To get the maximum out of this processor we used the following settings in BIOS,Results on air: 4200Mhz
First I installed the setup with the boxed cooling. After some playing with it I could hit a frequency of 4.2 GHz. This was reached using a mere voltage of 1.475 Vcore. The little boxed cooler could even keep the processor around 65° C. This was stable enough to survive some basic benchmarks as SuperPi 1M calculation. But not stable for daily use. Lowering the voltage with 0.025 volt and the frequency with 200 Mhz to 4 GHz I could obtain a perfectly stable system. Results on Dry Ice: 5225Mhz
Dry Ice cooling made it possible to user higher voltages as heat wasn't really an issue any more. The bios could handle a maximum of 1.85 Vcore. Added a minor voltmod and vdroop mod for voltage stabilisation the Vcore was set to 1.845 Vcore. The setup booted at 4275 Mhz (9,5 * 450 Mhz) and the frequency was raised using setfsb in Windows. The maximum frequency reached was 9.5 * 550 Mhz, which gave us 5225 Mhz. Already a very impressive overclock. As I didn't have more test equipment at the time of testing, there also is a chance that this was the limit of the board rather than of the processor.
To be able to run a few benchmarks I had to lower clockspeeds by some Mhz, to about 5170 Mhz. At this speed I could run Superpi 1M:
But to consider it really stable I also now lowered the CPU frequency. Finally I set it to 5.05 GHz, which equals a FSB of +/- 531 Mhz.
In the end this is a 100 % overclock. Surely not bad. I ran some quick benches for those who would like it. This is what you can expect from this chip with default clock speeds, with the maximum air overclock (+/- 4 GHz) and with Dry Ice (+/- 5 Ghz)
Time in seconds, lower is better...
Max frequency reached with saved print screen ;-) :Conclusion
The E7200 processor is a more than a decent overclocker. Even with the boxed cooler and a minimal voltage raise I was able to add more then 50% clock speed. 4 Ghz everyday stable with the boxed cooler is surely possible. You just need memory and a board that can handle just over 400 Mhz FSB. But most boards with some overclocking options can handle this. I also tested this CPU with the Asus P5K (about 85 euro) and that worked flawlessly.
But if you want to overclock the chip higher the motherboard could be the limiting factor. To reach 5 Ghz you already need more then 525 Mhz front side bus. This nowadays isn't that difficult anymore, but it's more difficult to find a board that can do that. Our Asus Commando priced at +/- 125 euro had no problems with that.
With a price tag of 115 euro the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 surely is worth considering for those who are on a budget, but still want to do some overclocking.