1st time overclocker - i7 920

i7 920
ASUS P6T Deluxe
3x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333
Corsair 850TX

I don't plan on overclocking ASAP, I just want to get an idea of what I can expect, and to get a few questions out of the way. I haven't bought the video card I listed yet, but I will shortly. Everything is stock cooled as of now, and I haven't done any real overclocking before, but I'm not completely in the dark.

A good aftermarket cooler? Aesthetics mean nothing to me; good value is what's important. Also something simple to install would be great.

I don't want to push boundaries, I just want to get the most out of my system. Everything will be air cooled, and I don't want to risk damaging any hardware. Shooting for 3GHz seems like a good goal at least for now.

I have been monitoring my core temps for a while, and generally idle temps float around 40-45C and fully loaded temps may get around 65C (I'm not too sure about the loaded temps, as I don't check them nearly as much)

I believe I have my rear fan on low, and my lower chamber and blowhole fans on medium, but I could be wrong. My case also has room for an optional fan to mount in front of the HDD's...

The red boxes are the standard fans, the blue box is the optional one (not my picture; found it on Google and modified it)

Would it be worth it to buy and install the 4th fan, or should I just turn up the speed on the others to compensate for the extra heat buildup?

If you need any additional information, let me know and I'll be happy to provide it. Thanks in advance for your help.
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  1. I have that case and it's not as good when it comes to air cooling as the Antec 900, 900 II, 1200 and even 300. I would go ahead and add that optional fan. I moved all my drives to the lower chamber, that way air can be pulled directly to the main chamber for the video card and CPU.

    40C-45C is not out of the ordinary for Idle temps, considering the northern hemisphere is now on summer temps. 65C load is also typical for a stock cooler.

    I don't have your specific motherboard, but from my own experience and 100s of other i7 920 owners' testimonials that I've read, 3ghz is as easy as pie. At the most there is probably just 2 settings you may need to change to get 3ghz.

    The best air coolers, Prolimatech Megahalem and Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme.
  2. Seems almost too simple... What about overclocking the RAM and video card? Like I said, I don't know a great deal about overclocking, but I thought it was supposed to be a "team effort" between all the components.

    The Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme looks like it isn't compatible with LGA 1336.
  3. The T.R.U.E. does have a specific kit for 1366 and has a $10 mounting kit for older T.R.U.E. that are being used from socket 775 to 1366.

    The CPU, Memory, QPI and Uncore all run from 1 bus speed. At stock it is 133mhz. From here all the other uses their multiplier to get thier respective speeds.

    In this example for 3ghz OC. You would need to change your bus speed, sometimes called bclk, to 150mhz with no Turbo on.

    So the after effect:
    CPU: 150 * 20 = 3.0ghz
    Memory: 150 * 8 = 1200mhz

    If you want to try and OC your memory, then you'd have to change the multiplier to 10. That would make it 1500mhz memory.

    As for video card overclocking, the easiest way is to download EVGA Precision. From Precision you can change core, shader and memory frequency. For a bit more detail, you should inquire with the Video card section if you want more information.
  4. Well, I used ASUS's TurboV to overclock my BCLK Frequency to 150. (If you don't know about TurboV, it allows you to overclock from within Windows, and it's great for testing what your system is capable of instead of going back to BIOS every time you want to change something) I played a little Empire: Total War, and some Far Cry 2, and my highest temperature I noticed was only 61C during FC2. Most of the time, my temps stayed in the mid-50's.

    This is before I installed any aftermarket cooler, and as of now, I am running on a GeForce 8800GT. I played FC2 (which is one of my most graphic-intensive games) on Ultra High settings with DX10 and Veritcal Sync, and no AA. I just went into the nearest town and started raising hell; setting things on fire, setting explosions off and shooting at everyone and everything, but my temps remained impressively low.

    I'll obviously keep a close eye on my temps for a while, but if 61C is as hot as it's going to get, then bumping up the overclock even more doesn't seem like a huge deal.

    I can't wait to see the improvements when I put in a GTX 275!

    BTW: My CPU multiplier is 21, not 20. Don't know if that is unusual or not, but my CPU is thus clocked at 3.15GHz. Should I also disable Intel's frequency boost thing? I forget what it's called, but it drops my multiplier to 12 every now and then. I think it's to draw less power and generate less heat when it doesn't need it, but it just flashes up for a second and switches back to 21 even when I'm idle like right now.

    EDIT: I went ahead and disabled Intel Speedstep, and it dropped my multiplier to 20... I switched the Ai Tweaker to manual, and raised my BCLK to 150, and now I'm clocked at 3GHz... everything seems to be working great.
  5. 21 CPU multi is with Turbo feature on.

    I've read the Asus P6T reviews and apparently when turning speedstep off, Turbo will turn off also.

    My advice is don't use gaming as a stress test, use programs like LinX, Prime95 for this.

    Good luck.
  6. I used games as a stress test mainly because it's more of a "real-world" application for testing. I understand that I'm not putting everything under 100% load for 24 hours or anything, but that seems unnecessary to me. Playing something like Crysis for a few hours is the most stress it will ever be put under, and I'm only overclocked to 3GHz which is pretty tame relatively speaking. I will carefully monitor my temperatures for a few weeks, and may tweak up to 3.2GHz if I can.
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