Friday, February 23, 2024

Where does it end? Cheap Intel Pentium overclocked to 5.8GHz


We’ve recently seen a few Intel Alder Lake processors being overclocked against all odds, and now the trend continues with yet another impressive feat.

This time, the $64 Intel Pentium Gold G7400T was overclocked to hit a clock speed of 5.8GHz. For context, the high-end Intel Core i9-12900K has a max turbo frequency of 5.2GHz — so the ultra-budget Intel Pentium Gold is certainly hitting heights no one could have foreseen.

Image source: HD Technologia

The achievement belongs to Hicookie, a professional overclocker, who set out to see just how much he could boost the Intel Core Pentium Gold G7400T. We’ve already seen some entry-level Alder Lake CPUs perform surprisingly well under the right circumstances, and the Pentium Gold continues that trend.

This Pentium model is among the most budget-friendly CPUs offered by Intel in the Alder Lake family of processors. With a modest price tag, it brings unsurprisingly simple specifications: Two cores, four threads, and a base clock speed of 3.1GHz. This is combined with a 2.5MB L2 cache and a 6MB L3 cache. It has a base TDP of just 35 watts, meaning it fits well with the most basic setups and doesn’t require additional cooling.

Of course, all of that changes when the processor gets overclocked. Hicookie’s goal was seemingly not to build the most optimal setup around the Intel Pentium G7400T, but to test how far it can be pushed in terms of performance. As such, he paired the budget CPU with some top-notch components.

The setup included a high-end motherboard in the Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Tachyon. In order to support the huge voltage increase of up to 1.656V, Hicookie also used liquid nitrogen cooling. Thanks to the high-end motherboard, he was able to use the base clock method of overclocking we’ve already seen recently when YouTuber Der8auer overclocked two non-K Alder Lake processors. This method, accessible through the BIOS, is not present on most lower-end motherboards.

Hicookie was able to increase the processor’s base clock multiplier to 187MHz, upping it by 87%. He then benchmarked it with multiple tools, submitting a total clock speed of 5,808MHz to various databases. HD Technologia gathered all of the benchmark results, showing that the cheap Intel Pentium Gold G7400T is actually among the best processors when it comes to dual-core overclocking records.

The overclocker’s achievement is, no doubt, highly impressive. Reaching 5.8GHz on a $64 processor is no small feat, and it does show that there is potential to getg more out of even the cheapest pieces of hardware if one knows how to do it.

However, let’s not kid ourselves — this kind of result is not sustainable in a typical Intel Pentium build. The Gigabyte Aorus motherboard is expensive, as is liquid nitrogen cooling, and no average user is going to invest that kind of money in order to run an Intel Pentium CPU. It would be interesting to see how far the G7400T can go when overclocked under regular circumstances.

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