In this article, we will conduct a study of the overclocking potential of an old quad-core Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor.

Welcome to the seventh article in the Retro Overclocking series.

Processor

Test specimen marking SLB5M, country of origin Malaysia.

The codename for the Core 2 Quad Q8200 is Yorkfield (Penryn architecture). Under the heat spreader cover of this CPU are two dual-core 45nm Wolfdale dies in 2M modification. A revision of our test instance M1.

Core 2 Quad Q8200 carries four cores with a base frequency of 2328 MHz (multiplier 7, FSB frequency 333 MHz, effective FSB frequency 1333 MHz). The chip has at its disposal 2MB of L2 cache per die, and its base voltage is set at 1,200 volts. TDP Q8200 does not exceed 95 watts.

Due to the nature of the LGA 775 platform, the Q8200 supports both DDR2 and DDR3. This is because the RAM controller is not in the processor, but in the northern chipset. In our case, this is P35. This set of system logic can work with both RAM standards, however, it is the DDR2 slots that are soldered on the test motherboard.

Thus, in our case, the RAM was recruited by two Kingston strips with a volume of 2GB each. The final frequency in the “stock” was 800 MHz with timings: 5-5-5-15 2T.

Test setup:

  • Processors — Core 2 Quad Q8200;
  • Cooling — Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition (RR-212S-20PK-R1);
  • RAM for LGA 775 — 2 x 2GB Kingston (99U5429-007.A00LF 34CC2E04) with a total volume of 4GB;
  • Motherboard LGA 775 — Biostar P35D2-A7 (with a bios from TP35D2-A7);
  • Video card — KFA2 GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB (~1950/14000MHz, Power Limit 112%);
  • SSD — KINGSTON 120GB SA400S37120G (Windows 10/Apps);
  • Hardware — Seagate 2TB ST2000DM008-2FR102 (Games);
  • Power supply — Chieftec GPS-1250C.

Core 2 Quad Q8200 overclocking

To begin with, let’s figure out what our sample of the Q8200 chip is capable of with the base voltages of cores, RAM, and FSB bus.

If you do not understand technical processes, processor generations, and so on, you should not despair. In order to find out what your CPU model is capable of in theory, you just need to find out the code name of its core (in our case it is Yorkfield), after which, simply google the top model based on the same core.

The fastest processor, codenamed Yorkfield, is the Core 2 Quad QX9770. Its frequency is 3200MHz, which means that in theory (I repeat, in theory), our chip is also capable of stably operating at 3.2GHz. Let’s check it out:

In order to overclock the Q8200 to 3200MHz, we need to set the FSB frequency to 459MHz and reduce the RAM multiplier from DDR2 800MHz to DDR2 667MHz.

Reboot and immediately freeze on Windows 10 boot. Well, not a lot. Without raising the supply voltage, our copy of the Core 2 Quad Q8200 chip turned out to be unable to operate stably at a frequency of 3200 MHz.

Let’s lower the FSB frequency by 5MHz and try again. But when I tried to load the OS, the system froze again. Lowering the FSB by another 5MHz did nothing either. And only by lowering the bus frequency to 430 MHz, the chip was able to boot Windows and pass the stability test in LinX. Thus, the result of overclocking the Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor without raising the voltage was the frequency of 3006 MHz:

Let me remind you that I did not raise any of the supply voltages. In fact, such overclocking should not harm the processor, motherboard, or memory, even in the long run. However, remember that any overclocking will void the warranty for this or that product. Thus, you do all the manipulations with your iron solely at your own peril and risk!

Overclocking settings for Core 2 Quad Q8200 up to 3006MHz in BIOS:

  • Core voltage – 1,200V (+0,000 to the base);
  • FSB frequency — 430MHz;
  • FSB voltage — 1.250V (+0.000 to the base);
  • RAM multiplier in BIOS – 667MHz (taking into account overclocking, the effective memory frequency was 860MHz);
  • RAM voltage – 1.950 volts (+0.000 to the base).

This is an extremely bad result for a 45nm processor. However, in the network, you can find similar results of the frequency potential. The explanation for this phenomenon is quite trivial: For the production of Core 2 Quad Q8000 series chips, unsuccessful copies of Yorkfield dies were used, which, in Intel’s internal tests, were either unable to operate at high clock speeds or had a partially “broken” L2 cache. Neither the first nor the second, as you know, promises the processor a good frequency potential.

But there’s nothing you can do about it. Unfortunately, we have what we have. However, overclocking is primarily a lottery.

Now let’s try to raise the supply voltage a little and add a few hundred megahertz to the frequency.

However, the processor reacted extremely poorly to voltage increases. To at least slightly move from 3000 MHz, it was necessary to raise the core voltage to 1.400 volts. This allowed us to pass the stability test at a frequency of 3100 MHz. Further overclocking of Q8200 literally turned into torture: increasing the voltage NB, NB VTT, SB, and so on, did nothing. Conquering 3200 MHz turned out to be an unbearable task, so I decided to look for an “island” of stable frequency between 3100 and 3200 MHz.

The result of this, in fact, an unprofitable task was the frequency of 3150 MHz:

Overclocking settings for Core 2 Quad Q8200 up to 3150MHz in BIOS:

  • Core voltage – 1.450V (+0.250 to the base);
  • FSB frequency — 450MHz;
  • FSB voltage — 1.250V (+0.000 to the base);
  • RAM multiplier in BIOS – 667MHz (taking into account overclocking, the effective memory frequency was 900MHz);
  • RAM voltage — 1.950V.

Why unprofitable? It’s simple: In order to achieve 3250 MHz, the core voltage had to be raised significantly, which in turn led to a significant increase in heat dissipation and power consumption. 150MHz is definitely not worth it. However, it’s up to you, of course.

P.S.:

The material about testing the processor Core 2 Quad Q8200 in games and applications is already in work and if nothing changes, it will appear on the site in the near future.

Thank you for your attention!

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2 replies on “Retro OC: Overclocking Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 [M1, Yorkfield] processor”

  • arkax
    12.11.2023 at 13:37

    Hello , is this mod possible with DDR3 ram? i have 8GB 1333mhz RAM (max frequency for my board)

    • Tag
      03.12.2023 at 00:28

      What kind of mod are you talking about exactly?