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What would you do? Complicated decision-overclocking which cheap CPU?

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November 22, 2008 7:11:09 AM

I've lost track of how many topics I've created, because deciding has become very difficult. So, I am asking questions, as they come up in my mind. This one is more complicated.

My setup:
E6400
ATi 4850
Asus P5B mobo (1066 FSB)
Chieftec 400W PSU
2 GB RAM PC2-5400 Transcend
250 GB WD SATA II HDD
Win XP Home

I want something better for now, that will cost me cheap, so I can get an i7 upgrade when windows 7 come (bypassing the whole Vista Experience. Not that I have anything against them. I just see no reason to switch to Vista if they're going to be changed soon). My options

1) Buy a new decent PSU (Corsair 550W for example) and a fan for my CPU (Xigmatec???) and overclock it. I tried overclocking it as is (to 333 FSB, I think), but it reached 70 C. It was stable for two hours on Prime, but with that PSU and those temps, I didn't want to risk it.

2) Buy PSU and fan again, but also get a E5200 for 80 euros (euro is more expensive, but we have more expensive prices here -Greece- so the analogies remain the same) and do a reasonable overclock; nothing too fancy: raise the FSB to 266, so I won't push my mobo beyond what it can do and still reach 3.4 GHz (if possible)

3) Buy PSU and fan again, but also get the E7200 for 110 euros. It's already powerful enough (more than my E6400) and raising the FSB to 300 or 333 is going to give me some decent performace.

I have never overclocked anything, so I am going to leave lots of things on auto: maybe even Vcore voltage (or I will leave it on auto, see what cpu-z says it is and then lower it a little in BIOS). My problem is whether I can puch my mobo beyond its supported FSB without risk. Someone told me that if I had got a E8400 (my original plan), my mobo would have severely bottlenecked my CPU; which will be the case if I overclock past 266 MHz FSB. So, right now the E5200 seems like the better option. However, ANY thoughts on the matter will be welcome.
November 22, 2008 7:26:10 AM

I would tell you to hold on, anything less of a e8400 C2D wouldn't be much of upgrade, the e5200 performs bit below, maybe highly OC it can surpass your e6400 but i couldn't get mine past 3.33 with out crazy volts, the e7200 may perform a bit better but IMO you should save your money, your e6400 its still a great proc, but if you really want to upgrade get a 8400 anything less you wont see much difference.
November 22, 2008 7:36:38 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. So, are you telling me to OC the E6400 (with the necessary PSU and fan) or to just leave it at that and wait? And what about the FSB-mobo problem? Is there even a problem or my mobo will be able to hit 1333 easily?
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November 22, 2008 7:36:41 AM

e5200 imho.
November 22, 2008 8:34:46 AM

Anyone to address the motherboard issue? How far can I push a mobo which officially supports 1066 FSB?
November 22, 2008 9:52:46 AM

I believe the ASUS p5b is Intel 965 Chipset,
I don't know how it overclocks I guess you would need to find out.

My a-bit ip35 pro officialy supports 1333mhz FSB, but I already had it on 1600fsb (400) 1:1 ram ratio. And it worked pretty flawlessly. Offcourse this is a p35 chipset.

I would hold on if I were you, I don't think the new psu would benefit highly.

I do think the chieftec psu are pretty stable so I don't think that should be your problem either.

You could always get more airflow to keep things cooler, Xigmatek S1283

Overclocking is like trail and error, You keep pushing and testing the cpu until you get an error, and go a step back.

Raise the FSB, and vcore (by small steps)


I've seen a lot of people with E6400 that push them to 3.2ghz and beyond.
This is offcourse with addiquate cooling. I think investing into a good cooler will help.

Just keep an eye on your temperatures.
and by the time nehalem will become mainstraim you could invest your money into a new system.

A 3.2ghz should be reachable with a good cooler, also some thermal paste would help keep temperatures down.
I've read around and voltages seem to fluctuate between 1.35v and 1.37v

P.S.

PRIME 95 Multicore stress testing on small FTT's (max heat)
http://www.mersenne.org/ftp_root/gimps/p95v257.zip

for temps,
http://shahsmerdis.com/CoreTemp/CoreTemp.zip
November 22, 2008 10:38:55 AM

Thanks! Many people have told me to change my PSU. You're the first one to say I should keep it.

The fastest I will try with my E6400 is 333 FSB, so it will run 1:1 with my RAM. That makes it 333*8=2.66 MHz. That's not much of an improvement, though. I do need a cooler for it, though. And probably some fans for the case, which is generic and has none.

But really: keep my PSU as is?
November 22, 2008 1:09:01 PM

well i would get a good 700w PSU and a 9600GT and a e2180 and OC to about 3.2ghz and live with it. because even change to i7 the PSU will still be usable.PSU and case is something you dont and need to change often.those are like one off investment.

with the e2180+AC Freezer 7 Pro you are guarantee to get 3.2ghz.and 9600GT provide good 1600 res gaming performance.
November 22, 2008 1:46:09 PM

If I'm not mistaken ha already has an ATI HD4850, why would he want to switch to a slower 9600GT?
November 22, 2008 1:55:01 PM

you have a good setup, it will play any game at the highest settings except crysis. as said above, keep everything.
i think, its good experience to learn overclocking in your current system. you won't damage anything unless you change voltages too much.
November 22, 2008 2:03:32 PM

I guess you've pretty much convinced me. I'll keep everything, throw in a couple of case fans (one intake and one outtake) and a nice cpu cooler and try and overclock my old E6400.

You're right about the games, though. Crysis will run at High settings 1440x900 at about 20-30 fps (playable, but not really...but I am happy with 40-50 in all games). Fallout 3 same res, all high will drop to a bit less than 30 in really wide open areas, which kind of concerned me to be honest. Oh, and under full load my stock clocked CPU goes to 60-64 C. I know that's a lot.

Really...not even my PSU? Probably that's the only thing I haven't decided yet.
November 22, 2008 2:11:57 PM

If your going to OC at all, I would grab a new PSU. The 550W Corsair you mentioned will be perfect if you intend to only use 1 GPU. If your looking at going with Crossfire or SLi at some point, look to get something 650-800W.

As everyone has said, the only upgrade for you is E8400 and up. I would grab the cooler and PSU and OC.
November 22, 2008 2:13:43 PM

carpenter20m said:
Thanks! Many people have told me to change my PSU. You're the first one to say I should keep it.

The fastest I will try with my E6400 is 333 FSB, so it will run 1:1 with my RAM. That makes it 333*8=2.66 MHz. That's not much of an improvement, though. I do need a cooler for it, though. And probably some fans for the case, which is generic and has none.

But really: keep my PSU as is?


One outtake fan and one intake should do, 80mm or 120mm if possible, look for mounting holes.

It doesn't need to run 1:1 with ram, it's a feature that I used to have. But I run my ram independently, 1:1.20
I'm sure your bios has something like it.

400W is not much, but I believe you won't push it to its limits. But if I were you, I would save up.

Just buy an xigmatek S1283, and maybe two fans. for your case.
I don't see how much of a big improvement a psu will give.
A whole new system will. But this one should be addequate anyway. Especially if you overclock it up a bit ;) 


November 22, 2008 2:21:41 PM

Couple of things, your ram PC-5400 won't go where you want to go. You'll probably need better/ more highly rated ram.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Is your PSU a problem?

A PSU needs to provide conditioned and regulated power to a system at the best efficiency possible. Yours is probably ok, a little slim on overhead capacity, but you are where you are. Changing it for a very high efficiency and much more powerful unit is not a bad thing, but don't expect it to remodel your whole system. It just provides conditioned and regulated power. If you get a new one get one that will be large enough and support the new i7 system that you are considering.

Since you want to wait for the i7 do that. Fiddle with the system you have now and get the max out of it. You'll learn a thing or two.

Your GPU is a good one stick with it. Either stick with the cpu you have and OC it to high heaven till you get the new system or get say a q6600 or as said before a e8400 or e8500 and oc it till you are ready for the jump.

If I were you I would replace the ram, oc the system AHAP and plan for your upcoming system.
November 22, 2008 2:44:51 PM

I would change the PSU and get a good cooler to go for a OC.
November 22, 2008 2:46:49 PM

OK...I will try that. Get the fans (I measured the holes in my case and unfortunately they're 80mm, meaning I am restricted to 80mm fans, right???), the the cooler, oc that thing.

All my important files are backed up in a trustworthy and cheap External HDD WD Elements, so I don't mind burning anything. I will even stick with my PSU for now. Thanks everyone.

PS: Any other suggestions are always welcome. For example, facts and figures from a person who has OCed an E6400 and knows what it can do. Also opinions about my old Intel 965 chipset mobo. Thanks again.
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November 22, 2008 3:06:28 PM

+1 for better PSU.
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November 22, 2008 3:54:11 PM

I'd go with a new PSU since it's something that can be moved along into a new build in a year or so, when picking it i'd look ahead to what you want out of your future build and buy to accomodate that. I'd also go with a new cooler, Xigmatek or Sunbeam core contact. Overclocking is something that is best learned by doing it. The experience you gain from working with your present system will help you in your future overclocking work.
November 22, 2008 4:05:05 PM

mmm i forgot to comment on the psu, fan issue as many said get good PSU you could move to your new system, also a good cpu cooler you can also move to your next build and 4 gigs of ram wouldn't hurt, all this things will help you OC a lot better also the case fans are a good idea.
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