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My efforts to overclock the E6300 were limited by the fact that our Intel D975XBX motherboard refused to overclock the front-side bus (and thus the processor) by more than 25% of its rated speed. Still, with no increase in CPU voltage, I was able to get the E6300 to POST and run at 2.33GHz on a 1333MHz bus—on the very first try. Who knows how high this CPU might go on a different motherboard?

For this overclock, the PCI-E clock was locked at 100MHz. I had the memory dividers set up for 667MHz, which yielded 830MHz memory speeds with the overclocked bus. Although the RAM was running at a bit higher speed than stock, no change in memory timings was necessary to achieve stability.

As for the EE SFF, well, it's a bit different story. AMD tweaks its manufacturing process in certain ways to make these low-power processors, and as I understand it, they are engaging in a tradeoff between transistor leakage and switching speed when they do so. As a result, the EE SFF is able to run with very low core voltages, but it's not happy at high clock speeds. I was hoping to get it to 2.4GHz, which is the speed at which I run a much older Athlon 64 X2 3800+ in my own system, but the EE SFF wouldn't POST at that speed. After some experimenting, I was able to get it stable at 2.33GHz (on a 233MHz HyperTransport link) with a minor bump in voltage. Even then, the system wouldn't POST reliably, but it was stable enough to run a few tests. The system's DDR2 memory was running at an effective 776MHz clock speed in this config, with PCI Express locked at 100MHz.

The Core 2 Duo's clock-for-clock performance is very strong, so naturally a bump up in clock speed leads to big performance gains. When overclocked by just 25%, the E6300 challenges the Athlon 64 FX-62 in our gaming and audio encoding tests. We'll have to try the E6300 on a different motherboard soon and see how high we can take it.

As for the EE SFF, I don't think this is really an overclocker's chip. It doesn't have lots of headroom, and turning up the frequency and voltage compromises this CPU's low-power character without delivering big returns.