Hey out there - i just built a new machine with the following goodies:
Intel Q9300 with Noctua Thermal Compound
Xigametek HDT Cooler
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R with F3E BIOS
Vista 64 home premium (I am thinking this is a problem)
Maxtor SATA 3GB/sec Hard Drives
XFX 9600GT XXX 700MHz
4GB PC8500 Ballistix
Corsair TX750W PSU
Antec 900 Hundred Case (4x 120mm Fans)
I am unable to overclock any amount - BIOS or the provided Windows software. I have been reading articles saying they are getting 3.2-3.4 without even touching any voltage settings.
I am just about to re-install the CPU due to the inconsistent temps.
Things to try before overclocking:
1) Make sure you have set the RAM voltage to the value specified in the spec for your specific modules, then save BIOS, then set timings for your RAM.
2) Run memtest86+ for at least two complete passes without errors.
3) Run Orthos (or similar PRIME95 based stress tester) in "blend mode" for at least an hour or two without errors and without overheating.
4) You might also try using the stock Intel cooler, since your cooler doesn't blow air down onto the MB and cool the northbridge, PWM area, etc as the Intel cooler does.
The version of the OS has nothing to do with OCing problems, as long as you use the BIOS to change settings (never use Windows-based programs to change settings).
well - i rebuilt the system and now i am at a 3.30GHz - go figure. i ended disabling everything. temps are running in low forties. i went back to my ASUS "cheap" cooler with a side mounted 80mm over part of the north and memory. CPU temp in BIOS is 26C. the north heat sink was loose and i repaired it.