Hard Drive: Hitachi 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Power Supply: 875 Watt
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling
I am kind of a noob when it comes to this stuff as I have primarily been a console gamer (please don't hate me haha) but I am trying to make the switch. I read one article saying that it was stupid to not OC the i7 930 because it got such a boost from an OC. Then I found a guy on a forum with a very similar setup as mine and everyone was saying it was overkill to OC his i7 930 (http://mobile.texags.com/Forums/30/Topics/1786588). My question is if I should try to OC my i7? I have never Oc'd a CPU before, and I have looked into it with my Motherboard/Bios and people seem to have a very difficult time because a lot of the settings that are available. If I were to attempt an OC I would probably need someone to help me out.... A lot. Also any recommendations on upgrades? I was thinking about getting a GeForce GTX 660 2gb because from what I have researched it appears as though I would get almost twice the performance I am getting now. I may be able to get my hands on a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, which I would probably upgrade my RAM a bit. Well let me know what you guys think.
Well it is actually very easy to OC the Bloomfield series. It will for sure boost your gaming performance too, just because 2.8GHz cpu clock lacks on driving new series fast GPU's as well.
I have also a similar setup (i7-860 @2.8G stock) and I tested my rig while keeping the GPU frequencies at a desired rate and playing with different setups for cpu frequency.
At stock cpu frequency 2.8GHz I could achieve 20-25FPS on heaven benchmark (23"@1080p, Ultra detail, full tesellation) while my gpu 7870XT stays @1.1GHz
@3.5GHz cpu freq. and gpu @1.1GHz I could achieve 25-30FPS on heaven bench. So there was actually a significant gain.
All you gotta do is to get an aftermarket cooler (preferably CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo rev2 or Hyper 212-X (new version of Evo)) to keep your cpu temperatures stable between 60-70C while gaming, it comes just for 25-30$.
Never try overclocking with stock coolers as they always fail to cool excess voltage/frequencies
Well, overclocking is a bit tricky, mostly a scenario of "live and learn", you gotta read a lot before you attempt to do it.
Here is an example what you gotta do; (do it on your own risk, as your warranty will be void, any damage will not be tolerated from retailer or manufacturer)
But basically, for instance, if you want to reach 3.2GHZ of cpu frequency, you should raise the base clock to 160MHZ and set cpu multiplier to 20x, so 160MHZ x20 = 3200MHz, but since you raise base clock, your memories will be automatically overclocked as their frequencies are synced with base clock too. Default memory multiplier is 10x and with 160MHz base clock, your memories will also be raiseed to 160*10=1600MHz. If you dont want your memories to be overclocked as well, drop their multipliers and try to stay at original frequency, or as close as stock...
Since you raised base clock, cpu clock and memory clock you have to increase voltages slightly too.
Eventhough every chip requires different voltage setups for different frequencies, but usually a 1.175V for a 3.2GHZ is enough. for the base clock rate you gotta push the QPI/VTT voltage to 1.17 or 1.19 volts. and Memories should require 1.6-1.65V.
This is a general concept what you should do. So read some forums, watch some videos scpecifically for your cpu and mobo if you can and play with them yourself a bit. It is not rocket science in the end