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Review: Core 2 Quad G0-stepping overclocking - Q6700 retail. How high will it go?

by James Thorburn on 20 August 2007, 08:58

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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The refresh last month of Intel's Core 2 line-up saw not just a range of new SKUs and lower prices but also the introduction of a new stepping - the G0 - for CPUs based on Conroe and Kentsfield cores.

Prior to launch, the internet was awash with rumours of incredible overclocking potential from this revised chip.

While our initial review showed increased headroom from the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 compared to its forerunner - the B3 stepping Core 2 Extreme QX6800 - this was based on testing results from engineering sample CPUs. And many speculated that retail processors could not be pushed so far.

So we hatched a plan. A Core 2 Quad Q6700 was purchased to see how it would cope when subjected to a quick bout of overclocking. No hand-picked sample designed to show the product in its very best light here - just an off-the-shelf, boxed, sealed, retail processor.

Ideally we would have been looking at a Core 2 Quad Q6600, which is priced significantly lower than the £334 of the Q6700 but at present G0 stepping Q6600s are hard to find in the UK. The Q6700, in contrast, launched as part of the refreshed line-up and is only available with the G0 stepping.