Is my overclocking done correctly? (Core 2 Duo E4600 2.4 GHz to 3.0 GHz)

Hey guys,

I'm new to overclocking so I don't know much. I want to get the maximum performance possible out of my (low-end) computer as I'm currently too broke for a serious upgrade and I use my PC for gaming and animation mostly. I'm seeking your help because I don't want to seriously damage my computer.

My computer has been running at 2.40 GHz with a FSB : DRAM ratio of 3:5 since I bought it probably more than 8 years ago.

I've read a few guides online on overclocking and I've followed the steps.

I played around in the BIOS settings without touching the voltages and got it up to 3.00 GHz with a FSB : DRAM ratio of 1:1 after several failed attempts.

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit, with a total of 4GB RAM (2GB + 2GB Transcend DDR2 dual channel).
My motherboard is a Gigabyte 945GCM-S2L with BIOS Award Software International which I updated to version F8d (beta). And if you need to know, my GPU is a Geforce GT 730 2GB DDR5.

Here is a link to my processor's page on the Intel website.
http://ark.intel.com/products/32242/Intel-Core2-Duo-Processor-E4600-2M-Cache-2_40-GHz-800-MHz-FSB

It says the processor's operating voltage is 0.8500V - 1.5V but I was too scared to play with the voltages so I just overclocked without touching it.

My computer seems to be running well right now, I used Prime95 to put it under load and watched the temperature with HW Monitor. It idles at around 47 degrees celsius and under load it goes up to 85 degrees celsius and stays there until I stop the test. I've heard Intel processors throttle down their clocks or shut down to avoid damage at around 100 degrees celsius.

My Processor which showed a 5.9 on the Windows Experience Index now shows a 6.4.
(on a scale of 1.0 to 7.9)

I just wanted to know if what I've done is alright?
Here are some images I took for your information.









Thank you for your help in advance :)
Reply to boogieman_93
10 answers Last reply
More about overclocking correctly core duo e4600 ghz ghz
  1. Here is the information on CPU-Z with the stock settings enabled.



    Reply to boogieman_93
  2. Generally, if it works then its fine. Core 2 processors are pretty straightforward to overclock. Are you using the stock cooler? 85C is hot, but still far enough from throttling that I wouldn't be concerned.

    The only thing I'd look at is you're running the memory slower than it was at stock speeds

    Memory settings at stock
    200MHz FSB x 5/3 memory multiplier (3.33 in BIOS) = 333MHz or 667MHz DDR.
    Right now you're running
    250MHz FSB x 1 memory multiplier (2.00 in BIOS) = 250MHz or 500MHz DDR

    Assuming your memory modules are in fact rated for 667MHz, Have a look at the memory multipliers and see if you can get it closer to that speed (in your screenshot, the BIOS will tell you what memory speed your settings will result in. If there is a 2.66 memory multiplier available, since that will let your memory run at full speed.
    Reply to Mightyena
  3. In general, Core 2 Duo should be run at the fastest FSB you can. 9 x 333 would give you the same CPU speed you have now and would let you run the DDR2-667 RAM at stock speed 1:1.

    There's no advantage to running memory faster than 1:1 because the FSB is the bottleneck and you aren't using any IGP that could use the excess bandwidth.

    I would get a better cooler and clock it much faster than that. 65nm chips are good up to 1.55v (people often recommend 1.50 for quads only because they get too hot otherwise but a dual should be fine). 10 x 333 = 3.33GHz and 11 x 333 = 3.67GHz. You want to have that CPU run as fast as possible because with only 2MB cache, it's only equivalent to a 4MB chip running ~200MHz slower.
    Reply to BFG-9000
  4. Mightyena said:
    Generally, if it works then its fine. Core 2 processors are pretty straightforward to overclock. Are you using the stock cooler? 85C is hot, but still far enough from throttling that I wouldn't be concerned.

    The only thing I'd look at is you're running the memory slower than it was at stock speeds

    Memory settings at stock
    200MHz FSB x 5/3 memory multiplier (3.33 in BIOS) = 333MHz or 667MHz DDR.
    Right now you're running
    250MHz FSB x 1 memory multiplier (2.00 in BIOS) = 250MHz or 500MHz DDR

    Assuming your memory modules are in fact rated for 667MHz, Have a look at the memory multipliers and see if you can get it closer to that speed (in your screenshot, the BIOS will tell you what memory speed your settings will result in. If there is a 2.66 memory multiplier available, since that will let your memory run at full speed.


    Hey thanks for replying,
    I'm currently using an aftermarket cooler, a pretty large heatsink with a big fan. With a stock cooler the temperature would have gone up to 95 degrees Celsius, I'm sure.
    As I've noticed now my FSB speed has gone up to 250 MHz from 200 MHz and my DRAM speed has gone down to 250 MHz from 333 MHz.
    Yes there is a 2.66 memory multiplier available but when I use that my FSB : DRAM ratio becomes 3:4. I heard it's supposed to be 1:1 which it is currently. Should I change it anyway? It has been running at 3:5 for more than 8 years lol.
    Reply to boogieman_93
  5. BFG-9000 said:
    In general, Core 2 Duo should be run at the fastest FSB you can. 9 x 333 would give you the same CPU speed you have now and would let you run the DDR2-667 RAM at stock speed 1:1.

    There's no advantage to running memory faster than 1:1 because the FSB is the bottleneck and you aren't using any IGP that could use the excess bandwidth.

    I would get a better cooler and clock it much faster than that. 65nm chips are good up to 1.55v (people often recommend 1.50 for quads only because they get too hot otherwise but a dual should be fine). 10 x 333 = 3.33GHz and 11 x 333 = 3.67GHz. You want to have that CPU run as fast as possible because with only 2MB cache, it's only equivalent to a 4MB chip running ~200MHz slower.


    Hey thanks for your reply,
    If I'm running 9 x 333 then what memory multiplier should I use? 2.00, 2.66 or higher?
    What is an IGP? I'm sorry I'm pretty noob.
    As for overvoltage I've heard some really bad stories of people frying their CPUs by doing that, and this is the only computer I have to use currently so I want to play it safe. The Intel website says the processor's operating voltage is 0.8500V - 1.5V.
    Reply to boogieman_93
  6. What that means is that for best memory performance, your FSB speed should be equal to your memory clock. Since you have 333MHz memory, ideally you'd set the FSB to 333MHz and run the RAM at 1:1. You aren't going to gain any performance running it slower, even if it is synchronous with the FSB. If your board will do it (I'm not sure how high a 945G will go on the FSB, my Core 2 overclocking was done on a P45), raising the FSB to 333MHz and dropping the CPU clock ratio down to 9x would result in the same 3GHz speed, but let you run the memory at 1:1. In any event, I doubt it will make a huge difference to memory performance, it's just not quite optimal.

    In order of what I'd suggest:

    what you have now
    250FSB x 2.00 = DDR500

    If your motherboard won't do 333MHz
    250FSB x 2.66 = DDR667

    This is ideal
    333FSB x 2.00 = DDR667


    And I only asked about cooling because I have a Xeon E5450 (basically a C2Q Q9650) that runs at 4.1GHz, and only reaches about 75-80C under load with a Hyper 212. 85C just seemed hot for a dual core at 3GHz with a decent cooler.


    Quote:
    As for overvoltage I've heard some really bad stories of people frying their CPUs by doing that, and this is the only computer I have to use currently so I want to play it safe. The Intel website says the processor's operating voltage is 0.8500V - 1.5V.

    The general rule for overclocking is don't overclock anything you can't afford to lose, since it does carry some risk of breaking stuff. That said, so long as you stay within Intel's safe voltage range you should be okay. I've run Core 2 Duos at 1.6V before, and they survived that, but I've also killed a Core 2 Quad doing the same thing.

    IGP = Integrated Graphics Processor - the onboard graphics chip on the motherboard.
    Reply to Mightyena
  7. Mightyena said:
    What that means is that for best memory performance, your FSB speed should be equal to your memory clock. Since you have 333MHz memory, ideally you'd set the FSB to 333MHz and run the RAM at 1:1. You aren't going to gain any performance running it slower, even if it is synchronous with the FSB. If your board will do it (I'm not sure how high a 945G will go on the FSB, my Core 2 overclocking was done on a P45), raising the FSB to 333MHz and dropping the CPU clock ratio down to 9x would result in the same 3GHz speed, but let you run the memory at 1:1. In any event, I doubt it will make a huge difference to memory performance, it's just not quite optimal.

    In order of what I'd suggest:

    what you have now
    250FSB x 2.00 = DDR500

    If your motherboard won't do 333MHz
    250FSB x 2.66 = DDR667

    This is ideal
    333FSB x 2.00 = DDR667


    And I only asked about cooling because I have a Xeon E5450 (basically a C2Q Q9650) that runs at 4.1GHz, and only reaches about 75-80C under load with a Hyper 212. 85C just seemed hot for a dual core at 3GHz with a decent cooler.


    Quote:
    As for overvoltage I've heard some really bad stories of people frying their CPUs by doing that, and this is the only computer I have to use currently so I want to play it safe. The Intel website says the processor's operating voltage is 0.8500V - 1.5V.

    The general rule for overclocking is don't overclock anything you can't afford to lose, since it does carry some risk of breaking stuff. That said, so long as you stay within Intel's safe voltage range you should be okay. I've run Core 2 Duos at 1.6V before, and they survived that, but I've also killed a Core 2 Quad doing the same thing.

    IGP = Integrated Graphics Processor - the onboard graphics chip on the motherboard.


    This is what it says on my motherboard's page http://www.gigabyte.in/Motherboard/GA-945GCM-S2L-rev-10#ov

    Support Intel® Core™2 Extreme/ Core™2 Duo FSB 1066 Processor
    Dual Channel DDR2 667 for advanced system performance
    * GA-945GCM-S2L can support up to *FSB1333MHz* by overclocking

    So according to that the FSB can go upto 1.3GHz but I can't seem to take it anywhere near those figures.

    I tried your suggestions-

    "In order of what I'd suggest:"

    "what you have now"
    "250FSB x 2.00 = DDR500"
    This setting gives me a FSB : DRAM of 1:1 and seems to be the only one that seems to work right now. But my memory runs slower.

    "If your motherboard won't do 333MHz"
    "250FSB x 2.66 = DDR667"
    This setting works but my FSB : DRAM runs at 3:4, with this my DRAM frequency is 333.3MHz and Bus Speed is 250MHz, Rated bus speed says 999MHz

    "This is ideal"
    "333FSB x 2.00 = DDR667"
    This should be the best setting but when I input it in the BIOS and press F10 to save and exit setup it reboots and disables the CPU Host Clock Control which makes it 200 x 9 = 1.80GHz. It refuses to save my settings upon reboot.
    I don't know why it does that, maybe it can't handle me setting the FSB higher than 250MHz? It also refuses to let me set PCI Express frequency to 100 which I've heard I'm supposed to do while overclocking.
    Here is what it shows in the BIOS.



    What do I do? :(
    Reply to boogieman_93
  8. Yep, no point in a multiplier higher than 1:1 which is listed as 2.00 in your BIOS.

    Keep in mind your chipset is only factory rated by Intel for 533 or 800 FSB (which are the 133 and 200 settings in your BIOS), who required the 955x chipset for their early 1066 FSB processors. So you can expect to need a bit more MCH/Northbridge voltage than stock to reach 1333. As I don't see any adjustment for that in your picture (vFSB is not the same), you may be very FSB limited so next I would try 12 x 267 = 3.2GHz at memory multiplier 2.00. You will probably need to raise the CPU voltage some.

    The worst binned 65nm chip I have ever seen had a VID of 1.3250v. The spec for 0.8500V - 1.5V is only the possible VID voltages that Intel specified they might make, and it is very likely Intel would have gone all the way to 1.5v to improve yields if AMD had given them any competition at the time (they didn't). As it is, the spec sheet specifies maximum safe voltage is 1.55v for durability, though does not guarantee correct operation at that voltage. It's probably safe to go all the way up to 1.5625v if you have to, although this is well beyond the sweet spot so you can expect efficiency to be low. But given enough voltage, stability past 90c is possible with these (they even normally run that hot in laptops).

    I would try remounting the cooler, as @ stock that chip draws less than 50w under load (despite the 65w TDP rating intended for heatsink manufacturers) so there's no reason it should be running that hot @ just 3.0.
    Reply to BFG-9000
  9. BFG-9000 said:
    Yep, no point in a multiplier higher than 1:1 which is listed as 2.00 in your BIOS.

    Keep in mind your chipset is only factory rated by Intel for 533 or 800 FSB (which are the 133 and 200 settings in your BIOS), who required the 955x chipset for their early 1066 FSB processors. So you can expect to need a bit more MCH/Northbridge voltage than stock to reach 1333. As I don't see any adjustment for that in your picture (vFSB is not the same), you may be very FSB limited so next I would try 12 x 267 = 3.2GHz at memory multiplier 2.00. You will probably need to raise the CPU voltage some.

    The worst binned 65nm chip I have ever seen had a VID of 1.3250v. The spec for 0.8500V - 1.5V is only the possible VID voltages that Intel specified they might make, and it is very likely Intel would have gone all the way to 1.5v to improve yields if AMD had given them any competition at the time (they didn't). As it is, the spec sheet specifies maximum safe voltage is 1.55v for durability, though does not guarantee correct operation at that voltage. It's probably safe to go all the way up to 1.5625v if you have to, although this is well beyond the sweet spot so you can expect efficiency to be low. But given enough voltage, stability past 90c is possible with these (they even normally run that hot in laptops).

    I would try remounting the cooler, as @ stock that chip draws less than 50w under load (despite the 65w TDP rating intended for heatsink manufacturers) so there's no reason it should be running that hot @ just 3.0.


    Ok I just tried 12 x 267 = 3.20 GHz with memory multiplier 2.00, upon save and reboot it reverted back to 12 x 200 = 2.40 GHz (disabling the CPU host clock control).

    I tried 12 x 267 = 3.20 GHz with memory multiplier 2.00 again, this time I increased CPU voltage to 1.30000v. Saved and rebooted.
    This time it remembered my settings upon reboot and showed 3.20 GHz on the first loading screen but then it gave me a "disk boot failure" error on the second loading screen.
    Reply to boogieman_93
  10. Voltage still sounds waay too low. After all they did sell 2.4GHz chips at 1.3250v VID, and never did make a 65nm chip faster than 3.0GHz, not even the $1000 Extreme Editions with a higher TDP. Intel binned your chip at 2.4GHz @ stock voltage so you can't expect to run 800MHz faster at anything near that.
    Try at least 1.4v and it may take more to get it stable.
    Reply to BFG-9000
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