Contemplating an overclock on new system - advice please

Hello guys.

I am expecting the delivery of my computer tomorrow, below are the specs (hopefully a nice mid-range system):

- Q6600 processor (2.4Ghz, 8MB L2 cache, 1066MHz)
- nForce 750i SLi motherboard
- 8Gb DDR2 800MHz RAM (32 bit OS which can only support less than 4 Gb but the additional 4 Gb came free)
- GeForce 9800GTX GPU
- 550W PSU

my questions are these: (I am a newbie to overclocking but have read a number of guides and think I understand the basic principles)

1. Is the above system conducive to overclocking? (I have heard the Q6600 can be overclocked to between 2.7GHz and 3.4GHz in most air-cooled cases).
2. Will overclocking the CPU and RAM significantly improve performance in gaming applications? (or is the GPU far more important)
3. If I have never tried BIOS overclocking before but if I am very careful changing key variables such as voltage inputs can I be certain that the computer will not be damaged?

note that the computer will be operated in a 20C room with only internal fans for air cooling.

Any other advice would greatly be appreciated, many thanks for your time.
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  1. I have the same processor and I dont really see any huge benefits of overclocking at the moment. Most games are not built for quads yet, so your cpu is already fine. You got a decent video card which should run most everything just fine at the moment. Invest in some SLI later and you will be set for even longer. Make sure you have an aftermarket cooler if you are overclocking. The xigmatek rifle with retention bracket is suggested all over these forums.

    As for overclocking, its pretty easy. Just up the FSB, and unlink yer memory otherwise it will run at the bus speed i.e. slower than what it is capable. For voltages, just leave them to auto and you should be good. Make sure it boots, then run prime95 for a while, make sure yer temps are good (under 75C hopefully). If it works well, try lowering the voltage a couple notches on yer cpu and repeat. For mem voltages, they have a rated voltage on the manufacturers website. Pretty much auto has worked for me though. Mine is at 3.0 and I might be able to go higher, but i need a better cooler. Waiting for that xig to have free shipping or someone to put one out with a retention bracket included. No one likes paying for shipping on two things that should be one thing.

    Just have some confidence and watch yer temps. Yer comp won't die.

    PSU maybe a little low...only thing i can see.
  2. Thanks for the informative response, would you recommend waiting to overclock when the computer is a little older and a second 9800gtx is purchased?
  3. I have been looking at this Xigmatek HDT-S1283 air cooler and it seems excellent for the money, one thing I am slightly confused over is the "retention bracket" which is constantly talked about, is this a necessity with this cooler?
  4. HI Jon:
    just a quick one here,no the bracket is not a necessity,,but,,and this is a biggie,you must consider,the weight of the cooler,and it's effectiveness when overclocking,and the need to maintain a surefire way of keeping constant contact/pressure on your precious cpu,,,
    most experienced overclockers strongly recommend using/installing said bracket,also it will reinforce your mobo against the weight of the cooler,
    after all you don't really want to rely on those cheap plastic push pins to protect your investment do you ??,,
    plus you will have a good cooler that you might be able to take to your next system,,,your choice.:>)
  5. Thanks for the advice dokk, much appreciated. I just learned today that due to the leadtek 9800gtx being out of production my computer has been upgraded with a 9800gtx+ for free which is awesome... on the downside I think the Q6600 is a B3 version which apparently doesn't overclock as well as the G0.

    I was thinking of putting in a bid for the following cooler but am worried about 2 things:

    1.) if I have never installed a cooling system before will this be too fiddly (reviews seem to suggest this)?
    2.) is this simply too big to fit in a "standard" (Dimensions - 190mm(w)x420mm(h)x480mm(d)) case?

    much appreciated guys
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