Memorable Overclocking-Friendly CPUs

homerjr43

Gawd
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
763
I had the Barton M 2500 back in the day at 2.3 24x7 on air, but my best OC'ed chip for the price was the

AMD Sempron 64 2800+ Palermo 1.6GHz Socket 754 Processor ran it at 2.4 24x7, which was a 50% OC on air, without any issues.
 

Cryptic1911

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
226
What? No mention of AMD's slot A and goldfingers?

I loved my old 300A, but my best memories were with a couple of 366 celeries on a Abit BP6.

Hah, me too! We had multiple 300a's at 504, and I had a bp6 with dual 366's at 550 with dual golden orb heatsinks. Them were the days.. I kinda gave up on overclocking as a hobby, but my main rig, a hackintosh is an overclocked 3770 at 4.4ghz with no voltage mods, and it's stable. Can't really say no if it works! LOL
 

HEADRAT

n00b
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
37
I remember having 2 x Celeron 300As in an ABIT BP6 (dual CPU board), ah now that was computing ;)
 

Phelptwan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
6,669
I feel like I had most of the processors on that list...makes me feel old.

300a
500E
T-Bird 700
1700 B
2500m
Opteron 144
E6600
E8400
Q6600
 

somecallmeTim

[H]F Junkie
Joined
May 28, 2001
Messages
9,568
The 300A was actually the first processor I overclocked. I had this massively heavy steel case, and cover went over the top and both sides, so I just took it off and threw it into the trash. I then strapped an appropriately sized AC powered box fan to the case on low, which provided a huge amount of airflow reasonably quiet.

The 300A is how I found the [H] :) Been here ever since.

I OC'd the hell out of mine. It would run stable just over 550. I had it higher, but it tended to wonk out on me. It met it's end when the ex-wife (well, wife at the time) decided that things needed re-arranged while I was at work and just unplugged things -- it never came back :( I think I cried. It was such a traumatic event, I think I've blocked it.

I was on a tight budget after that and picked up a Duron 850. Had that bugger running at 1170 rock solid using a TT "volcano 2" HSF. Nothing fancy at all -- okay, LOTS of air flow through the case.

I miss the OC'ing, but I do not miss the noise involved.
 

w00t69

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
337
The i7 920 was a beast -- and still is.
Even today and WITHOUT being overclocked, it still is more power than Haswell based i3's and even a few of the i5's. Overclocked, I wouldn't be surprised to see it still pull close to a 3770T.

Eh, it's not THAT strong at stock speeds. Once you're running 4 ghz though, it's certainly a contender and it's absolutely not necessary to upgrade if you have one.

The ONLY reason i upgraded from my i7-920 setup is the motherboard was starting to be a pos. I dunno what it was about lga 1366 boards but they were hella unstable. I had 2 different ones that both sucked ass.
 

cyzzledyzzle

Weaksauce
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
101
I still remember overclocking a CPU recommended by Kyle (sold through a link provided by Kyle to "Accubyte" [online retailer] at the time)...

Pentium 2 300, SL2W8 (with the off-to-the-side L2 cache chips). Reliable at 465 all day long on my original AOpen AX6BC. I still have it, and it still works - and was in use as my primary rig, powered on all day every day until around 2006. A lot of Enemy Territory and Quake 3 time on that bad boy. I'm shocked it still works to be honest.

I had a Pentium 200 MMX running at 262.5 for quite a while, and a Coppermine Slot 1 (700) at 784; but the P2-300 was a memorable one in terms of value and performance at the time.
 

cyzzledyzzle

Weaksauce
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
101
Oh yeah that also reminds me of guys coming up with 'lapping' techniques that would sometimes make the front page of [H]. Guys would strap sandpaper down to a glass table or a really flat piece of metal; and rub their metal CPU heatshield until it became super flat; so they could get better overclocks / heat dissipation.
 

cyzzledyzzle

Weaksauce
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
101
Ok. I forgot something, maybe someone will remember.

Does anyone remember when [H] did a feature on a PC back in the late 90's or early 00's that was essentially a refrigerator cooling system mounted in the bottom of a PC case? It had good results, but the company appears to have disappeared (at least to me). I can't remember the name of it - anyone?

It was quite expensive, and seemed pretty silly; but in a way was kind of impressive.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
14,844
Ok. I forgot something, maybe someone will remember.

Does anyone remember when [H] did a feature on a PC back in the late 90's or early 00's that was essentially a refrigerator cooling system mounted in the bottom of a PC case? It had good results, but the company appears to have disappeared (at least to me). I can't remember the name of it - anyone?

It was quite expensive, and seemed pretty silly; but in a way was kind of impressive.

vapochill?
 

DracoDan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
298
I was really disappointed not to see the fairly recent Intel G3258 on this list...

This CPU cost me $60 at Microcenter on the day it was released and came at 3.2ghz. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier it can be overclocked to an easy 4.5-4.8ghz (40-50%). Sure it's only dual-core with no HT, but if you're doing mostly single/minimally threaded work (like gaming) it's a surprisingly capable chip.
 

aldamon

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 24, 2000
Messages
6,603
Great article and great photos with accurate descriptions. Every CPU I wanted on the list was there.
 

cyzzledyzzle

Weaksauce
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
101
vapochill?

Oh! You jogged my memory; I think it was called Cryotec? The original system looked ridiculous, it was basically a separate cooling system that was for all intents and purposes bolted on to the bottom of a fairly plain white full-sized ATX tower. I was unaware people still did refrigeration based cooling, but I'm pretty out of the 'game'. Neat to see though.
 

aldamon

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 24, 2000
Messages
6,603
What? No mention of AMD's slot A and goldfingers?
.

I think this was omitted for good reason. I know I didn't appreciate my first overclocking experience including cracking open a plastic case and then prying open some clamps around the CPU while sweating the entire time and hoping I did not break my CPU. All this just so I could attach a third-party device and cook my Athlon 700 at a measly 900 MHz a few days later. Madness :) Thankfully they released 700s with 900 cores (OC to 1000) and I did it right that time.
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
14,399
It's missing the follow-up to the legendary Celeron 300A: The Celermine 533A/566/600 chips.

These were 66 Mhz bus parts with high multipliers that could hit 800/850/900 respectively @ 100 MHz bus), and since early revision Coppermine parts could do 850-950 MHz with a little tweaking, these were the no-nonsense overclock choice.

All you needed was your old BH6/P3B-F and a slotkit, and you were in business. And unlike overclocking a full Pentium III E processor, you didn't have to (1) buy a new BX motherboard with 133 bus support and (2) run your AGP card out-of-spec. ALSO unlike the perennially sold-out Pentium IIII 600E, you could actually purchase the Celermine in lots of places.

The performance WAS slower per-clock, but the difference wasn't enough to justify fighting the crowsa for a 600E:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/533/9
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
Yeah, I would add my 486sx25 to this list. Shipped without a heatsink or fan. Simply adding one allowed me to hit 50mhz, rock solid. Don't see too many 100% overclocks anymore :p

My Duron 650 in college was pretty awesome too. Would hit 950Mhz rock solid, but I never could break the ghz barrier stably, unfortunately.

My 8mhz 286 was nothing to scoff at either, hitting 12mhz with no additional cooling at all :p
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
vapochill?

Ugh. Brings back bad memories.

That hose was so stiff and difficult to mount. On Intel rigs it apparently wasnt bad, as they already had the metal cover at that time, but I crushed 4 top end Athlons (1200Mhz and 1400Mhz units) before finally giving up, selling it and cutting my losses.

Haven't done any extreme cooling since.
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
(Chromebooks don't really count as laptops).

I beg to differ. It's the same hardware as any of the lower cost Windows laptops. I was able to upgrade my C710 Chrome to 10GB Ram, 120GB SSD and throw xUbuntu on it. Runs great.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
Zarathustra[H];1041298742 said:
Ugh. Brings back bad memories.

That hose was so stiff and difficult to mount. On Intel rigs it apparently wasnt bad, as they already had the metal cover at that time, but I crushed 4 top end Athlons (1200Mhz and 1400Mhz units) before finally giving up, selling it and cutting my losses.

Haven't done any extreme cooling since.

I never posted much about the experience here back in the day, as very few actually got their hands on the Asetek Vapochill units, so there was a very limited understanding of how difficult it actually was.

Crushing a core with one was - unfortunately - seen as a sign of incompetence, so I kind of shut up about it :p

There is a reason just about every Vapochill review at the time was done on Intel CPU's, but I was hugely into AMD back then.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
I beg to differ. It's the same hardware as any of the lower cost Windows laptops. I was able to upgrade my C710 Chrome to 10GB Ram, 120GB SSD and throw xUbuntu on it. Runs great.

If I may ask, why did you opt for Xubuntu. Is the graphics hardware not sufficient to handle the more intense xsessions?
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
Zarathustra[H];1041298772 said:
If I may ask, why did you opt for Xubuntu. Is the graphics hardware not sufficient to handle the more intense xsessions?

XU had more sane default apps and packages, less bloatware involved, not because the system couldn't handle KUbuntu... XU also booted in 10 seconds where KU took longer. I loathe Unity and Gnome. So largely by reasons of preference.

The GPU on chip is Intel HD 2000 based. The Celeron in the C710 is basically a Sandy Bridge i3 with less cache. Good enough to be my daily driver. Only turn on my desktop when I need to use After Effects, render video or play games. Even then, I was able to squeak about 40-50fps out of TF2 on this. (Lowest settings with just about everything turned off via MaxFrames config)
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
1
As the author of the article, I thought I'd stop by and thank everybody for their discussion contributions.
To reply to the most common query regarding why a certain processor didn't make the list. Firstly, article length constraints, and secondly, the list is partially subjective. I endeavoured to pick CPUs with a wide following and a good chance of overclocking success for the average user using mainstream (air or water) cooling. I also tended to steer away from OC'ing that required hard modding - aside from the briefest of mentions for pencil mods/ U-wire mods etc. which were meant as starting points for further research by the reader.

I both owned many of the processors, and actively participated in the tech community during that time, and the list is based upon the level and range of interest shown at the time. Of course, having owned many of the CPUs, there could well be a certain amount of unintentional bias creeping in. Processors that didn't make the editorial cut included some worthy pieces of silicon (Q9550, K6-III+, 720 Black Edition, and a whole bevy of reduced cache Celeron's, Sempron's and Duron's), and the G3258 was omitted because of its relative youth even though it excels at its stated purpose as a "go to" chip for the budget minded overclocking fraternity.

Thanks again for the patronage.
 

EchtoGammut

2[H]4U
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
3,624
My overclock history, I had a lot more lying around my "lab" since at I used to run a review site, but these are the ones I used in my personal desktop. For some reason, I have almost always personally used slower systems than I have access to.
486SX 25 OC 50
486DX 66 OC 100 (approximately)
486DX4 100 OC 110
PII 266 no overclocking
Celeron 300A OC 450
Athlon K7 (Slot A) 500 OC 1Ghz although it was only long term stable at 700
Athlon T-Bird 600 OC 900
Athlon XP 1.4Ghz OC 1.9Ghz
Athlon XP Thorton or Barton at 2.6 can't recall the details and this was my lost overclock for a long time. I have done a few overclocks since then, but I became a boring user who would just build a new system every 2 or 3 years and swap out the graphics card as needed. After this new year I am looking at building my first complete build in over 5 years.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
XU had more sane default apps and packages, less bloatware involved, not because the system couldn't handle KUbuntu... XU also booted in 10 seconds where KU took longer. I loathe Unity and Gnome. So largely by reasons of preference.

The GPU on chip is Intel HD 2000 based. The Celeron in the C710 is basically a Sandy Bridge i3 with less cache. Good enough to be my daily driver. Only turn on my desktop when I need to use After Effects, render video or play games. Even then, I was able to squeak about 40-50fps out of TF2 on this. (Lowest settings with just about everything turned off via MaxFrames config)

Ahh, I rarely hear people speak ill of Gnome. Gnome2 was - albeit dated today - prior to its deprecation the ideal desktop window manager.

Gnome3 was kind of a fail, but Cinnamon (using Gnome3 code, to create a Gnome2 like experience) and Mate (continuing to develop Gnome2 code) are both pretty damned good IMHO.

I've been using Cinnamon in Linux Mint as my primary desktop for a while now, but I have considered going Xubuntu and adding the cinnamon PPA's. That being said, there is less reason to now that Mint - as of 17.1 - officially supports distribution upgrades.
 

ir0nw0lf

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Messages
6,403
Sooooo many of you young grasshoppers never got to enjoy the yumminess that was the Celeron 300A! :p
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
Zarathustra[H];1041298860 said:
Ahh, I rarely hear people speak ill of Gnome. Gnome2 was - albeit dated today - prior to its deprecation the ideal desktop window manager.

Gnome3 was kind of a fail, but Cinnamon (using Gnome3 code, to create a Gnome2 like experience) and Mate (continuing to develop Gnome2 code) are both pretty damned good IMHO.

I've been using Cinnamon in Linux Mint as my primary desktop for a while now, but I have considered going Xubuntu and adding the cinnamon PPA's. That being said, there is less reason to now that Mint - as of 17.1 - officially supports distribution upgrades.

It's also largely my using what I know. I started out with using XFCE because it was lightweight for Netbooks and there's nothing about it that falls short for me now. (The newish Wisker menu actually is pretty darn good. I like it for how clean and simple it is.) I had tried other WMs/DEs but I've never been the type to be wowed over by something and then willing to spend hours tweaking it to make it more like what I'm already using (and prefer.) Inertia.

In any case, performance was fine on the Chromebook even when using KDE. They're actually capable little machines as long as you stay away from the Atom or ARM variants. (ARM's okay for ChromeOS, Debian and Arch, but you're also limited in what can be run)
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
Sooooo many of you young grasshoppers never got to enjoy the yumminess that was the Celeron 300A! :p

I would have loved to play with the Celery 300A's back then, but the budget did not allow for it.

I used my Pre-MMX Pentium 150Mhz (overclocked to 200) equipped with a 6MB Canopus Pure3d Voodoo 1 (and a Matrox Millenium for 2D) all the way until fall 2000 after I could afford to upgrade to the Duron 650 (which overclocked to 950) after a long hard summer job between semesters at college :p
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
Zarathustra[H];1041298961 said:
I would have loved to play with the Celery 300A's back then, but the budget did not allow for it.

I used my Pre-MMX Pentium 150Mhz (overclocked to 200) equipped with a 6MB Canopus Pure3d Voodoo 1 (and a Matrox Millenium for 2D) all the way until fall 2000 after I could afford to upgrade to the Duron 650 (which overclocked to 950) after a long hard summer job between semesters at college :p

It was funny though. The kids on my floor could just not understand how my "old" computer was running circles around their new best buy specials in our Quake2 deathmatch floor battles.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
Zarathustra[H];1041298968 said:
It was funny though. The kids on my floor could just not understand how my "old" computer was running circles around their new best buy specials in our Quake2 deathmatch floor battles.

We were the first dorm at Umass that got wired Ethernet, all the other dorms at the time had to dial up using some sort of fake digital modem called a "TAU", whatever the hell that was.

Thus Quake2 battles ensued.
 

mi7chy

2[H]4U
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
3,985
Athlon XP 2500 to 3200 was a more noticeable difference than overclocked Celeron 300A.
 

aldamon

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 24, 2000
Messages
6,603
Zarathustra[H];1041298979 said:
We were the first dorm at Umass that got wired Ethernet, all the other dorms at the time had to dial up using some sort of fake digital modem called a "TAU", whatever the hell that was.

Thus Quake2 battles ensued.

What year was that? I'm pretty sure Ethernet was installed the year after I graduated ('99). God those TAUs sucked!! Thankfully my future wife had Ethernet at Mount Holyoke.
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
Zarathustra[H];1041298961 said:
I used my Pre-MMX Pentium 150Mhz (overclocked to 200) equipped with a 6MB Canopus Pure3d Voodoo 1 (and a Matrox Millenium for 2D) all the way until fall 2000 after I could afford to upgrade to the Duron 650 (which overclocked to 950) after a long hard summer job between semesters at college :p

That was my first overclock, too. The motherboard didn't exactly support the CPU even though it had the voltage jumpers for it (It was some weird model of IWill mobo)... I found out by yanking all the jumpers I got a maximum CPU clock on the board that didn't correspond with any known settings. The overclock ended up being 213Mhz. It was something of a 3.5 clock and 60Mhz bus, IIRC. Stayed surprisingly cool with the fan I had on it.

Those Pentium 150's were a weird chip.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
What year was that? I'm pretty sure Ethernet was installed the year after I graduated ('99). God those TAUs sucked!! Thankfully my future wife had Ethernet at Mount Holyoke.

I started in the fall of '99. All of Orchard Hill was wired over the summer just before I started. All the other residential areas were still on TAU's, but they gradually got wired.

A year later when I moved to Northeast, it was wired as well.

I think the last residential area to get Ethernet was Sylvan.

Apparently they have WiFi these days. *CRAZY* :p
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,796
That was my first overclock, too. The motherboard didn't exactly support the CPU even though it had the voltage jumpers for it (It was some weird model of IWill mobo)... I found out by yanking all the jumpers I got a maximum CPU clock on the board that didn't correspond with any known settings. The overclock ended up being 213Mhz. It was something of a 3.5 clock and 60Mhz bus, IIRC. Stayed surprisingly cool with the fan I had on it.

Those Pentium 150's were a weird chip.

Your memory is better than mine. I can't for the life of me recall the brand of that motherboard, or even how much RAM that system had. I want to say I ran it at a 66.67x3 mhz when overclocked to 200, but I really just can't remember.

It wasn't my first overclock, but it was one I had great memories of, including playing through Half Life for the first time on.
 

ICOM

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
2,194
On my Abit BH-6 Mobo
Canopus 3d card
256 Megs of RAM
1 gig HD

Fun times!
 
Top