As we have already seen, the overclocking potential of Conroe processors improves every time they switch to a new core stepping. However, the range of supported nominal frequency multipliers remains unchanged. In this case it will be the ability of the mainboard to support high bus frequencies that will play the crucial role in successful processor overclocking. As we have already said several times in our previous news stories, the mainboards specifically designed for Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme have some real advantages over the slightly modified i975X based boards that have been so desperately wanted by the first lucky Conroe owners.
In the meanwhile, voltmodding and extreme cooling solutions may always help make up for the insufficient overclocking potential of the mainboard you have. For example, XtremeSystems.org forums describe a very unusual result of Conroe B0 core stepping overclocking reported by a Japanese user. His Intel D975XBX mainboard revision 302 modified to support Conroe processor allowed reaching 500MHz bus frequency:
So far we believed that 400MHz is the necessary ?overclocking minimum?that should allow younger Conroe models to reach more or less significant frequencies. If the mainboard allows reaching 500MHz bus frequency, Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86GHz) processors will work at 3.5GHz frequency with 7x clock multiplier. This is the maximum you should be able to achieve with a default cooling solution and nominal voltage settings. In other words, if the mainboard permits, you will be able to achieve very good overclocking results even with the youngest Conroe models.
By the way, next year Intel will launch Core 2 Duo E4200 (1.6GHz) processor that will support 800MHz bus and 8x clock frequency multiplier. It will overclock pretty well in less extreme mainboards that offer modest ranges for bus frequency increase. The mainboards better suited for overclocking that will support high clock frequency multiplier settings will make this CPU a real overclocking hit (thanks to its low price).
In the case we are talking about right now they used Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67GHz) overclocking with a liquid nitrogen cooling system and performed significant voltage regulator modifications on the mainboard. As a result, the bus frequency hit 500MHz, which is a great result for a pretty old mainboard, I should say. The frequency multiplier reduced to 9x made the CPU run at 4.5GHz. It is quite normal result for Conroe B0 core stepping and with liquid nitrogen cooling system the platform can run stably under workload.
Of course, not every Conroe owner will be brave enough to modify the voltage regulator on his mainboard or can get hold of liquid nitrogen. However, this example shows very well that if you wish you can squeeze quite a bit of speed even from the mainboard that is initially not intended to support Conroe processors.