not really paid attention to how recent (well.. :) ) Intel's work :o
The memory was running at 446MHz (892MHz DDR) on the P5K Deluxe and 399Mhz (798MHz DDR) on the nForce 680i SLI board. The memory is rated for 1000MHz, but we were running it down near 800MHz as that's the memory that most people are going to buy. I was also fairly liberal when it came to memory timings too - I didn't tweak things on that front as that was really beyond the scope of what was ultimately a "see how far we can realistically push a Q6600 on reasonable air cooling" article. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by outlawaol
Wow... excellent review. Pushing the fsb past 1333 (my prime number on a new CPU/build) is what I was looking for.

Thanks Tim for getting this review done so fast, you rock!

Any comments on a ASUS P5N32-E 680i / Q6600 OC combo? That mobo is one I've been eyeing up for awile. Also, how well would a AC 7 pro handle the quad OC?

This will really be my "first" build. At least where I have bought parts specificly for a new PC.

Thanks for having compassion on the noob! :D
The P5N32-E SLI should overclock similarly to the XFX board we've used here. We were really working on "examples" of chipsets, rather than specifically picking boards out of the hat.

If I'd taken the article another step further, there would have been a 975X board, a P965 board and a 650i SLI board too... along with watercooling and maybe some phase change cooling too. Unfortunately though, I have a growing pile of mid-range graphics cards that I really need to start publishing and I only had a week of time to allocate to this particular article. :(
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanBates
Hi there

I'm one of those who had the mythical celeron 366@550MHz

As of today, I'm still using one of those AthlonXP2500+@2.2GHz in my main PC at home

And I know some other people who were using it until very, very recently: they have all changed it in the last few months, for a C3D 4300@3GHz. My patience will pay off, I believe, as I will get a Q6600@3GHz in september-october

My point is... I think we are what you could call a mainstream overclocker: I don't need to be on the bleeding edge, but I want really, really stable operation, and i don't like fiddling with the settings; I believe the possibility of getting top of the line performance with entry level parts by just changing FSB speed is what made celeron366 and AXP2500 so popular: no need for voltage increases of any kind, no FSB Strap options needed, no super-expensive cooling, just increase FSB and you are set to go

Now, it looks like you can't achieve 3GHz with E4300 or Q6600 without slightly increasing voltage, so some additional fiddling is necessary, but I tell you: if you want to appeal to the masses the question to answer is ¿how easy is it to get 333x9=3000 on a Q6600?

I really miss the CPU database at www.overclockers.com...
Welcome to the forums Norman.

I totally agree with what you're saying, there is a cult in the world of hardware enthusiasts that buy a component because they can get flagship performance (or features) at a mainstream price point. I used to be a part of the "overclock it as far as you can while remaining stable" club, but I've gone to the extremes of phase change cooling too when I was into the whole 3DMark craze back in 2004. I would say that I'm now in the mainstream overclocking cult (at least when it comes to my home system) - I just want that little bit more performance, but I honestly don't need anymore for blagging rights.

I still enjoy pushing things to the limit, but I rarely have the time that it takes absolutely max something out. I remember how long it took me to get to almost 800MHz core on a 9600 XT... weeks of watching 3DMark crash just short of the end.

Anyway, to answer your question - I think that considering we stayed within Intel's own recommended voltage range, it's incredibly easy to overclock these chips to 333x9. Based on what I've seen in the past from Intel processors, I would be very surprised if most Q6600s didn't get to 3GHz. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
Hi all, first post so be gentle :)

I've been looking at upgrading my XP2500 (stock only, couldn't even get 1MHz overclock out of the thing!) to a C2D (and I'm an AMD fan too!), since I saw the performance of the C2D compared to the Athlons. Now a C2Q is just within my reach I was wondering if anyone has managed to pair up a Q6600 with a 650i based mobo and overclock it to a FBS of 333MHz? My funds can stretch to a C2Q, but not a 680i based board as well.

What board would people suggest? I was looking at the Asus P5N-E, but I am open to suggestions. I don't really want to have to go over the £90-100 barrier if I can help it (preferably not over the £75 barrier or I'll have to reduce the spec of some of the other components I want to use).

TIA

Andy
Hey Andy - another welcome. :)

We haven't published any testing, but I seem to remember the 650i boards pushing quad-core chips about as far as the 680i boards. Hope this helps. ;)
devdevil85 26th July 2007, 20:38 Quote
already OCing my old 2500+ at 2.2Ghz. I have a basic Thermaltake air-cooler on it right now. What would be an "Ok" max temperature you guys think I could run it at (it's housed in a tall, deep case that's got 5 main fans cooling it)? I think right now I have it running at 35C at load. Could I push it even more? Right now, I've raised the multiplier to 12x to get it to 2.2 and to run stable, but I see that I could just raise it from the stock 11x166 to 11x200. I'll try it when I get home. Sorry for the noob OC question, but I'm still getting used to this stuff.....
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