Q9450 and PQ5-E on Dark Knight


I'm an overclock Noob. Last time I messed with OCing was on a Pentium 133 that I couldn't get to go to 150 even with a peltier - back when it was done with jumpers on the MoBo. So, it's a bit like wandering into a neighborhood you visited 20 years ago and getting lost! :lol:

I've read the guides and started trying to fiddle. Increased the FSB from stock (333 mhz IIRC?) to 400, all else @ default values. It booted and ran Prime for an hour (blended) and then I tried 500, then 450, then 425, then 410, then 405 and ended up at 400 again. Increased voltage and still was stuck at 400 for the FSB. Tweaked RAM timings (I think!), and turned off a coupla things the stickied guide said to turn off and turned on a coupla things that were off. Ran blended all night, and temps weren't terrible. Still tweaking voltage down. I think my max temp at ambient 76ºF (24.4ºC) TJMax as reported by CoreTemp (I think) was 68ºC or 69ºC w/ voltage set in BIOS at the Q9450 specified 1.3625 "max" (reporting as ~1.31 in CPU-Z).

Googled for info on the Q9450 w/ the PQ5-E, and came up basically empty.

Anybody runnin' this rig that can give me some starting point BIOS values? Since much of the terminology in the guides differs from the names of the values in my BIOS, I'm floundering trying to figure out what to change and by how much.

Here are details on the rig:
Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283V
MSI N9600GT 512M OC (Factory OC'd; Core Clock=700MHz, Memory Clock=1900MHz)
SeaSonic M12D SS-750 750W
Ambient will run as high as 82ºF, w/ Antec TX640B case LOADED w/ 7 (seven) fans, but box will be in a somewhat enclosed space (~4" clearance for side intake ports, and ~6" clearance in back w/ decent sized 'escape' route for heat).

Anyhow, looking at this point mainly for "starting" values/ideas (specific to P5Q-E, beyond twiddling w/ FSB), and also some thoughts on why I can't seem to move beyond 400 FSB. System running Prime now w/ voltage setting in BIOS down like 4 or 5 "steps" from the 1.3625 "max".
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  1. CottyGee,

    Prime95 Blend is designed for testing memory, and is a cyclic worload which produces fluctuating temperatures. Prime95 Small FFT's is the standard for processor thermal testing because it's a steady-state 100% workload.

    Intel's Q9450 specs:

    Vcore Max 1.3625
    Tcase Max (CPU) 71c
    Tjunction (Core) 76c

    Comp :sol:
  2. I read that this morning. LOL But why does the Task Mgr show all processors at steady-state 100% running Prime blended?

    From what I read, the Small FFT test should bring temps up a few degrees, but not much. Yes?
  3. OK ... seeing is believing:


    Small FFT's

  4. LOL - you're dedicated, CompuTronix - a "faithful poster" indeed.

    Any thoughts about the expected delta between Blended and Small FFT? A few degrees??

    What I REALLY need to know tho is what to do with the zillion different BIOS options under the "Tweaker" menu on the P5Q-E. I've never SEEN BIOS w/ so many options!
  5. Yes, Small FFT's will typically run 3 to 4 degrees warmer than Blend. Small FFT's is the standard for processor thermal testing, just as 22c is the standard for ambient temperature.

    I have no time to write a BIOS tutorial for you, so perhaps someone else will help you with your BIOS settings. Suffice it to say that at 400 Mhz FSB, all voltages will typically be adequate for stability at minimum values, except Vcore and memory. As you increase FSB frequency, then Vmch (Northbridge) and Vffsbt (FSB Termination Voltage) also need to be increased, as well as Vcore.
  6. I appreciate the general guidelines, CompuTronix. Hopefully I can decipher what items in the P5Q-E correspond to Vmch, Vfsb and Vcore. I'm in no particular hurry, so no worries. And like I say, I appreciate what you DID post - I'll have to look at voltages beyond just Vcore, which is all I touched beyond increasing FSB.

    My hope in starting this thread was that someone intimately familiar w/ the particulars of the Q9450 on the P5Q-E might be able to quickly and easily provide some direction...

    Thanks again for your reply.
  7. Update -

    With the helpful tips on where to increase voltage, I managed to eventually find stable voltages where I could get the FSB up to 420. Ran Prime95 overnight (small FFT) w/ max temp on 1 core @ 61ºC @ 27.8ºC ambient (82ºF). I've got the specific voltages written down at home. They were at 1 level below where the color turned "yellow" when setting them in BIOS.

    So what comes next? Are significant gains still available w/in the CPU? Should I try increasing Vmch (Northbridge) and Vffsbt (FSB Termination Voltage) into the "yellow" and hope for a bit more FSB speed? I fiddled and fiddled last night for about an hour, booting and tweaking voltages and writing down the results. Never was able to get a boot out of FSB 425 MHz, but at 420, it booted and was rock-solid, running Prime95 Small FFT all night.

    I reviewed graysky's "HOW TO" sticky thread again, and as I learn more, it's starting to make more sense. Having gotten to FSB 420 stable, should I continue to try to increase FSB and increase voltages? It seems like Vcore is maxed, if I want to maintain 60ºC as my TJMax, yes? Or should I go down further in graysky's guide and try to tweak some of the other stuff?

    I guess I'm asking - how do I know when I'm done? I'm happy with getting 90% of what I can get out of OCing this rig if that remaining 10% is especially difficult to attain. But if there are still significant gains to be had - where do I look next?

    LOL - sorry for the total newbie questions. OCing is a lot more involved than it was back when... Many more factors today.

    Thanks in advance for any tips. :)
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