Memorable Overclocking-Friendly CPUs

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TechSpot is taking a trip down memory lane today looking back at all the memorable overclocking-friendly processors. Any overclocking list that starts off with the Celeron 300A is okay in my book. That thing was a beast! :cool:

Think legendary. The Celeron 300A was largely responsible for reigniting mainstream processor overclocking in the late 90's through the ease that it could be accomplished. A 50% overclock to 450MHz was as simple as changing the bus speed from its nominal 66MHz to 100MHz. Although some boards topped out at 83.3MHz limiting the OC to 375MHz, motherboards that supported 103MHz FSB could yield 464MHz.
 

[Spectre]

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The 486 was great for it's relative simplicity compared to previous processors to overclock. Reminds me of the old Overdrives too......man was that a fun time in PC's (as long as you didn't buy a Packard Bell).
 

pxc

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That's what brought me here back in the day from Voodoo Extreme.

Those were nice days of pretty easy and huge overclocks. I had a ridiculously huge aluminum heatsink on my overclocked 300A.
 

AMD T-type

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Ah the Athlon XP series, my first dive into overclocking. I had so much time back then in college to mess with settings and timings, and reinstalling Windows XP on a almost weekly basis.
 

pxc

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Turbo button on my 386! Awwwwww yeah!
Turbo wasn't for overclocking in the 386 era. :p iirc, most 386 and 486 boards would switch between full speed and a lower speed (often 8MHz). Later chips in the Pentium era would switch between full speed and 1/2 speed. I used to hate those front panel LEDs. So many jumpers to move to make it display properly and you'd cut up your hands or fingers while doing it. A few "retro" boards far later did use a switch to control overclocking, but it never really caught on.

Most 386 chips were difficult to overclock. And you had to do all kinds of things to make the overclock stable (in coarse speed bumps... I did a 25 -> 33MHz overclock in 1989), like using a heatsink and/or a fan. Craziness!
 

Iratus

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I enjoyed that, it's basically my buying history of processors.

My favourite is still the i7 920 though, wasn't the biggest overclock by percentage (got 4.0ghz from mine) but for sheer longevity it can't be beaten. I could still use that processor today and I wouldn't be that far behind where I am with my 4770K

Still got my Rampage 3 and the i7 920 sitting in a box somewhere, I should make use of it.
 

SeegsElite

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Haha, my first OC'ed CPU made the list:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Revision

I'm obviously relatively new to the OC game. :)
 

Ducman69

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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.
 

S[H]ady

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Man that brings back some memories

Athlin 800 was my first OC'd system. It was basically the same as the 700. Same ceiling too.

Athlon XP 2500 Barton was the next.

Then I jumped to an Athlon X2 3800 which I promptly upgraded to a GO stepping Q6600.
Got that beast up to 3.2Ghz on my first boot. Pushed it to 3.6 on air. Second highest on the forum according to the active thread at the time.
I'm happy to say its still running strong. Clocked it back down to stock speed about 3 years ago as its only a media server now.

To prove an ongoing argument at the time that at Q6600 was a better buy than an E8400, I bought an E8400.
Got it clocked to about 3.5Ghz. Ran it as a second gaming system for 2 years. Sold it to a friend after that. He replaced it the next year because it felt to slow.


After the Q6600 I went all out and got an i7-2600k. Its been running at 3.6Ghz since i got it. Still a monster!

I always do my research when buying cpu's but I definitely lucked out over the years
 

QwertyJuan

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My 300a would do 110FSB with my GORB. MSI 440BX board. Pretty sure I was running 2.3 volts.
 

QwertyJuan

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Forgot to mention my 566a... would do 850Mhz(100fsb) and my 600e would do 960Mhz(160fsb).

I had some NICE overclockers back in the day.
 

DogsofJune

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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.
 
D

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Good read. Had many of those chips and remember Kyle crushing a lot of the tird cores when they went to socket a.

I had many AMD boxes that would run like a raped ape.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

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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.

The GFD's were neat, I still want a slot a box:mad:

The slotkets were neat as well.
 

djoye

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I remember when Hardocp posted news on OC'ing the 300A. I bought an Abit motherboard and 300A from the store in town (Azzo). Azzo is still here but I think it has changed hands at least a few times since.
 

delsydsoftware

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I had an athlon xp2200 1.8ghz that ran solid at 2.6ghz with water cooling, slightly under-volted. I was using a crappy Kingwin water cooling rig that a friend had bought for me. While I was at work one day, it sprung a huge leak and dumped water on the CPU. It never quite worked again...the cpu would pick a different clock speed every time I booted the machine up. Sometimes, it booted at 2ghz. Sometimes, it booted at 400mhz. Really bizarre. It's a fridge magnet now :)

5343639337_6bf783ced5_o.jpg
 

drescherjm

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The 300A was actually the first processor I overclocked.

I am thinking the same here. I had a dual processor setup though. With slotkets. I am not sure if I ran it at dual 466 or 500MHz. I do remember paying around $1250 for the motherboard + slotkets + 2 300As. I think the board was an EPOX KP6-BS.

KP6-BS.jpg
 

Insula Gilliganis

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Turbo wasn't for overclocking in the 386 era. iirc, most 386 and 486 boards would switch between full speed and a lower speed (often 8MHz)

Right.. the turbo button actually slowed down the PC!! In the 1980s, programmers relied heavily on the processor speed for timing. As a result thousands of applications, such as early PC games, relied on the processor speed to govern the timing of in-application events. If you played a game that was intended to be played on a 8MHz system on a 16MHz system, for example, the game would run twice as fast, becoming unplayable. The Turbo button served as a hardwired compatibility tool.. flipping the Turbo would slow down the processor to ensure that older software would run properly.

Most 386 chips were difficult to overclock. And you had to do all kinds of things to make the overclock stable (in coarse speed bumps... I did a 25 -> 33MHz overclock in 1989), like using a heatsink and/or a fan. Craziness!

Had a 12MHz 286 clone at a job in the late 1980s that, through the use of some software the company's computer maintenance person gave me, was able to overclock to 16MHz!! Didn't feel comfortable opening up the company's PC so using software was my only real option. Was always running Norton Utilities 4.5 "Speed Test" trying to figure out if my software tinkering with the rig was making things faster or not. That speed boost gave me an advantage when playing a sub game called "688 Attack Sub".. use to play that during lunch breaks and after hours with a fellow worker using the company's LAN. Greatest feeling in the world seeing a torpedo heading for my co-worker and then hearing him gasp from a few cubes over realize when he realized he was about to be hit!! Wasn't fun at all when it happened to me!!

My first build had a 300A on a very overclock unfriendly Tyan Tsunami AT board.. changing the FSB was all I could do.. could only get it to 366MHz.. the next step was 450MHz and that was always a no-go.
 

Zepher

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I bought a pair of celeron 300A chips to use in this dual Asus board I bought, then found out you needed to mod something for then to both work on the board, so I sold one chip and just ran the one at 450Mhz.

I had my Pentium 200MMX running at 250Mhz with no issues. That was a pricey chip back then, I paid $525 for it. :eek:

I didn't overclock again til I got the Q6600, just ran that at 3Ghz.
 

THRESHIN

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nice list, i was just a little disappointed not to see the opteron 165. that thing was insanely popular for overlcocking! had a great time when i had mine under water and de-lidded :)
 

Mugato

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Turbo wasn't for overclocking in the 386 era. :p iirc, most 386 and 486 boards would switch between full speed and a lower speed (often 8MHz). Later chips in the Pentium era would switch between full speed and 1/2 speed. I used to hate those front panel LEDs. So many jumpers to move to make it display properly and you'd cut up your hands or fingers while doing it. A few "retro" boards far later did use a switch to control overclocking, but it never really caught on.

Most 386 chips were difficult to overclock. And you had to do all kinds of things to make the overclock stable (in coarse speed bumps... I did a 25 -> 33MHz overclock in 1989), like using a heatsink and/or a fan. Craziness!

Yeah...like your games running at double the speed, anyone remember that? I remember running everything at twice the frames until I unclocked it, games were SO finicky at that point in time. But jeez, so great remembering these chips! I've done all of them, honestly my favorite was my Celery 300 @ 450, it was amazing! That and a 9600 Pro (come one, ocing a VIDEO CARD?) played Diable and XW TF so well!
 

andrewaggb

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well I'll admit I haven't bothered overclocking much in the last few years, but when I was younger I enjoyed overclocking.

I never achieved much though. AMD K6-200 @ 225, K6-2 300 at 333, Celeron 466 @ 525, etc. I had friends with the 300A who got 450... but I missed that cycle. My brother had a 366 but we couldn't get it to post at 550. Guess I wasn't that lucky or needed a lot higher voltages.

I had an athlon barton 2500 that I unlocked by wrapping a wire around a couple cpu pins. That one overclocked pretty good.
 

Mugato

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250? We never hit 250, didn't think you could, only hit 266mhz. Or maybe that was the 166mhz, or the 233..I don't remember honestly, it was my brothers.
 

Zepher

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I recall reading something back in the day that the Celeron 300A was actually a crippled Pentium II or III 450Mhz, which was why it took the OC so easily.
 

Nookie420

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I've owned a few of these babies.

all on water
intel celeron 600 that would do 900.
athlon 1700+ that ran 2.2Ghz
athlon 2500+ that would do 2.5Ghz
intel q6600 that did 3.6Ghz
 

Zepher

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I still have some old processors sitting around somewhere
procs.jpg
 

PCunicorn

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I enjoyed that, it's basically my buying history of processors.

My favourite is still the i7 920 though, wasn't the biggest overclock by percentage (got 4.0ghz from mine) but for sheer longevity it can't be beaten. I could still use that processor today and I wouldn't be that far behind where I am with my 4770K

Still got my Rampage 3 and the i7 920 sitting in a box somewhere, I should make use of it.

That's not really true. I've seen fist gen C2Ds still rocking an over clock they got one year or less after they came out.
 

SGA76

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Athlon XP-M 2200 Barton on an Abit NF7-S rev 2 motherboard.
Bought a huge copper cooler from the now defunct crazypc.com with a 120mm fan strapped to it and hit 2.2ghz easy on stock voltage. Used the superglue/ hairdryer/ rear window defogger repair kit method to fully unlock it. Always wanted to watercool or peltier cool it but never had the money.
Paired it with 2gigs of Corsair DDR2 and 7200 rpm 120 gig Seagate SATAs in RAID 0 AND A MSI GeForce 5950 w/ 256mb ram and dear god that thing ran like a dream.
Would corrupt the hdds once I hit around 2.4ghz, so I wound up using it at 2.2ghz for myself, and when I finally upgraded to a Athlon 64 dual core I clocked her down to 2ghz and gave her to a good home.
Single best bang for the buck PC I've ever built.
Sometimes I wish I would have kept it.
 

ryuen

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Ah the old Duron 600 and Athlon XP's, good memories of those.

The i7 920, a great little CPU and it's still running like a champ in my today today, I can't get myself to get rid of it yet to be honest.
 

Trimlock

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I had most of those, no durons, opterons our Pentium D's.

My first was the Pentium, my favorite was probably the 3000+, surprised that didn't make it.
 

cyclone3d

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As another poster mentioned.. fail for not mentioning the SLOT-A Athlons.

Most of them were sold as slower speed parts because the yields were so good.

Also no mention of the K6, K6-2, K6-3, K6-2+, or K6-3+.

Those also overclocked fairly well. I had a K6-2 running at 660 on an ASUS P5A board.

I am also surprised that they only mentioned up to 3.6Ghz for the Q6600 G0.

With a P45 board, that sucker would do 3.8Ghz+
 
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