Questions about overclocking the Q9450 - config

Let me say first off that I am new to overclocking so this post is partially requesting your validation and part seeking advice.

This weekend I'm looking to purchase a Q9450 (2.66GHz) processor with the intention of running it ~3GHz.

After scouring some threads on the Q9450 I’ve learned that it is using a 8x CPU multiplier and the FSB is 1333MHz. So I am thinking that I could try to raise the FSB from 333MHz to 400MHz and shoot for my CPU to run at 400 x 8 = 3.2GHz. I’m not looking to set any world records here but would like to cross the 3GHz barrier.

I’d like to try to keep all chip voltages and possibly RAM timings at default settings. Also I’d like to stick with the stock heat sink and fan if possible.

Can I get away with using just DDR2-800 memory or should I use DDR-900+?

Would I be pushing it with the P35 chipset or should I bump up to X38? I’m thinking about maybe an Asus Maximus SE mobo.

Would you mind suggesting a build w/mobo that (usually) meets these requirements?

I know that a lot of this has been discussed but I’m having some trouble putting this all together.

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More about questions overclocking q9450 config
  1. P35 chipset motherboards run fsb natively at 1333mhz and overclocks reliably to 1600+mhz. X38/48 chipset motherboard run fsb natively at 1600mhz and overclocks reliably to 2000+mhz.

    Q9450 at 3.2ghz runs at 1600mhz fsb, so both chipset boards can take you there. For p35, you'll have to increase chipset voltage. For x38/48, you don't, since 1600mhz for it is native, and not overclocked at all. For high oc, you need x38/48. If 3.2ghz is as far as you go, p35 is cheaper and does the job. The only downside is it'll run hotter at a higher voltage, but with good cooling, it shouldn't be a problem. Don't be afraid of overvolting.

    800mhz ddr2 (2x400) runs at 1600mhz fsb (4x400) with 1:1 ratio. So that would be ideal.
  2. I have the same setup. Maximus SE, and the Xeon equivalent of the Q9450. I have a thread in this forum describing my OC on this chip so far. I've gotten it to 3.4, but can't get it to load Vista at 3.6. Temperatures at 3.4 are a little warm, and I'm pushing 1.331 (BIOS) vcore, ~1.26 under load.

    3.2 was unstable at stock voltage for me, but it may work out better for you.

    My VID from CoreTemp is 1.0500 if you were curious. By the by...don't use CoreTemp to measure temperatures. Use RealTemp.

    If you go for 3.2 then you can buy DDR2-800 and be fine. Even the value brands will suffice. However, if you decide to push it further, make sure you buy RAM that overclocks well, or a set of DDR2-1066.

    I'm happy with my purchase overall. I did want 3.6 tho, as my 6750 hit that easily and I did enjoy the single thread performance boost :P (Not really noticeable, but just knowing it's running 200Mhz slower irks me.)

    Just take a look at my sig. It's a great machine, and if you time your buys right, you can get it for a great price.

    PS I had to flash the BIOS on the Maximus, but you may get a newer revision, and it may not be necessary. I had to flash to ver 1004.
  3. dagger & Thanatos421 - Thanks for the feedback. I haven't decided on my overclocking strategy - if I even pursue it all all. I am hoping though that I can find the retail box for the X3350/Q9450 around the $339/$349 price point like it used to be.
  4. Thanatos421 said:
    I have a thread in this forum describing my OC on this chip so far.

    I wouldn't be totally upset if you posted that thread since I've had a hard time with Tom's even loading the past few weeks much less searching. :)

    I have the Q9450 and got a good deal on an X48 board. I paid too much 1066 RAM but I'm happy with the 8Gig I have. Maybe I need to make a sig.
  5. I've got Q9450 set to 3.4Ghz at ~1.2v(actual) FSB 1.4v.

    3.2Ghz runs fine at 1.3v fsb.

    I use an evga 780i MB and corsair xms2 6400 5-5-5-18 ram.

    I've read many reviews saying the X48 chipset is superior to 780i/790i, but I don't have any experience with X48.
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