G0 O/C best compromise?

I've been out of the O/C and DIY scene for a few years now (I'm an "old" guy).

Anyway, I just slapped together an El Cheap-O home PC using the following gear:

CPU: Q6600 G0
RAM: 8GB (4x2) PDC24G6400ELK
HS: TR U120-X
HSF: Scythe SFF21F
PSU: Corsair 620HX
GPU: 8800GTX
CASE: Silverstone TJ07
DVD: Optiarc 18X
HDD: 2x 7K1000 1TB SATA

I now wish I had gotten the Asus Deluxe board instead for the extra x16 slot, because I wanted to use some of the 300GB 15K SAS drives I have kicking around the office off a PCIe SAS RAID controller, but I built the thing out already, so I just used the dual 1TB SATAs instead.

What I'm looking for, based upon my hardware configuration provided above, is the best compromise between optimal O/C speed, rock-solid stability, and good thermal performance. I have not lapped the HS, and I don't intend to bother. I have two more SFF21F fans at intake and exhaust in addition to the one attached to the U120X HS, so I would assume, having used Arctic Silver, I'm good on the thermal front.

I'd like my homework done for me. What would (should) be the optimal FSB/Volt/Mult settings and what should I expect. I would like 3.2GHz rock solid at good temps. Based upon what I've read that doesn't seem unreasonable. Anything more would be gravy -- though I'd love 3.6 solid and cool.

Thanks. Apologies for vomiting up what might be another redundant thread. I DID read through the stickies, but if I can get the cliff notes based upon my above configuration it would be much appreciated.

The Horta.
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  1. THere is nothing 'el-cheapo' about this mate.
    I am jealous!
    Cliff notes eh?
    This is above my head, but I am curious to hear others' input.

  2. Hey Bornking,

    LOL. Compared to my first 8086 original IBM PC that cost me (OK, cost my father) $6000 USD back 25 years ago this is pretty cheap!

  3. Ive got a B3 on water...
    The best compromise ive found is 2.7Ghz (300x9) @ 1.15v (bios)
    Have been as high as ~3.1 but it requires a MASSIVE voltage jump for what 400mhz along with an obviously crazy heat jump.

    LOL i still remember my old man paying ~2k for a dot matrix printer HAHAHA.
  4. you should be able to get 3.0 ghz with no work at all....

    ctrl + f1 in bios....then go under MIT....set the cpu freq to 333 and the ram divider to 2.0....yes this will under clock your ram to 667 and not 800(i doubt you will notice the performance difference since in most cases it is best to run 1:1...or as gb calls it....2.0...you will also be able to get tighter timings too)....

    Under voltage set the ram to + 0.2(2.0 volts is what the ram is rated at....you may need 0.3 since you have 4 sticks....) to start and set the timings at 4,4,4,10(if my cheap 667 5,5,5,15 can do 4,4,4,10 on 2.0volts..i bet ures can...)....leave all other settings at defaults....try it out...test it and see how it goes....if its unstable....try to add a little more voltage to the ram(no more then 0.4 since it will get a little toasty)...if that does not work re-tweak the timings 4,5,5,12(or something near there....go till you get the best you can...)

    Also run some tests....sometimes 4 sticks of ram need a little voltage boost(as said above)...i know i did...but no 8 gigs for me just 3 :(

    Get prime95 25.5 and test the crap out of it.....while running this run Core Temp to make sure the cpu does not get too hot....(try to keep it under 70)

    If you plan to go for more then 333 on the fsb....then put the ram timings back to auto and leave the ram voltage at +0.2(or +0.3)

    http://majorgeeks.com/Prime95_d4363.html - Prime95
    http://www.thecoolest.zerobrains.com/CoreTemp/ - Core Temp

    Note: all my above are just pointers every board and cpu is different..3.0 should be easy..only add voltage if you need it :) ..so best of luck...

    Full load....note Vcore1 is cpu and Vcore2 is memory..the cpu has some droop....but its stable so meh...
  5. Thanks Nuke! That's great info. I figured 333x9 was the best place to start, and leave everything at or near stock voltage. I don't play games (got consoles for that), but I do use some CPU-intensive apps on occasion (Photoshop, h264 ripping, etc). I was hoping for 3.2 or better, since the G0 seems to be friendly and the U120x handles the temps well.

    Also, with regard to RAM temps, the sticks are directly in the path of fresh, cool air from the SFF12F intake fan. However, since I'm using 4x2G the 2x2 configuration has each bank very close together (1/16-1/8 inch apart) and they're at an oblique angle to the airflow, but they should still get some real benefit from being in line with the primary flow.

    Lastly, since I'm running 8GB I have reluctantly decided to go with Vista Ultimate x64. Will apps like Prime and CoreTemp run properly on x64? Would it be better to get all of my testing out of the way on good ol' XPP32 before I move to Vista?

    Thanks again. Sorry for the pestering.
  6. I only have XP MCE.....have not used vista enough.....best bet is to just give it hell and see what you get....worse case the software does not run...its not gonna kill you....

    Another option....if you don't mind playing is going for 8 x 400(back to the rams default timings) to get 3.2 .... but make sure you have good cooling on your chipset as well(its a good heatsink but more air is a good thing...)... zip tie a 40mm fan to it to help it cool better.....

    Since it looks like all you want is massive fire power a 8800GTX may be over kill since you console game anyway....

    If you want some air to get near the ram you can get an Antec spot cool...

    May not look great...but it does the job...and comes on sale allot :) ....the three speeds also allows it to be quiet...
  7. I am running Vista 32 (knew that some of my apps dont run well on Vista 64). For what its worth, Prime95 etc. all work fine on my rig.

    I have found that 3.2GHz (9x350) is a nice balance point. The temps dont get too high, and I can hit it with 1.26 Vcore.

    I have been able to push higher, but around 3.4GHz, I have to really pump-up the Vcore and therefore the temps start going up.
  8. OK, there are some issues to running CoreTemp on Vista x64. You need to F8 boot and disable Digital Signatures for drivers, otherwise it won't operate. Once I did that it runs fine (Google "CoreTemp Vista x64" and you'll find out the issues).

    Now, I haven't changed anything. Everything is default in BIOS and I'm running the CPU/RAM at stock speeds and voltages -- CPU at 4x2.4GHz 1.30V. Remembering that I am using a TR U120X and AS paste, my idle temps are ~39-40C for two cores and ~44-46C for the other two. This is being reported in Vista x64 Ultimate with the latest beta version of CoreTemp.

    Are these temps OK? Why do they seem high to me? Am I just neurotic?


  9. how warm is your room? how is the cable management...

    Is the stock for a G0 not 1.25 as opposed 1.3?

    Maybe the heatsink did not mount right....thats not dangerously hot but is highish for a u120.

    Do you have speed step on? if its off the temps can be higher


    you are running a fan too right? silly question....
  10. Temps look about normal for a Q6600 G0. Take a look at the sticky on temperatures and calibration here.

    The short version:
    make sure your temp monitoring software is calibrated
    keep your hottest core under 75C (Tjunction)
    Keep case temp under 65C (for this processor and stepping)
    The max spec case temp from Intel is 71C (at TDP).
  11. Its not too normal(not saying its bad...) if i idle at 30-35(full calibrated @ 3.0)...but i have speedstep on....thats with a 9500at and 500 rpms on the fan....the TR U120X should be owning mine....

    But room temps and all others(fans, cable management, number of drives ,ect) have an massive effect
  12. Thanks guys. I was gone for a few hours. Here's an update...

    I cranked up the CPU to 3.0GHz -- 9x333 -- all at stock/default voltage of 1.30V. RAM is at 2.5. Everything else is on AUTO in BIOS. System POSTS at 3.0 and booted fine. While I was gone I ran CoreTemp 0.95.4 and Prime95 x64 using their "Torture Test" for 4.5 hours at the O/C'd speed while I was away. Temps NEVER exceeded 52C during the entire time of the testing and there were no hiccups. I took some screen shots, but have to cut them down and upload them up somewhere -- if anyone is interested, otherwise I won't bother.

    I'm satisfied with the full load (assuming P95 runs all 4 cores at 100%) temps. Maxing out at 52C seems pretty spiffy to me, unless CT is mis-reporting the temps.

    I'll have to look into "calibration." That's a new one on me. I've been out of O/Cing since the BP6 and Celeron 300 pushed to 450MHz (that's MEGAhertz!). Ironically, I still have that machine somewhere and, last I knew, it still works.

    I'm going to try for 3.2-3.6 if I don't have to up the Vcore much. My comfort level is 60C tops under load.

  13. What's better: 9x355=3195 or 8x400=3200?

    I'm able to run at 9x355 at default 1.30VID, but RAM is at 7-something. Would a nice, neat 8x400 be better, or is it inconsequential?

    Thanks again,

  14. 8x400 is better(but i doubt you will see a difference, for the most part only benchmarks will see it) as it will use your ram to its full specs...

    Just keep an eye on temps(NB) and do allot of testing...

    9x355 is easier on the board however...but 400 should not be hard to get on p35 boards anyway. If it is unstable and you know the cpu can do it(if you had it run at 3.2 fine in 9x355 but 8x400 is not stable) add a bit of NB voltage. add one increment at a time...test...if needed add more....don't go too far or you may overheat the chipset.

    Once your all settled you may want to strap a 40mm fan on the nb cooler(zip tie it on there so its easy to undo if you ever need to rma the board) for added long term stability...
  15. What would I need to pay attention to the most to go 9x380? Or would 8x450 be better? Right now... lemme check (still running P95)... yup, still going strong... I'm all stock/default with the 9x355=3195. Temps under P95 "Torture Test" load are in the mid-to-high 50's with #0 occasionally hitting 60-62. I haven't upped the voltage on anything at the moment.

    If I want to get to 3.4 or even 3.6, which seems a common affair with the G0's I've been seeing, what voltages and multipliers would you recommend pushing first? My nirvana would be 9x400, but anything above 9x360 has been very unstable. Is 8x450 "easier" than 9x400? Would I need to push FSB, Vcore, V-RAM, NB etc? Pushing Vcore was useless when I tried 9x380 and 9x400, and adding VRAM didn't help either. When messing with FSB and NB voltages I'm getting out of my element.

    Or should I just stop at 3.2 and be satisfied?

    You've already been a big help. Thanks again.

  16. I just wanted to give you an update, in the event you are interested. I'm currently at 8x450 (3.6GHz) with ALL STOCK/DEFAULT voltage -- except for a modest bump in VCore to 1.325V. I did not have to touch the NB or DDR voltage. Right now P95 is running its "Torture Test" and the temps, for some bizarre reason, are actually COOLER than they were at 9x355! They're in the high 40's to mid 50's where before they were 5C+ warmer. The room might be a little cooler, so that may explain the discrepancy, but it's not running any warmer.

    If all holds out, then I'll be living large! Also, while I haven't loaded up any apps or utilities outside of CT and P95 Vista x64 isn't all that bad (yet).

    3.6GHz baybee, and at (mostly) stock voltages with cool temps! I'm a happy camper!
  17. The key to the stability of your OC and the limiting factor of your highest OC is going to be the voltage tolerance of your CPU.

    You should see your CPU maxing out in Mhz at about 1.45v, generally anything over that and the temperature will begin to raise way beyond with what your cooling system can handle. So if you can hit 3.6Ghz at 1.45v or less than your temps should be idling around 40-50C and full load between 59-69C. You will notice that once you start pushing 1.5v and higher you may increase 100Mhz or more in OC but your temps loads will begin to idle and max about 10C higher.

    My Q6600 is at 1.45v with a 8X multiplier and 438FSB and idles 48C-53C and loads 65-69C remains completely stable at 3500Mhz. I found my Q6600 (older B3) was more stable with smaller multiplier instead of the 9X. I don't take to much stock in the newer G0 series as most of the OC's I've seen even with this series are within range of the old series.

    Good luck and you must be rich cause most people wouldn't consider that setup "el cheapo"....
  18. Hi Warez,

    Thanks for the info. I must have a dandy CPU, because I'm at 3.6GHz (8x450) with all stock/default voltage -- except for a slight bump in VCore to 1.325V. Per my last post, I've run P95 and CoreTemp for a number of hours straight and temps peak at 56C, but mostly remain in the 45-52C range on all cores.

    So, either I have an optimal configuration with the GB mobo and G0 proc, or I got lucky with a nice CPU. Either way I'm not complaining. 3.6 stable on near-stock voltage with default on everything else is about all I could have hoped for.

    Thanks again!

  19. I'm curious, why are you running 8x450? You have DDR2-800 memory, which makes me think the optimal setup for 3.6Ghz is 9x400. I'm running my G0 at 3.2 Ghz right now at 8x400, getting temps around 54C on my hottest core using Prime95. Thought about upping to 9x400 but 3.2 Ghz is fine for me for now.
  20. deuce271 said:
    I'm curious, why are you running 8x450? You have DDR2-800 memory, which makes me think the optimal setup for 3.6Ghz is 9x400. I'm running my G0 at 3.2 Ghz right now at 8x400, getting temps around 54C on my hottest core using Prime95. Thought about upping to 9x400 but 3.2 Ghz is fine for me for now.

    Several big reasons to do that. If he can sync up his mem to 900Mhz, and with the bus running at 1800FSB without any of his cards screaming foul, he will get a much bigger performance boost overall than a stock sync with 9X multiplier.
  21. Hi Deuce,

    That's just the way I did it, I guess. The RAM seems to hold up nice, even though it's running at 900, without a v-boost.

    You're right about the 3.2G though. The difference between 3.2 and 3.6 is imperceptible in normal use. I think it'd only show up when crunching something that might take an hour or two, and then you might save a few minutes overall.
  22. Wow....you are just flying.......makes me want to play with my 6600 g0 and p35 DS3r :)

    But the power consumption starts to climb...and the performance get less and less noticeable...

    I ram some tests like your 450 and up to see what the chipset would do when i got it....but...just tests....
  23. Hey Nuke,

    Yea, this overclocking stuff is easy ;-)
  24. 2 of my 4 ram sticks are only rated for 333(667) 5,5,5,15(and i run them @ 4,4,4,10 :) )....so i am stuck like this for now....unless i yank em...the other 2 are rated for 500(1000) 5,5,5,15(EPP)
  25. I'm actually going to try to tighten my timings from 5-5-5-15 @ +.1V to 4-4-4-12, maybe bump up to +.2V if I have to. Memory is only specced for 1.8-1.9V though and I don't want to fry the memory.
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