Over the long holiday weekend, I decided to build a new Vista system from parts. I picked up an OEM ASUS P5N-E SLI motherboard from MicroCenter, along with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6320. The 6320 was only $166.00, and it has 4MB of shared L2 cache (just like the high-end Core 2 Duo CPU’s).
I installed Windows Vista Ultimate, and had a Windows Experience Index score of 4.8 (with the lowest score of 4.8 coming from the stock CPU). Then I started playing with overclocking the CPU. First, I unlinked the FSB and RAM speeds, then I boosted the VCore voltage to 1.4 volts. Then I started bumping up the FSB speed, till I got to 1800MHz (up from the stock 1066MHz). This pushed the CPU speed up to 3150MHz (up from the stock 1860MHz)! It also pushed the Windows Experience Index CPU score to 5.7.
This is with the stock Intel retail heatsink and cooler. That is not too shabby for a humble $166 CPU. For comparision’s sake, NewEgg is selling the Intel Core 2 Duo X6800 2.93GHz CPU for $970.00.