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First time overclocker seeks advice

Last response: in Overclocking
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January 6, 2009 1:12:17 PM

Hey all and thanks in advance for your help.

This is what I have done so far:
a) I've read any guide I could find on overclocking the Core2Duo family and especially the E6xx0 family.
b) I overclocked my system changing the FSB to 300 (or 333, I can't remember right now) only to see that it was Prime95 stable for about 2 hours, but with temps that reached 74 C, while running Prime 95.
c) I changed the settings back to normal and have made some topics here asking specific questions. Now I am ready for the final showdown.

Here are my specs:
E6400
Asus P5B (1066 FSB)
ATi 4850
400W Chieftec PSU
2 GB Transcend PC2-5300 @667MHz RAM
Generic case with no case fans
WinXP Home

What I want to do now:
a) Buy a new PSU (750W Corsair or PC P&C)
b) Get a nice cooler for my CPU
c) Install some case fans for proper case cooling

My questions:
1) Do I really need a new PSU?
2) Which cooler should I get? I am in between CoolerMaster Cooler GeminII, Scythe Cooler Ninja 2 and Nexus FLC-3000. I would love to get a Xigmatek HDT-RS1283, since you guys seem to like it a lot, but it's out of stock in the sole place in Greece that brings it and I don't know when they'll have it again. That Nexus seems nice since it says that I can use it on my next year's i7 rig as well, which would be cool, but I haven't heard anything about it.
3) Are two 80mm fans as intake (left side-above the processor and the GPU) and one 120mm fan (back of case) as exhaust OK? These are the only mounts available in my case and I want the best airflow possible.
4) MOST SIGNIFICANT QUESTION: My RAM runs at 667 MHz and I have a nice 1:1 ratio when I set the FSB at 333MHz. My BIOS doesn't have any settings to manually set the RAM at any frequency. It just has 667, 800, 833 and 1000 (or something like that). So, if I set the FSB at 350 and leave the RAM on Auto, will it automatically overclock to 700 to keep the 1:1 ratio? Is that safe? Or should I just stick to 333 FSB in order not to push my cheap RAM too much?
5) As is, I don't really need to update the BIOS. I am sure people were overclocking on my board when it first came out. Will I benefit a lot from such a move?

I am sorry if that was too long to read. I've done a lot or research, but not everything is answered in the guides, especially question number 4. Also, please don't give alternate CPU cooler solutions. I live in Greece, so providing links from newegg isn't really helping. Just tell me if my choices are decent.
a c 197 K Overclocking
January 6, 2009 1:41:09 PM

a. A better PSU would be good. I think the Swifteck is moving up to where it is close to being marginal. A 750 watt PSU is overkill unless you are planning to keep it for an upgrade.

b. Judging from your core temps, you have gone past the limits of the stock cooler. Probably no real world program - including games - will drive up core temps like Prime95, but over 70 C. makes me nervous. No opinions on the CPU coolers you list. I work in Saudi Arabia and I have less GOOD aftermarket equipment than you do. I do most of my buying when I come back to the U. S. on vacation.

c. A better case or more fans placed to increase airflow through the case or . Two basic rules for fan placement: intake on the bottom front of a case and exhaust on the top back.
January 7, 2009 8:03:53 AM

I do plan to keep it for an upgrade and I am starting to have doubts whether it will be enough in 2 or so years.

I can't have an intake at the bottom front since there's nowhere to put a fan there. So, I was guessing two intakes on the side (one above the cpu and one above the gpu) would be enough, as well as an exhaust at the back, right under the PSU.

Can anyone help me with my RAM question, please?
a b K Overclocking
January 7, 2009 4:26:07 PM

1: PSU fine but a little more than you need
2:Ninja2 or Ximatek both very good. I have the ninja2, running a E8400 @4.0 Ghz, 53 degrees C max prime95. No experience with the others.
3:the more airflow the better, should be fine.
4: 700 SHOULD be fine with the ram BUT it all depends on the ram, it may NOT like being oc'd. You may have to up the voltage, then it still may not like it. You are the only one that can answer that question. Getting DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066 could only help.
5: updating the bios could only help as well, more options, better choices.
!