The Top 5 Best Overclocking CPUs of All Time @ [H]

Reality

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Messages
1,890
I had the 533a, was an absolute beast, 800 was easy, ran it at 833 in the winter. Coppermine was a boss.
 

Vader1975

Gawd
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
820
I have no idea why the 980X is on here and not the i7 920. Which had a ton more overclocking headroom at a fraction the price and a ton more of us had it then the 980X. While I eventually owned multiple W3690 Xeons which were theoretically 980X's and they were good chips. For a overclocking value proposition. 920 destroyed the 980X.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
25
Shit, that Celeron 300A brings back memories. When I saw the link for the article, I thought that the Celeron had to be #1. That was a huge overclock. That was also when I started reading the [H], daily....along with voodoo extreme - remember that site? Damn, I feel old.
 

pmrdij

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
198
My personal favorite was my Opteron 165 that sits above my desk. The first chip where I got a 1+GHz OC. Prior to that all of my K6-2/3's, K7's, Athlon XP's and 64's did well enough for me but that was the first CPU where I found myself sitting on it for longer than I had any previous Processor.

Next in line is my aging Thuban (1090T).
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
56,379
I have no idea why the 980X is on here and not the i7 920. Which had a ton more overclocking headroom at a fraction the price and a ton more of us had it then the 980X. While I eventually owned multiple W3690 Xeons which were theoretically 980X's and they were good chips. For a overclocking value proposition. 920 destroyed the 980X.
The 920's overclocking reputation has been overstated in my experience. I've seen many that couldn't hit 3.6GHz reliably. In fact I had a D0 that couldn't and a C0 that could do 4.2GHz. The Core i7 980X is a choice I knew would be debatable to many people. It was chosen because it was not only the fastest CPU at the time, but a solid overclocker and easily the BEST Extreme Edition CPU of all time. I found 980X's consistently hit good numbers and got a decent overclock. They were also coming out of Microcenter for around $700 on clearance when the 990X came out. While not a "value" CPU, it was certainly a good one. It's also the first CPU that gave us 6 cores and 6 threads. It's the first retail CPU that took us past 4 cores and 4 threads. Again, this wasn't about pure overclock percentages, but performance when overclocked. Back then, the 980X had no equal. And again, I had a Celery 1.8GHz that would do better than 3.0GHz and it was still slow as hell. a 60% overclock is meaningless if the CPU still sucks when you boost it that much. That's also why those early cacheless Celery's didn't make the cut either. They clocked like mad but sucked anyway.
 

Doward

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2004
Messages
1,541
The Duron 600 belongs on this list.

In my eyes its right up there with the celron 300a.
Absolutely.

I imagine I'm not the only [H] member that actually went from a Celeron 300A @ 450Mhz to a Duron 600 @ 1Ghz :)
 

Doward

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2004
Messages
1,541
Shit, that Celeron 300A brings back memories. When I saw the link for the article, I thought that the Celeron had to be #1. That was a huge overclock. That was also when I started reading the [H], daily....along with voodoo extreme - remember that site? Damn, I feel old.
You ain't the only one :)

I remember my K6-2+ overclock on Sharky Extreme, using an Alpha PEP66, IIRC - dual black label Delta 60s. Talk about a freaking jet :)
 

Krenum

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Messages
15,972
Good list. I still use my Athlon Xp 1700+ regularly. How the hell do you get 2.2ghz out of it?! All I can must is 1.62ghz.
 

harvestor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
129
I will always remember my socket 775 e2160 paired with a p35-ds3l board, you could double the clock speed no voltage change, i think i paid 100$ for the chip and like $85 for the board.
That was my first watercooled build, managed to get 3.6 stable on that if i remember correctly.
Right after that i won a q6600 from work and swapped everthing over. Loved the 775 chipset.
 

ccityinstaller

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Messages
4,236
Good list. I still use my Athlon Xp 1700+ regularly. How the hell do you get 2.2ghz out of it?! All I can must is 1.62ghz.
Does your chip have a green die or purple? What color is the packaging, brown like in the review, or green?

You need the Rev B to really OC. They easily were ~500Mhz faster then the Rev A.

I have had every cpu on the list, except for the 980X. I had a 970 @ 4.3Ghz since it was cheaper then an 980X even with My Rampage II EXtreme added in!!

One of my favorites that really gets overlooked is the AMD X6 hexcores. They had pretty good IPC, and for the value they offered they couldn't be beat. I remember when sirmonkey1985 helped me setup a Linux VM so I could run Big Advance Work Units on our F@H team since my 6 cores @ 4.3Ghz were just as fast as the 4c8t 920@4.1Ghz.

MY personal 5 best were as follows (in terms of sheer OC):
1. 3770K delid @ 5.2Ghz (1.7Ghz OC 40hr Prime95 stable :D)
2. Q6600 G0 @ 3.6Ghz (1.2Ghz OC)
3. Opteron 165 @ 2.9Ghz (1.1Ghz OC) / Intel 970 @ 4.3ghz (1.1Ghz OC)
4. X6 1055T @ 4.3Ghz (1Ghz OC all 6 core)
5. Athlon 1700B @ 2.4Ghz (~950Mhz OC)

To say I have been blessed by the silicon Gods is a gross understatement:p:p:p:p.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
22,060
Does your chip have a green die or purple? What color is the packaging, brown like in the review, or green?

You need the Rev B to really OC. They easily were ~500Mhz faster then the Rev A.

I have had every cpu on the list, except for the 980X. I had a 970 @ 4.3Ghz since it was cheaper then an 980X even with My Rampage II EXtreme added in!!

One of my favorites that really gets overlooked is the AMD X6 hexcores. They had pretty good IPC, and for the value they offered they couldn't be beat. I remember when sirmonkey1985 helped me setup a Linux VM so I could run Big Advance Work Units on our F@H team since my 6 cores @ 4.3Ghz were just as fast as the 4c8t 920@4.1Ghz.

MY personal 5 best were as follows (in terms of sheer OC):
1. 3770K delid @ 5.2Ghz (1.7Ghz OC 40hr Prime95 stable :D)
2. Q6600 G0 @ 3.6Ghz (1.2Ghz OC)
3. Opteron 165 @ 2.9Ghz (1.1Ghz OC) / Intel 970 @ 4.3ghz (1.1Ghz OC)
4. X6 1055T @ 4.3Ghz (1Ghz OC all 6 core)
5. Athlon 1700B @ 2.4Ghz (~950Mhz OC)

To say I have been blessed by the silicon Gods is a gross understatement:p:p:p:p.
lol i remember that.. your 1055T overclocked like a beast.

i still have to say my best processor was a socket 754 athlon 64 3200+ clawhammer 2.0Ghz stock was able to get it to run at 3.1Ghz water cooled 24/7 stable. all be it i eventually killed the processor trying to suicide overclock it to 3.4Ghz.
 

gabhpr

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
111
The e6600 shoulda got a mention. You could go go from 2.4 to almost 4.0 very easily with voltage within reason
 

Full Otto

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
98
One major omission, in my worthless opinion, as it at least should have got an honorable mention if not replaced Gulftown.

Conroe - Not only did it get Intel back in the game IPC-wise, in E6300/E6400 form it was good for 3+GHz from just under or just over 2Ghz and didn't cost you a testicle. Even with the cut cache it would best anything you could buy at enthusiast workloads, essentially 300A Part Deux. Mine has been running at 3.2 (from 1.8 water) from about an hour after it was first mounted (gotta install OS first) thru 3GHz today as my mother-in-laws system, on an Asus P5B under a TT Big Typhoon. Getting it through Retail Edge was gravy. (my 2700K too, $135 to my door and it just got replaced after years of 5GHz daily, and even then only because the MB died.)

Thunderbird Slot A was nice too, where you could spend an hour soldering up your "Golden Finger Device" :whistle: and take your 5-700Mhz proc to 1+GHz with a decent air cooler. I guess the GFD disqualified it, since pencil use is beyond you. You could buy them later on, yeesh. :ROFLMAO:

I almost chimed in with Barton, as I have fond memories, but I think it had more to do with the MB I used then the OC (1.8 -> 2.4 water, which was really good). It was a Soltek SL-75FRN2-RL, a cantankerous bitch but it had a Promise RAID10 controller onboard (freed up a slot for the damn dual slot vid card, remember when that pissed us off?) and UV reactive slots and connectors in yellow with a yellow pearlescent PCB. Add some Ultra brand UV CCFLs and it was glorious in it's day. I even cut a piece of mirror to fit the bottom of the case so it looked bottomless through the window. Ahh, the smell of Dremel cut-off wheels on mild sheet steel. Just add a Leadtek 6800GT running at Ultra clocks and I was ready for Oblivion on the old 22" CRT, good times.

But yea, would make a better Top 10.

Alright Dan, damn the continuity, full speed ahead. Just think, with 10 you won't have to agonize over an honorable mention. :)

P.S. Now that I've fulfilled my forum member duty to bitch about the article and ridicule the author, I'll just say (y)

My 7700K @ 5GHz feels like a tuned Minivan, but it's a modern Honda vs. the 80's pony cars we remember so fondly. Sandy Bridge, especially i7, is the C5 Z06 of CPUs. Sure it's older and doesn't have some of the cool new toys or that nice interior, but it had so much potential that it'll still keep up with the new stuff after a little tuning. It's relevant today, and will be for awhile.
 

nightanole

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Messages
2,013
Member them 479 to 478 adapters that allowed you to run 2 pentium M's at a 33% overclock on a desktop board, i remember...
 

Vader1975

Gawd
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
820
The 920's overclocking reputation has been overstated in my experience. I've seen many that couldn't hit 3.6GHz reliably. In fact I had a D0 that couldn't and a C0 that could do 4.2GHz. The Core i7 980X is a choice I knew would be debatable to many people. It was chosen because it was not only the fastest CPU at the time, but a solid overclocker and easily the BEST Extreme Edition CPU of all time. I found 980X's consistently hit good numbers and got a decent overclock. They were also coming out of Microcenter for around $700 on clearance when the 990X came out. While not a "value" CPU, it was certainly a good one. It's also the first CPU that gave us 6 cores and 6 threads. It's the first retail CPU that took us past 4 cores and 4 threads. Again, this wasn't about pure overclock percentages, but performance when overclocked. Back then, the 980X had no equal. And again, I had a Celery 1.8GHz that would do better than 3.0GHz and it was still slow as hell. a 60% overclock is meaningless if the CPU still sucks when you boost it that much. That's also why those early cacheless Celery's didn't make the cut either. They clocked like mad but sucked anyway.
So this is about absolute performance without price to performance ratio. Ok I get it.
 

painintheworld

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
121
I had wanted a dual CPU system for years prior and the Celeron 300 and BP6 mobo finally made it a reality. It was stable for many years at 450 running Windows NT 4, Windows 98, and BEOS. I upgraded to Celeron 533 CPUs for the BP6 in 2000 and had them cranked to 880something. I snatched up two VP6 motherboards when they came out due to the good fortune I'd had with the BP6 (and BH6, etc) and both of those were pieces of shit.

This area of tech feels more exciting to me than anything has since Athlon 64. Now if I could only pull the trigger on my Newegg cart full of Threadripper build parts.
 

Cecil

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
4,747
Skimmed through all these comments so far and no one mentioned the actual best one, in terms of OC percentage potential.


The E4300 was 1.8Ghz stock and would go up to 3.6-4Ghz on air. Thats over a 100% overclock. That should be number 1 as far as I can recall.

i7 920 from 2.6 to 4.4, and E8400 3Ghz to 4.8Ghz were pretty good too.
 

Omegas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
10,219
My daughter is still rocking the old 2600k. Was my main duty rig with 4.5 stable with almost no voltage until 6 months ago. Some of the best computer money I've spent. But I do wish the e6300 had gotten a nod, I hit 3.6 with that thing with a serious HSF sitting on top. Nothing like %100 OC of dual core goodness back then on my ABIT IP35 vanilla.
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
13,547
Skimmed through all these comments so far and no one mentioned the actual best one, in terms of OC percentage potential.


The E4300 was 1.8Ghz stock and would go up to 3.6-4Ghz on air. Thats over a 100% overclock. That should be number 1 as far as I can recall.

i7 920 from 2.6 to 4.4, and E8400 3Ghz to 4.8Ghz were pretty good too.
The problem with Conroe and Wolfdale is that there were TOO MANY processors to choose from. I was actually surprised at them specifically choosing the Q6600.
 

memnoch998

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
457
I also would have looked at the Duron 600 (pencil's have never been more useful then the Socket A day's), XP-M 2500+ Barton's, and some of the DX2's. Some gems in those guys.
Most definately the xp-m 2500+. I managed to get mine up to 2.6 on a nf7s 2.0, using an slk900 and a vantec tornado. Hella good value
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
56,379
I don't know why you only gave an Honorable Mention to the Celeron 533A.
Good question. The reason it wasn't mentioned is because I've used a few of them, and there hit rate was less than stellar, but the overall headroom was lower than many of the other chips in the list.

I also would have looked at the Duron 600 (pencil's have never been more useful then the Socket A day's), XP-M 2500+ Barton's, and some of the DX2's. Some gems in those guys.
Fair enough, though I have never used one. Everything in the list is based on my personal experiences and observations with these CPUs.

So this is about absolute performance without price to performance ratio. Ok I get it.
It's based on my personal experiences with CPU's over the years. Price had little to do with it, and I've always been on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to the hardware I've purchased for myself. So, while that wasn't the intent, it is largely how the list was chosen.

The problem with Conroe and Wolfdale is that there were TOO MANY processors to choose from. I was actually surprised at them specifically choosing the Q6600.
The Q6600 was chosen specfically due to the processors long market life span, relevance, solid overclockability, and value as it had it's price cut in half two times. For what it offered, it was a solid processor value wise after the first price cut. It started out as an $850 CPU and got cut down to about half that, and then down to $200 or so. It stands alone as the most relevant and popular CPU of the day. It's also the CPU that stressed many a 680i SLI motherboard into shitting the bed.
 

Vader1975

Gawd
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
820
I have a long overclocking history. From the Pentium 76 at 90mhz to the K6200 at 225 (yea its a strange number) I overclocked nearly every K6-II and III and the Celron II a few hundred mhz on a Peltier cold plate (first time I had to waterproof a socket and board.) I remember the fun of the Thunderbird and the Pentium III and the Athlon 64's the last of which the Opteron 185 I overclocked more then 50%. Then AMD just about died. Their price to performance ratio suddenly plummeted as their performance per dollar tanked. The core series and then core II and Core II Quad and I7 dismissed AMD from the computing world. AMD had a long standing enthusiast performance per dollar crown and it was taken for so long that most kids on here don't think AMD had ever held it. That was far from the case as AMD did well even before I found them in the K6 era. Their 486/386 etc were solid chips as well. The K5 was abit of a unusual thing that was just to late to market. Intel continued to place seriously overclockable cpus at reasonable prices for more then a decade. The 920 the 2600K the 3570K and others continued to generate overclock performance that astounded per dollar spent. Now at long last AMD is back with atleast a reasonable overclocking competitor where price / performance one again calls into question if one should buy Intel as it has stagnated for so many years. It's a great time to be alive. To see the war begin again. The fans of both sides clamoring and prices dropping. (except for ram of late...grr) Still its a fun time. I overspent on a 1800X and it is a odd cpu. It will hit 4100 but if you set it there continuously it destabilizes. Yet if I let it overclock itself it sits at 3700mhz and boosts quite frequently to 4100 when its under duress. I own the dreaded Asus Crosshair Hero VI (according to the articles on it here anyway) and I had real problems with it until bios 1403. It is a overclockers challenge I will give it that. I however think AMD may not have binned them as much as they said with the 1800's. Happy overclocking gang. HARD
 

Unabomber

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
4,009
I loved my XP mobile Barton 2400+ 35w. On my DFI Lanparty board I had it up to 2.4Ghz although when it died I had to go back to my Asus A7n8x-Dlx which was only able to do 2.3Ghz.
Those XP-M CPU's were amazing. I remember being able to push my Barton-based one to 2.5 GHz, using an Epox nForce2 chipset board. The sheer bang / buck of that CPU made it one of the best of its time.
 

acascianelli

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,884
Sad to see that the Pentium 4 2.4C did make the list. I had one with an M0 revision (failed extreme edition) that would run at 3.6ghz with a small voltage bump and water cooling.

Also, the Celeron 533A made the honorable mention, but I think the D0 566 was the better overlocker.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,258
Skimmed through all these comments so far and no one mentioned the actual best one, in terms of OC percentage potential.


The E4300 was 1.8Ghz stock and would go up to 3.6-4Ghz on air. Thats over a 100% overclock. That should be number 1 as far as I can recall.

i7 920 from 2.6 to 4.4, and E8400 3Ghz to 4.8Ghz were pretty good too.
Even the E1200 Celeron would go from 1.6Ghz to 3.2Ghz for $49.
 

jedijeb13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
302
I had wanted a dual CPU system for years prior and the Celeron 300 and BP6 mobo finally made it a reality. It was stable for many years at 450 running Windows NT 4, Windows 98, and BEOS. I upgraded to Celeron 533 CPUs for the BP6 in 2000 and had them cranked to 880something. I snatched up two VP6 motherboards when they came out due to the good fortune I'd had with the BP6 (and BH6, etc) and both of those were pieces of shit.

This area of tech feels more exciting to me than anything has since Athlon 64. Now if I could only pull the trigger on my Newegg cart full of Threadripper build parts.
Glad to see another person who remembers BEOS! As soon as I saw Kate and Leo talk about it on ZDTV I went out and got a copy :) I had a system with W95/WNT4/BEOS/Mandrake in a quad boot setup, but used BEOS the most during that time.
 

memphist0

Gawd
Joined
Nov 18, 2000
Messages
565
Surprised nobody mentioned the P3 700Mhz Coppermine. It seemed every was using those to the point that they were tracked down to ID numbers to know idf you were getting a good one.
 

celeron300

Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
514
As my name indicates, the first cpu I overclocked to 450... dirt cheap compared to the 400 ghz Pentium II... and just as fast.
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,207
I agree with what MavericK and Kyle Bennett said. I think i7 920 should definitely be in the list. 2.66GHz stock clocking 4.2+ GHz on air. with ease on air is no exaggeration and makes it one of the best of all time in my book too. I'm still running my 920@4.2GHz.
 

Phelptwan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
6,548
Lasted me til i stepped up to a e6600. Man. Fucking great mobo as well. Rip soundstorm. :/
I kept that setup forever as well, ended up putting an x800xt AIW AGP card in it to give it some more life.
 

michalrz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
2,730
Surprised nobody mentioned the P3 700Mhz Coppermine. It seemed every was using those to the point that they were tracked down to ID numbers to know idf you were getting a good one.
I believe I had a 633, OCed to 700 and it was definitely a FCPGA Coppermine on i810.
 

Putz

I have a custom title
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
5,298
other than exploding caps and revolving door RMA replacements i loves the bp6 days and the celerons
 

acascianelli

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,884
This was the last CPU I overclocked on an old i875 system I had setup.

After my 2.4C failed completely, I got this CPU for free just to get up and running and was really surprised at how well it overclocked. If I remember right, even at 4GHz, it was still about as fast as a Pentium 4 at 3.0 - 3.2Ghz.

 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
56,379
Yea. Definitely was impressive for a Prescott Celeron.

I had a lot of success getting the slowest CPU’s with the highest revision when I was into the overclocking scene.
Prescott ran hot as hell making it even more impressive. Though if you could cool it, it would clock higher. It was better at that due to an even longer pipeline than Northwood based Pentium IV's had.
 
Top