Throughout our test session we'll be overclocking the PC. Not because it's so much fun to do, but because the 680i mainboard series was built especially for it. This is an enthusiast product, it's priced so high as it's special. You have an wide palette of option available to you to torture your mainboard, CPU and memory.
What did we do for the overclock?
First off, we used a new stepping Core 2 Duo E6600 processor. Word on the street is that the new revisions clock much worse then previous batches ... we'll see.
Memory: Now the actual overclock. We have some pretty spiffy Corsair Dominator memory to use today. The memory controller on the mainboard uses it's own PLL. So we can clock it asynchronously from the rest of the bus. We set the clock at 1142 MHz for the memory with it's best available timings.
Our maximum overclock
CPU: We now do what everyone with an E6600 processor can do - raise the FSB. I gave the processor a little more voltage at 1.45v and left the rest of the functions at AUTO. Now I simply start rising the FSB speed.
Our maximum was 375x9= 3375 MHz (multiplier at 9). Indeed ... the Core 2 Duo's seem to overclock a little lower, but nearly 3.4 GHz isn't anything to be ashamed off. Mind you, we used the stock Intel air cooler! We now have the processor running at ~3.4 MHz with an idle temperature of roughly 50 Degrees C on a stock Intel cooler.
3375 MHz on a 199 USD processor on air cooling. Not bad, as it's much faster than the 800 USD X6800 processor, eh ? :) Let's fire up the benchmarks.