In my previous article about overclocking AMD Athlon II X3 440, I said that the C2 stepping of AMD processors based on the K10.5 architecture is not a very good choice for an overclocker. Nevertheless, it should be understood that overclocking is a kind of lottery, and even with a C3 stepping chip, you can still get a completely “unlucky ticket”.
Based on the above-described judgment, I decided to devote this material to overclocking two instances of the AMD Athlon II X2 260 processor at once. Both test samples are based on the C3 stepping, but one of them was made in Taiwan and the other in Malaysia. Let’s find out if the “Taiwanese” and “Malay” will be able to reach the psychological mark of 4000 MHz.
Welcome to the last (until we get more processors for the AM2+/AM3 platform) “Retro Overclocking” material from the May bench session. Let’s start by looking at the test CPUs:
Marking of the first copy ADX2600CK23GM WAEKC AE 1209SSN. It informs us that the chip was produced on the 9th week of 2012 in Taiwan and its crystal is based on the latest revision C3.
The marking of the second sample differs quite significantly. ADX2600CK23GM WAEGC AE 1041GPMW. This processor is also based on the C3 stepping, but the country of its production is Malaysia, and the year of production is 2010, week 43 – this chip is much older than the previous one.
There is a small chance that the second processor will boast better overclocking capabilities. But this statement is not always supported by facts.
The readings of the CPU-z utility for two copies are 100% identical (even VID), therefore, in order not to clutter up the material, I provide only the data of the first sample:
Both AMD Athlon II X2 260 processors are manufactured using 45nm technology, operate at a base frequency of 3200MHz, and have 1MB L2 cache per core (this means that we have a Regor chip with nothing to unlock since it is originally dual-core).
The features of the outdated AM2+ platform impose their own limitations and the memory controller in the processor operates at a reduced frequency of 1600MHz, and the DDR2 RAM at 800MHz.
Traditionally, I tested the processors at the stock frequencies in the benchmark of the CPU-z utility:
And then in the Cinebench R11.5 and Cinebench R15:
The results for the dual-core processors are quite sad: 1.63 points in Cinebench 11.5 and 131 in Cinebench R15.
Now all that remains is to overclock the chips and find out how much the performance will increase and the most interesting thing is whether they can catch up at least the stock Athlon II X3 440.
- Motherboard — ASUS M2N-E
- Processors — two samples of Athlon II X2 260 (rev. C3)
- CPU Cooling — Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
- RAM — 1GB DDR2 SK Hynix HYMP512U64CP8-S5
- Video card — ZOTAC GeForce GTX 760 AMP!
- SSD — KINGSTON 120GB SA400S37120G
- Power supply — Chieftec GPS-1250C
- Operating system – Windows 10 with latest updates for May 2020
Overclocking Athlon II X2 260 (WAEKC AE 1209SSN, TAIWAN)
I did not change myself and started researching the overclocking potential of the first sample from the standard 1.550 volts per core, lowering the HyperTransport bus multiplier by one point, lowering the RAM frequency to 667 MHz and setting of the FSB to 251 MHz.
But when I tried to go through the post with such settings, the processor was frozen tightly – this is a rather alarming sign. After all, if the “stone” cannot even boot on such settings, there can be no talk of any 4GHz.
Then I took quite trivial steps: methodically lowered the system bus frequency and already at 246 MHz I was able to boot into the operating system, but as soon as I ran the AIDA64 stress test, the processor failed.
This is, to put it mildly, a weak result – the Taiwanese did not please me at all. To be honest, I was annoyed and slightly discouraged by such a low potential. Nevertheless, I continued my experiments: after each crash in the stress test, I lowered the system bus frequency by one step, and after a few hours I still managed to find a stable 3870 MHz:
Of course, we cannot say that 3870MHz is a very deplorable overclocking result among dual-core Athlon II X2s, but in my practice, I have quite often met instances capable of stable operation at 4000MHz. But that’s okay. To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for the chip released in 2009. But for the second sample, I have big plans.
There are the overclocking settings for the Athlon II X2 260 processor (WAEKC AE 1209SSN, TAIWAN) on the ASUS M2N-E motherboard below:
Overclocking Athlon II X2 260 (WAEGC AE 1041GPMW, MALAYSIA)
And the “Malay” really pleased me from the very beginning. Even more, it inspired hope, because he wound up easily and even booted the system at test settings (HT x3, DDR2 667, FSB 250, vCore 1.550) and 4000 MHz. However, 15 minutes after starting the stress test, the system went into reboot.
Unfortunately, this sample couldn’t overpower the bar at 4GHz, but we should give it its due – it was as close to it as possible. After reducing the system bus frequency by literally 1 MHz, I was able to achieve stable operation at a frequency of 3983 MHz:
Settings of the ASUS M2E-E motherboard for overclocking the Athlon II X2 260 processor (WAEGC AE 1041GPMW, MALAYSIA):
The difference in the overclocking potential of the two processors produced in different countries was just over 100 MHz. Is this a lot? Frankly, no. And here it should be clarified that the results obtained cannot be projected onto other samples of Athlon II X2 260 chips made in Taiwan or Malaysia. It is likely that another Taiwanese processor was able to conquer 4000 MHz, while the Malaysian one, in turn, would not have reached 3800 MHz.
Here you need to make a sample of five to ten copies of each country.
Nevertheless, the overclocking results already obtained and let’s finally compare the performance in the benchmarks:
Looking at the test results, it becomes quite obvious that the main gain was obtained on the Taiwanese sample at 3870MHz, and a further increase in the frequency of the Malay sample to 3983MHz did not give much performance gain.
But we are not here with you in order to increase the power of the unsuitable for use in 2020 chip, we are here for the maximum frequencies. And here the unconditional leader was the sample of the Athlon II X2 260 processor manufactured in Malaysia. He was able to overtake his Taiwanese counterpart at 113 MHz and, moreover, came as close as possible to the cherished 4000 MHz.
By the way, now the price of Athlon II X2 processors is at the level of $ 2 per joke. Therefore, they can be safely recommended for purchase for further experiments with overclocking on the AM2+ and AM3 platforms. In case of unsuccessful overclocking, the cost of the error will turn out to be extremely low, which means that you will not burden yourself with thoughts of processor failure.
Take care and happy overclocking!