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The industry's best kept secret - a budget processor that beats the best

Back in the late 1990's, I was one of those who indulged in the forbidden art of Overclocking - the ability to increase the speed of a computer processor above its intended value.

Some of you might remember the fantastic Intel Celeron 300A (opens in new tab)- an entry level processor which was so easily overclocked that it could match the fastest processor of the time, the Pentium III 450MHz, simply by changing a single setting value.

Not only would you be proud of yourself, but most importantly, you were suddenly the owner of a much more powerful computer, all for the additional price of £0.

Intel has stealthily released the Pentium D 805 which is a dual core processor running at 2.66GHz. It costs only £79.95 but can be overclocked to insane speeds. Tom's Hardware Guide has overclocked it to 4.1GHz by changing altering the front side bus speed.

While this might be a little risky for the average computer user to go that high, switching from 2.66GHz to a more mundane 3.6Ghz for example can be done within seconds, leaving you with a potential saving of £500, which is enough to buy you another computer.

I heartily recommend the Pentium D 805 to anyone looking for a new computer, it is cheap and powerful, especially as a dual core processor. I still have to figure out why Intel launched this processor, grab it while you can.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.