Poll: At what clock speed does your main PC’s CPU run?

Our PCs all have different processors with different numbers of cores, different cache sizes, and different architectures. Right now, however, one factor can determine everyday performance more than others: clock speed. With inflated Pentium 4-era speeds now far behind, a look at a modern desktop or notebook CPU’s clock speed can provide a decent amount of insight into how it performs in day-to-day desktop tasks (few of which are optimized for multiple cores).

That raises the questionβ€”just how fast do TR readers run the processors in their primary PCs? Are you content with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo from a couple of years back, or do you have a state-of-the-art 45nm Penryn chip you’ve pushed well over 3GHz? Hit our poll either below or on the next page to cast your vote.

Our previous poll quizzed readers on their favorite netbook. Asus’ Eee PC 1000H turned out to be the most popular with 18% of the vote, followed closely by the Acer Aspire One with 14%. That said, the option that got the most votes by far (32%) was, “I’d prefer a bigger, heavier laptop with far less battery life.” HP’s Mini-Note 2133 came in last with just 5% of picks.

Comments closed
    • axeman
    • 11 years ago

    I’m really surprised that 3.0-3.49 is the most common choice… I guess there are a lot of enthusiasts here, or else poor suckers with P4s.. For everyday computing, most dual cores 2.0ghz and up are just fine. I have one machine with an E6850, but only ’cause it was cheap (used). Otherwise I have a couple of X2-3800+EE, a X2-4850E, and a 1.6ghz Dothan (laptop). I much prefer power efficiency over bragging rights; most of my machines barely break 40C under load, with stock cooling. Only the 3.0ghz Core 2 Duo runs warmer

    • Lans
    • 11 years ago

    AMD Turion 64 MT-37 (2.0ghz)

    • YvonneJean
    • 11 years ago

    AMD Athlon 3000+ Socket A, so I too will not sully the poll with a vote. It still runs WoW though!

    • srg86
    • 11 years ago

    2.2GHz at the moment. I’m thinking of overclocking to 2.4 but I’m not sure if it will disable Cool’n’Quiet.

    • Kaleid
    • 11 years ago

    Core 2 duo e7200, 2533Mhz running at 3800Mhz (1.3v). Thats a 50% overclock. Idles at 2400Mhz. Superpi just below 14 seconds.
    Think I had 80% with my e6300.

    Cooling is Xigmatek S1284. I hope I can attach this to a i7 (which I will wait long with to upgrade to). Fan is Scythe Slip Stream running at 500rpm.

    • zer0
    • 11 years ago

    Q9450 @ 3.2 GHz 1.18v (400 x 8 and 1600 MHz FSB) w/ 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-800 G.Skill ram in dual channel. 1600 MHz FSB quad pumped = 400MHz, and PC2-6400 ram in dual channel runs at 400MHz with double the bandwidth. 1:1 system clock to memory clock… it pays to do the math πŸ˜€

    With my Scythe Mugen and Antec 120mm TriCool on my CPU in an Antec 900, it idles at only 32C

    • JdL
    • 11 years ago

    What, no cheese option?

    • packfan_dave
    • 11 years ago

    C2D T7200 (2 GHz) in my home laptop; 3.4 GHz Pentium D @work (voted for 2-2.49GHz).

    • blitzy
    • 11 years ago

    where is the not fast enough option πŸ˜€

    mines only 1.8ghz but could prolly oc to 3ghz pretty easy, its just not worth risking the instability for me tho way too busy atm to mess with that stuff

    • Firestarter
    • 11 years ago

    My computer spends most of its time at 1ghz, which is less than the computer that it replaced.

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    Depends. 1.0 GHz at idle. 2.6 GHz under load.

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 389 x 9 or 3.5 GHz

    Its partly my fault it couldn’t go higher, if I had payed attention to the reviews of the motherboard I bought, the Gigabyte EP45-DS3L, I would have realized that a lot of people can get it to hit 1600 MHz FSB, even though the box does say 1600 is support through oc.

    Also, I have to back down to stock whenever I fold on my 4870, for some reason the client goes unstable with the CPU oc but not the GPU oc…

    • bhtooefr
    • 11 years ago

    Core 2 Duo L7500 LV here.

    And it’s also the highest clocked CPU I own.

    1600 C2D
    1400 C-M Dothan
    1200 PPC 7447a
    1100 Celeron Coppermine
    2.8 VLSI second source clone of WDC 65C816
    1.0 NCR second source clone of WDC 65C02

    • kitsunegari
    • 11 years ago

    P4 Northwood HT socket 478 @ 3.06ghz on Dimension 8300 from ’04 on a 2gig RAM and Gforce 6600agp256mb upgrade …still more than adequate for the job.

    Can’t wait to upgrade next year though, thing isn’t exactly frugal w/power and the closest we come to shutting it off is sleep.

    -Plan on building an AMD 45w on 45nm box next year w/a 4000series IGP mobo as a replacement, should pwn current rig at fraction of power and what we payed for the Dell @ the time.

    • jackbomb
    • 11 years ago

    Dual-core Opty 185 @ 3.2GHz on Socket 939.

    • thermistor
    • 11 years ago

    Q6700…Long live Kentsfield! 2.66 Ghz.

    In Ghz, the fastest computer in the house is a Pentium D 820 at 2.8.

    Everything else in the house are low-and-slow C2Ds that still runs circles around the PD820.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 11 years ago

    im posting on my moms 333mhz amdk6-2. its our main gaming rig. rogue spear almost runs on it.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    Single core A64 @ 2.4GHz still chugging along… does everything I need. Amazing how much money being content can save you.

    • Synchromesh
    • 11 years ago

    My FX60 is slightly overclocked to 2.8GHz from stock 2.6. Still does the job quite well.

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    4.8GHz!

    2.4 x 2 cores…….

    Right…..

      • ScythedBlade
      • 11 years ago

      Yo 4.2 Ghz is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoo doable …

      The new core 2 duos … the dual cores, are pretty awesome overclockers ….

        • ImSpartacus
        • 11 years ago

        It’s more than doable, it’s almost expected out of an E8600.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 11 years ago

    voted 2.6GHz (Brisbane X2 5000), but most of the time it sits at 1GHz (0.8V). Might not be the latest and greatest but it’s incredibly frugal when undervolted.

    • grantmeaname
    • 11 years ago

    1.6GHz single core Celeron M. Not happy about it at all.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    I am hovering at 3.0Ghz with a Q6600 B3. I am sticking at that speed due to thermal issues that arise when I push the chip further.

    I am confident with better cooling that this chip can handle 3.2Ghz without a problem.

      • RickyTick
      • 11 years ago

      Q6600 @3.0 , but I couldn’t do it with the stock cooler. The OCZ Vendetta II made it easy. Very happy, and see no need to go further.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        I am using an Alpha PRE9060 heatsink paired with a 92mm tri-blade Delta fan.

        My CPU goes up to 70C when fully loaded with Prime95.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Why couldn’t you do it with the stock cooler? Did that processor get to 80 degrees already at only 3 GHz?

          • RickyTick
          • 11 years ago

          I think maybe the cooler was not seated properly. Temps skyrocketed as soon as the cpu went to 100%.

    • Prototyped
    • 11 years ago

    I purchased a Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66 GHz, 1333 MT/s FSB, 4 MiB L2 cache, 65 nm, VT + TXT) last August (some three or so weeks after their launch), and am still using it. I even bought an Intel board, since overclocking doesn’t especially interest me. (Just to see what it could do, I /[

    • StuG
    • 11 years ago

    Woot 3ghz Phenom! lol, could go higher, but i’m afraid my mobo will blow due to its 125w TDP support. Oh well, maybe when something comes out and this system becomes a back up I’ll push it more. Best poll I’ve seen on TR in a while, I must say.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Phenom X4 with all cores at 3,025 MHz on a motherboard that barely has 125 W support, until my warranty hurdles with a proper board are over.

      • mbutrovich
      • 11 years ago

      Phenom users of the world unite! I’m still using a B2 9900 ES that refuses to overclock. I can’t wait to replace it with a 45nm part.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        When I read your blog about adopting early, I didn’t think you’d also buy broken hardware that almost doesn’t overclock and can’t be patched.

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    Who else ends up having their computer run at CnQ speed for everything but boot? You really don’t need any more for every day tasks.

    99.9% of my PC’s time is spent running at 800mhz with 0.8v. Thunderbird, Firefox, Skype, EyeBeam and a couple of terminal server windows open.

    A64 3500+ 2.2ghz @ 1.2v

      • Corrado
      • 11 years ago

      Mine runs at 1.3ghz most of the time. Phenom 9950 oc’d to 3.4ghz. ACC is awesome.

    • mbowen89
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 @ 3.8GHz with ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

    Idling at 31C, I decided to go to only 3.8GHz for everyday use, and only go over 4.2GHz for benchmarks etc…

    • tocatl
    • 11 years ago

    1 athlon64 2.4ghz, 1 athlonx2 2.1ghz, 1 athlonx2 2.5ghz, and one old ibm laptop with and intel4 1.8ghz, but when im not gaming the athlon pcs run at 1.0ghz, no need for more power when you do basic stuff…

    • charged3800z24
    • 11 years ago

    I sit nice at 3.2ghz on average. I go higher when I wanna extend my e – penis. But my 9950 140w version needs the V’s to do higher. 1.4v 3.2ghz 230 Ht ref and 2300mhx HT link and NB. 100% stable. I have hit 3.5ghz, but not stable.

    • jstern
    • 11 years ago

    I’m very satisfied with my core 2 duo, Vista runs flawlessly, and I really have to fight the desire of wanting a Nahalem. I should be more exited about thing that would really make a difference in the way my computer runs, like a Solid State Drive. I would like to have a quad core though, for when I want to run something on a virtual machine. But my point is to relax, because if I get an i7, then I’m going to want the 32nm version, and so on.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 400×9

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    Still on a 3.2 P4C here. And i must say… it is still doing a darn good job.

    Laptop is a 2.0 C2D though. And lately i have been using that more than my desktop i suppose.

      • crazybus
      • 11 years ago

      OCed? I have much respect for the the 2.4C Northwood which would regularly hit 3.2GHz with minimal effort. That chip held its own for a very long time.

    • moshpit
    • 11 years ago

    Q6600 @ 3.6Ghz (400×9), Q9300 @ 3.2Ghz (427×7.5)

    The yorky definately doesn’t have the same kind of OC legs my G0 Kent has, maybe it’s the lower multi, maybe it’s the immature 45nm process against the most mature 65nm G0 series. Whatever it is though, my Q6600 stomps the Q9300, but runs alot warmer to get there.

      • CheetoPet
      • 11 years ago

      Can’t quite get 3.6 with my my Q6600 G0, I’m at 400 * 8, default voltages. You have to raise the voltage to get the 9x multiplier to work?

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Well that’s pretty likely, d’uh.

    • Dysthymia
    • 11 years ago

    X2 4400+ 2.3 GHz… not aware of any way to overclock on a Dell. / :

    • SuperSpy
    • 11 years ago

    2.0 GHz T7300 on the laptop, and a 2.0 GHz Athlon 64 x2 3800 on the desktop.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Alright, who’s the joker that says he’s running 4.5Ghz or faster?

      • sdack
      • 11 years ago

      *lol* That one vote got me puzzled, too. Perhaps it is a buyer of a TriCore with 3×1.5GHz who got lost in the options.

      • ClickClick5
      • 11 years ago

      That poor P4 OC guy from 2004-ish. lol

      • Jason181
      • 11 years ago

      I have an e8400 running at 4.5Ghz. 500Mhz quad-pumped FSB, 1Ghz DDR2 RAM.

        • ClickClick5
        • 11 years ago

        …I really dont want to see your benchmarks. I might cry.

          • axeman
          • 11 years ago

          umm, he has 1gb of RAM.. blech

            • pixel_junkie
            • 11 years ago

            It says 1GHz, not GB.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    Dothan 1.67 GHz, speedsteps down to 800 MHz.

    πŸ˜›

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    I was able to push my E8400 to 4GHz on air, but thought, “Why bother?” It’s not like I was seeing a big difference in system performance.

    • Nictron
    • 11 years ago

    Have a 9550 running at 3.6Ghz as well, watercooled and runing very stable, very happy with it at the moment, I also don’t see the need to push it any higher and loose stability.

    I don’t see any quad cores at 4Ghz though!

    • jasonalwaysready
    • 11 years ago

    q6600 at 3 Ghz

    • Veerappan
    • 11 years ago

    Desktop: 2.6Ghz X2 (running anywhere between 1.0-3.0Ghz, depending on my mood).
    Laptop: 2.13Ghz Pentium M.

    • moriz
    • 11 years ago

    E7200 at 3.2ghz

    • ApockofFork
    • 11 years ago

    My good ole e6420 running at 3.2 GHz

    • clhensle
    • 11 years ago

    double post

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    My E4400 is currently at 3.1GHz, although the majority of the time it’s only running at 1.86GHz. Thank you EIST.

    • ChangWang
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 @ 4.25Ghz on a P5Q Deluxe on air

    • absinthexl
    • 11 years ago

    Q6600 @ 2.4GHz. I do a lot of multitasking while 3d rendering, so no regrets here.

    heh… remember when people thought clock speed meant everything? I’ve got a 2.53GHz P4 next to me that I use as a “baseline” Win2k / XP test computer, no service packs. But… but… 2.53 is more than 2.4!

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    Q6600 stock.
    No OC needed yet.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    E6600 @ 2.4G. Went off one of the TR system guides from 02/2007. Not into O/C much, will probably upgrade this machine (at least CPU and probably go to 64-bit) in Marchg{<.<}g

      • swampfox
      • 11 years ago

      I also had an E6600 @2.4 stock. Sold that desktop though, and now I’m living off my laptop (with a T9300 @ 2.5). Guess I’m waiting until spring to get a new rig, which will probably be an E8500 or something along those lines.

    • Walkintarget
    • 11 years ago

    Oh have pity on the 4 who voted 1.0-1.49 πŸ™

    Q6700 @ 3.5 = buttery smooth, like Jessica Alba’s thighs.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      could just be an ULV Core mini laptop or something…

      or some poor sod stuck on a G4 Mac…

    • Evan
    • 11 years ago

    I’m still using a 3.4GHz Gallatin P4EE (bought cheaply a year or so ago to upgrade a 3.2GHz Northwood). I’m waiting for Nehalem to upgrade.

    • talktojld
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 3.0 GHz here…

    Never really got into overclocking, and with the stuff I’m doing on it, I don’t really need to.

    I’m a bit worried though. I don’t feel the need to upgrade, nor can I do my normal upgrade path. I normally go after something that is twice as powerful as what I currently have. Soooooooo I have to wait on something amazing over the next few years.

    • 5150
    • 11 years ago

    Eh, I did have my Phenom X4 9950 running at 2.6GHz, but after this poll I decided to pump my multiplier up to a 15X.

    3GHz is nice, too bad Cool ‘n’ Quiet doesn’t work anymore though. πŸ™

      • Veerappan
      • 11 years ago

      Check out a nice little program called RMClock. I use it on my X2 5000+ BE to dynamically change multiplier/voltages based on load.

      Just look up your stock voltages/multipliers for Cool ‘n Quiet, plug those into RMClock, and play with it. It’s given me very fine-grained control over the CPU’s clock speed, and because I left the BIOS at the stock multiplier, my Cool ‘n Quiet in linux still works normally, and I get a nice clock boost in windows.

        • 5150
        • 11 years ago

        Unfortunately it doesn’t play nice with Vista 64-bit. I used to use it on my laptop until I switched to Vista 64-bit on that too, it is a very cool program.

      • charged3800z24
      • 11 years ago

      Didn’t mean to reply….oops

    • nerdrage
    • 11 years ago

    E8500 @ stock 3.16GHz. I had it overclocked to 3.8 without any voltage bump, but I’ll probably leave it at stock for now until something comes along that can use the extra speed. Might even try undervolting when I get some spare time.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    E6420 @ 3GHz. (stock 2.13GHz)

    Thought about getting an E7200 and seeing where the ceiling is on that but I’m still pleased as punch at my OC’d E6420 I bought over a year ago.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    Allendale E2160

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Opteron 180 (dual core) @ 2.4GHz.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 11 years ago

    3.5GHz on my E6420

    • kpo6969
    • 11 years ago

    E8400 @ 3.6ghz (1.216v) w/ 4GB 1000mhz 4:5 5-5-5-12 @ 1.87v
    Does the job (very well)

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    On a side note, who has theirs running at 4ghz+??? That is insanse.

    • StuffMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Athlon 64 3000+ @2GHz. And yes, it ran Crysis.

    • steve0827
    • 11 years ago

    my q6600 runs at 3.7ghz
    my laptop has a pentium dual core t2060 @ 1.6ghz

    • Gerbil Jedidiah
    • 11 years ago

    3.5 GHZ on a Q9450. It’s getting cooler now so I may try for a little higher clock. It’s definitely not at its peak speed running 3.5.

    Side note. I noticed that after 38 votes not one person had posted. Now there are 290 votes and 13 comments. That indicates we have a lot of lurkers. Come on peeps, register and become part of the community=)))

      • Preyfar
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve got a Q9550 OC’d at 3.6Ghz, runs amazingly. I could probably take it higher, but I just have no need yet. With 2X GTX 260 Core 216s, it handles Crysis and Warhead nicely. I don’t see much reason to push it further… yet.

        • Nictron
        • 11 years ago

        Have a 9550 running at 3.6Ghz as well, watercooled and running very stable, very happy with it at the moment.

        I also don’t see the need to push it any higher and loose stability.

      • cynan
      • 11 years ago

      I also have a Q9450. Runs on an Asus X48 board (P5E deluxe). I haven’t yet bothered to try too hard to OC and it currently runs at 3.2 Ghz (7.5 multiplier and 430 mhz bus = 3.225 Ghz – as I recall). This is with a slight CPU undervolt, so it runs nice and cool. Maybe I’ll just try bumping the multiplier back up to 8 (3.44 Ghz) and see what happens πŸ˜›

      I was planning on improving the cooling on the north bridge prior to trying any semi serious OCing, but ran into difficulties removing the stock cooler and left it for the time being. How high is it safe to go with stock cooling on the north bridge?

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    Laptop is a 2ghz C2D
    Desktop is a E6400 2.13 ghz overclocked to 3.2ghz

    • steve0827
    • 11 years ago

    i keep my q6600 at 3.6ghz
    my laptop has a intel pentium dual core t2060 @ 1.6ghz

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Laptop CPU is a T2450 Core Duo at 2.0ghz. At home our desktop is a 2.6ghz X2.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 11 years ago

    Laptop ~ 1.8 ghz dual core
    Desktop ~ 2.6 ghz dual core

    Let’s face it, probably the majority of people have more than one computer, usually laptop + desktop + maybe htpc, that could potentially all be used in the same proportion. Since desktops tend to run at higher frequencies than other pcs, the results might be skewed one way or the other, because your “main” PC can be either one.

    Doesn’t seem like a very informative poll, since many techies run OC’ed processors as well.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    T7200 2ghz c2duo in my laptop. 1.66ghz in my new work laptop πŸ™

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    I got a E8400 @ 3.0 GHz. Really nice CPU. Will buy another one.

    I’ve overclocked the hell out of it and got it to 4.5 GHz on air. Only cuz the Asus P45 had awesome FSB clocks that supported it and it was just a test. I believe in longevity, so it is cruising at 3.0 and will stay that way.

    • highlandr
    • 11 years ago

    My desktop is running at a shameful *[

      • ReAp3r-G
      • 11 years ago

      i’ve got my E4400 running at 2.95GHz, it’s happily chugging along but the voltage is enough to fry anything and everything…along with the insane temps i get from such a minimal overclock…lol

    • ybf
    • 11 years ago

    wait. can i multiply 3 GHz by 4 cores and vote the last choice?

    (that’s stock Yorkfield on an X38 board, btw; i just haven’t had the time to get into OCing it, but I figure I’ll get motivated when I start to feel inadequate next to the Nehalems…)

      • DukeNukem
      • 11 years ago

      You’re joking right?

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    1.86 GHz C2D E6300. Work machine is 2.16 GHz C2D T7400.

    • Thorburn
    • 11 years ago

    Overclocked from 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz for me, Core microarchitecture.

    Laptop is a nice 2.8GHz too (Core 2 Extreme X9000)

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Rockin’ at 4.0GHz here. /[

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t push my CPU into 3.0GHz territory because I’m not sure my Mobo could handle a faster FSB. I’m impressed to begin with that ASUS managed to get a 975 chipset to work with 45nm Quads and won’t push my luck.

    • Peffse
    • 11 years ago

    Heh, my PC is an inflated Pentium 4, 3.0GHz… so I won’t vote.

      • TREE
      • 11 years ago

      I remember when i owned a pentium d 950 (i think it was) engineering sample. I was able to push that thing to 4.75 GHz on a Gigabyte P965 DQ6 baord.

      Ahh the days of the pentium.

        • dermutti
        • 11 years ago

        I don’t suppose you measured the power draw on that overclock, did you?

      • mmp121
      • 11 years ago

      Same here, my main PC has an inflated P4 3.0Ghz CPU. I voted.

      Patiently awaiting Core i7 to be released (with chipset) so I can build a new system around May of next year…

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