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Sharky Extreme : Hardware Guides December 12, 2010





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    Pentium 4 Northwood Overclocking Guide
    By Bao Ly :  July 4, 2002

    SiSoft SANDRA 2001 Performance

    Both the SiSoft SANDRA ALU and FPU benchmarks naturally show excellent scaling as we raise the CPU core speeds. This is a given for a pure CPU test, but it is still interesting to see exactly how fast some of these non-standard speeds really are, especially the Pentium 4-1.8A at 2.6 GHz.

    * Please note that while we have combined the benchmark scores to save space, the Pentium 4-1.6A and 1.8A use two totally different platforms (i845/Radeon 8500 vs. SiS 645DX/GF4 Ti 4600) and should not be directly compared.

    As with the previous test scores, the SiSoft SANDRA Multimedia benchmarks also help illustrate just how much faster the overclocked processor is compared to the stock speed. Another interesting point is that although the Multimedia test results are higher, the relative percentage increase still favors the standard ALU and FPU benchmarks.

    The final SiSoft SANDRA benchmark test concerns memory bandwidth, and we once again want to remind you that we are dealing with two totally different platforms here. The Pentium 4-1.6A using the i845D motherboard gets a nice jump in its step from the higher core speed, but this is still moving upwards from the basic 266 MHz DDR speed.

    The SiS 645DX-powered Pentium 4-1.8A shows how valuable DDR333 can be when overclocking, as the base 1.8 GHz score passes the best the i845D can muster. At the high-end of the chart, the memory bandwidth scores would challenge an i850 with PC800 for the overall lead.

    Conclusion

    Throughout this Pentium 4 Northwood overclocking exercise, we've learned a few important lessons. One is that Pentium 4 overclocking can really pay off in enhanced performance, especially with a powerful 3D card to supply some added headroom. We can also confirm that the high core speed results you're seeing online are not fiction, and that the Pentium 4 Northwood may be the most overclockable processor ever. The Celeron 300A's 50% or higher base overclocking jump may still come out on top, but most would take the incredible 500-800 MHz core speed jumps offered by the Pentium 4 Northwood any day of the week.

    Another finding is that both upgraders and new system buyers can easily reap the benefits of the recent Pentium 4 overclocking frenzy, assuming a compatible Socket 478 motherboard is used. The i845D may not have all the performance or bus speed options of a SiS 645DX board, but it should fill the overclocking role quite well and at a significant cost savings compared to a whole new PC. Those looking for a new PC have the widest range of options, and can literally pick and choose the perfect overclocking hardware from the ground up.

    These are exciting times for overclocking fans, and tweaking a Pentium 4 Northwood to its upper limits can be both fun and highly educational. The safest bet is still the Pentium 4-1.6A, with the 1.8A gaining on the outside as the weeks roll by. Anything higher is still a bit risky for our blood, though the Pentium 4-2.0A might be an option for the true gambler or highly experienced overclocker.

    Just remember that buying any processor for the purposes of overclocking is never a sure thing, and basically, you roll the dice and you pay the price. It just happens that the Pentium 4 Northwood overclocking game is usually loaded in your favor.


    Page 1 Introduction
    Page 2 Choosing the Right Pentium 4 Northwood
    Page 3 Selecting a Motherboard Platform
    Page 4 CPU Cooling Options
    Page 5 Overclocking Test Systems
    Page 6 Pentium 4 Northwood Overclocking Basics
    Page 7 Pentium 4-1.6A, 1.8A and 2.0A Overclocking Results
    Page 8 Quake 3 & 3DMark 2001SE Overclock Performance
  • Page 9 SiSoft SANDRA Performance and Conclusion


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