Currently I have my Q9450 set to 3.2Ghz and its running stable. If I leave everything at auto, which it is now also, and then set the FSB to 450 so it will be at 3.6Ghz, it will not boot, its gets the BSOD, even if I manually set the voltage to 1.3. Does that just mean I have a chip that doesnt like to go that high?
start at the 3.2ghz mark that you found stable, in increase the fsb up by 5mhz without touching the voltage...when it becomes unstable, bump up the core voltage one step, and see if its stable...if it is, repeat the process untill you reach an overclock you like. keep in mind to also adjust your ram timings, and speed ratios, your vtt voltage settings, etc.
Im using corsair dominator DDR2 1066mhz. My comp would boot all way up to 3.4 Ghz. Once I hit 3.4 it wouldnt boot, I had to back it down to 3.3Ghz for it to boot and run stable. I even up'ed the voltage from auto, which was 1.272, to 1.3 and it still woulodnt boot, so im guessing my card just doesnt want to go that high. I would like to be able to hit 3.4, maybe there something im doing wrong.
Wow, I don't know what chipset you have, but 1.62V on the northbridge is pretty high for most chips!
You probably need a higher voltage on the CPU, but the best way to find out is to test the stability of your MCH at a higher FSB frequency. So: set your CPU multiplier down to 6, and your FSB frequency to 425. Don't touch your CPU voltage... just leave it alone for the moment... Try booting. If this doesn't boot, then your northbridge is at fault, and at that high a voltage, it's probably overheating.
If you can boot at 425, run a stability test with Prime95 blend for a few hours. If that is stable, increase the FSB frequency again. Remember to keep your memory set to 1:1, so at FSB 425, it should be running at 850. This will help to eliminate the RAM as the culprit.
Keep doing this to get to higher FSBs. You could try an FSB frequency of 450MHz off the bat and see how that goes... maybe it'll work, then you'll know the CPU is at fault.
There are also other reasons why you may not have a stable setting, like having the tRD value set too low, but that's really a more advanced setting, and you should probably just try what I've outlined above first...
Edit: I almost forgot... when you reach a stable FSB that you like, you can up your CPU multiplier again, and then work to get the CPU stable by increasing the voltage. Remember that 1.3625V is the highest voltage for the Q9450 specified by Intel. You can take the chip higher, but it's likely to degrade its operating lifespan significantly, not to mention produce a lot of heat!
i set it to 450 FSB with the other settings you mentioned, 6.0 muliplier, ram to 1:1. Its been running prime 95 for about an hour no, no issues. PCprobe says the Vcore is at 1.27, and the SB temp is a 44C and the NB temp is at 60C, cpu is at 43C. What do you suggest I do now? I have a feeling that if I set the multiplier back to 8, it wont boot.
I think 60C is a little hotter than you really want the X48 to run. You should try to get this stable with a lower northbridge voltage first, then you can clock up your CPU and increase the voltage to make it stable.
Edit: Also, before upping the CPU multi again, you should test your setting for many hours to ensure utter stability at those settings. That way you will be sure that if there's an error, it's due to the CPU, not the northbridge or memory.
Yeah, the two systems should be separate (in theory), so you should be able to just play with the CPU stability. I'd set the multiplier back to 8, set the CPU core voltage to 1.34 or so and give it a whirl. If it doesn't boot, it probably needs more juice. There are also other settings, like VTT, and skews and such stuff... I don't know much about those because my mobo doesn't have settings for them
it wouldnt boot at 3.6Ghz, I uped the Vcore all the way up to 1.3625, then I even uped the NB voltage up to 1.61 with the Vcore at 1.3625 and it still wouldnt boot, got the BSOD everytime. It is running now at 3.4Ghz at 1.32 Vcore and it seems stable, im about to run prime 95
Well it wouldnt run prime95 at 3.4, got instant BSOD when I ran prime95, I just uped the voltage 1.35 in the bios, its running at 1.33 idle now.
EDIT: still wont run at that voltage, I lowered the CPU to 3.2Ghz and its been running prime95 for awhile now. 3.2Ghz seems to be the stable point. What is the best thing to do now? just leave it? or are there other options with the ram to get some more speed out of this comp.
I'm not entirely sure... I haven't gotten above 3.2Ghz, but I haven't tried very hard. I'm pretty sure I could get 3.4 stable, but I might need some active cooling on my northbridge.
Not really sure what to tell you... just play around with it... read articles on overclocking Penryns and overclocking your chipset/board. Anandtech has some very good articles on X38/X48 boards and on overclocking some Penryns, though they usually use the extreme chips with unlocked multipliers.