Overclocking the Intel E8200 Core 2 Duo ‘Wolfdale’ Processor
January 16th, 2008
Ok – so, if you read my last post about GIS systems and Sugarcane Yield Monitors you would be well aware that I’ve been labouring with a very processor intensive task called ‘Inverse Distance Weighted Yield Projections’. With over 2 million data points, the process takes many days… SO… in the interest of speeding it up, I recently decided to buy and overclock one of the new generation ‘Wolfdale’ Intel 45nm Core 2 Duo Processors – the E8200, which is the little brother to the new e8400 and e8500 series.
Firstly, the E8200 processor itself uses the same socket (775) as Intel has been using for quite some time now, but as I’ve been using AMD 64 processors up until now (socket 939), I needed to get a new motherboard as well – I chose the Gigabyte P35C-DS3R motherbard.
Meh – what the heck – if you’re going to go all out, why not get the works – so I topped off my purchase with some Kingston HyperX PC8500 DDR2 RAM as well – which is rated to 1066MhZ.
Add to that a nice little RAID 0 array of 2*500Gb 7.2K rpm hard drives for my data, and 1 10K RPM 160Gb WD Raptor, and you’re starting to shape up as a very speedy system.
Recommended Overclocking Settings for the E8200
Ok – so, the E8200 is rated at 2.66 GHz out of the box. With a little trial and error, I’ve been able to get it stable at a pretty decent 3.92GHz with the stock standard cooler. Here are the settings I used –
- Ram Latency Settings – 5-5-5-10
- RAM:FSB Ratio 1:1 (so effectively the Ram is matched to the CPU speed, running at around 490MHz – well, actually, 980 because it’s DDR – double data rate)
- CPU Core voltage – 1.25 volts (this one was a suprise – many folks suggest you need to go as high as 1.5 – I didn’t)
- RAM Voltage – 2.2V
- CPU Clock 490MHz at the default multiplier of 8.
The system (on account of the low voltages) actually runs very cool – around 42 degrees Celsius (107 F) at idle, with a max temp of 62 degrees C (141 F) running Prime95, which is a CPU testing tool (amongst other things) – and that’s just using a stock CPU cooler with Arctic 5 heatsink compound.
Cool, in my mind, is good. If a processor runs cool, it’s usually a good sign that it is energy efficient – and it definitely means that less energy has to be spent keeping it cool which means lower electricity bills and a smaller environmental footprint – a good outcome all round.
So… contrary to the bad press I have heard elsewhere about the E8200 being not so overclockable, I’m absolutely stoked with these figures – but rumor has it that the E8400 and E8500 are getting prodigious numbers in the mid 4Ghz range, so they may be worthy of the additional investment, although the E8500 is a little overpriced for only an incremental increase.
For those of you interested – my particular CPU is the number 6 stepping – here’s a picture of the processor’s SuperPi numbers (just over 12 secs) –
Some Additional E8200 Overclocking Tips
- To get very high CPU speeds like those noted above – YOU WILL NEED FAST RAM that can quite happily sit at ~ 960Mhz or above. A high quality DDR2 800Mhz stick MIGHT cut it, but I’d recommend going for a min of 1066MhZ RAM (PC8500), otherwise you’re going to find your overclock will be constrained to around 3.3Ghz.
- A New RAM technology is currently emerging called DDR3 – It offers speeds in excess of 1066MHz, but it is horrendously expensive – consider getting a motherboard (like the gigabyte Gigabyte P35C-DS3R I chose) that can handle BOTH DDR2 and DDR3 memory – socket 775 is going to be around for a while, and you might want to use DDR3 in the future.
- Don’t go overboard with the CPU voltage – some people are recommending as high as 1.5V, but I’ve found that past 1.3V you are mostly generating exponentially more heat for very little additional clock speed – it’s not worth it unless you’re nuts and like spending heaps of money on expensive cooling gear.
How did you go? Did you achieve the same speeds? Are you doing better with an E8400 or E8500? How much better? Got any questions? I’m really keen to hear from you – leave a comment below!
All the best –
Entry Filed under: General Discussion