Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 - Small Budget, Big Overclocker


Shoestring Budget CPU's Hidden Potential

Shoestring Budget CPU's Hidden Potential

"Core" is fast becoming a catch phrase everywhere in the tech circles as Intel pulls the plug on the Pentium processor and overhauling the mobile, desktop and server space with their latest microarchitecture. As tested by www.hardarezone.com and other technology publications, the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors for the desktop space have set new milestones in processor efficiency, performance, power and heat dissipation, so the Core 'fever' is quite expected.

So we've all seen what the Conroe core based Intel Core 2 Duo processors are capable (be careful not to confuse "core" from "Core"), but what about the lower priced Allendale core based Intel Core 2 Duo processors? To those uninitiated, the Core 2 Duo processors are available in five flavors:- X6800, E6700, E6600, E6400 and E6300. All are endowed with the Core microarchitecture, but the first three feature 4MB of L2 cache and are known by the codename of Conroe. The Core 2 Duo E6400 and E6300 models are equipped with only 2MB of L2 cache and go by the core codename of Allendale.

At less than US$200, the E6300 of course represents Intel's lowest cost Core 2 Duo processor and that's exactly what interests us and many other enthusiasts itching to get their hands on one. Low cost of ownership generally equates to popularity, but that's just part of the reason. Operating at only 1.86GHz and built on the same engineering process and microarchitecture as its other dearer brethrens, a burning question surrounds its overclocking competency and what kind of performance awaits us at its peak. Well, as we found out firsthand, there's tremendous headroom in it and with the right motherboard, you can hit some pretty amazing numbers.