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Overclocking for the first time

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August 7, 2009 11:06:12 PM

I'm thinking about overclocking my PC for the first time.

I went into my BIOS to poke around today and found that the cpu multiplier is maxed at 9.5X, but I could adjust the FSB speed (manufacture setting is 266). I bumped my FSB speed to 300 mhz but when i realized i couldnt adjust the multiplier i reset to the default settings--I wimped out.

My questions are: I've never done this before, and what i've read online suggests bumping both values up a bit, step by step, and booting up to test stability, but since I can only adjust the FSB speed, am I going to be doing my system harm if i tweak one value but not the other?

Is there a way to change the max multiplier or are these values fixed by the mobo, or the cpu manufacturer or what? I assume that if i can adjust only one value, my options/range for overclocking are limited.

Also, when i bumped the FSB speed up to 300mhz i noticed that some of the values (voltages i suspect) for the RAM changed as well. Should I manually be fiddling with these values at all or let BIOS do the adjusting?

Here is my first build rig that i've been pretty happy with over the past year and a half or so:

Mobo: Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
CPU: Intel core 2 duo E7200 2.53ghz
RAM: 4x2g Mushkin DDR2 800
PSU: Corsair vx450w
GPU: EVGA 8800GTS 640mb
HD: Western Digital caviar 640g 7200rpm SATA

all cooling is stock

any tips or advice would be great, thx

More about : overclocking time

a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 7, 2009 11:25:06 PM

1. No if you bump up the fsb and not the multiplier it will not harm the system.

2.the max multiplier is the cpu. only the "extreme cpu's dont have a locked multi.

3.you should adjust the voltages manually.

I recommend getting some better cooling.
August 8, 2009 4:39:42 AM

Thanks alot, I'm currently overclocking the cpu just a bit. I upped the FSB speed to 300mhz from 266. Since my multiplier is maxed at 9.5, how high should i try and go with my FSB?

I was thinking 320ish?
Related resources
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 5:44:07 AM

Raise it in about 20 mhz increments until you get a BSOD.

Then add some voltage.
August 8, 2009 4:20:14 PM

listen to overshocked, he knows his overclocking stuff ;) 
a c 172 à CPUs
a c 197 K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 5:16:56 PM

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245679-11-guide-ove...

HOWTO: Overclock C2Q (Quads) and C2D (Duals) - Guide v1.6.1
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...

Core 2 Quad and Duo Temperature Guide
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-t...

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245679-11-guide-ove...

Intel recommends no more than 1.3625 volts on a 45 nm CPU. I tend to follow Intel's recommendations - unlike some people here. :D 

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with overshocked approach - as long as you are aware of what you are doing.
----------
Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
August 8, 2009 7:45:01 PM

Thanks a ton for the info. I'm overclocking and things seem to be running well. :) 

cheers
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a b K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 9:06:48 PM

rambo117 said:
listen to overshocked, he knows his overclocking stuff ;) 



Thanks man (=
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a b K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 9:07:38 PM

FirstTimeBuilder said:
Thanks a ton for the info. I'm overclocking and things seem to be running well. :) 

cheers



NO problem dude.

Any other questions? [:lectrocrew:2]
August 8, 2009 9:14:39 PM

I guess just one. If, for example, i decide to upgrade my PSU (or other components) in the future, do i need to bring all my OC'd components back down to stock speeds/voltages, change out the PSU, and then overclock step by step again?
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a b K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 9:19:14 PM

Well i would bring the components down to stock speeds whe you install a new component.

Because that way when you boot up you know that if you get a bsod that it is your new component and not your overclock.

But you wont need to put it up step by step like you did originally. Just bump it up back to what it used to be.
August 9, 2009 6:59:00 AM

Ok, so i've been having some success with overclocking, i think. I've been following those guides above and things seem to be running well; tbh i'm very impressed and have already noticed quite a difference in speed. I haven't been pushing it too hard yet so i can get my feet wet. I do have a few questions now however.


I have been mainly ramping up the FSB and every time i post with no problems, system seems to be running faster than ever. I have not messed around with vcore yet--i was intending to lower the vcore to help the temps when i got comfortable with playing with the FSB speed, and this RAM divider concept. I have not OC'd to the point where I get a BSOD yet.

My last two configurations have been:

1. FSB of 333, 9.5x for 3.16Ghz. Here i set the FSB : RAM divider to 5:6, which my BIOS refers to as 2.4. I believe this maxes out my DRAM freq at 800 Mhz, the max for my RAM being DDR2 800.

2. FSB of 343, 9.5x for 3.25Ghz. FSB : RAM divider was 1:1 (so as not to exceed DRAM freq of 800) DRAM freq 650 Mhz.

I hope this makes sense--i'm still trying to figure out all of this terminology.


I ran a prime95 stress test. It seems to run for a while with no errors, but i stopped it when the core temps hit 72C as im running stock cooling atm. Are these temps a concern?

Also, when i'm setting the FSB : RAM divider or whatever, is the goal to maximize the DRAM freq but not exeed your RAM's rated freq? Or can you exceed it a little bit and thereby OC the RAM? (I'm still learning about the whole FSB : RAM concept so my question may not even be well formed.)

Should I try and lower the vcore and see if the temp on the cpu drops? (ive never payed attention to temps before so im getting a bit nervous now that im running speedfan)

Anyway, I'm temped to stop messing around as i've got a new cpu cooler, case fans, PSU, and GPU coming next week.

Where should i go from here?

Any comments or suggestions are welcome, thanks.


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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 5:11:12 PM

if you get a decent cooler like the freezer 7 pro ( what I have) i think you can hit 3.6-3.8 without much issue... I managed 4.03 with that cooler and I have the same cpu. I hope this help you.. overshocked knows his stuff.. and if you have any more questions, we would all be happy to help
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August 9, 2009 6:33:59 PM

^Noooo!!! The Frezer Pro is old. Get a S1283 or a Core Contact.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$25 after MIR

HSF reviews: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

Quote:
2. FSB of 343, 9.5x for 3.25Ghz. FSB : RAM divider was 1:1 (so as not to exceed DRAM freq of 800) DRAM freq 650 Mhz.

Keep SPD at 2. (Basically sets FSB:RAM at 1:1). No point in messing with RAM speeds,timing,etc unless you are in to getting good scores in synth benches.

Quote:
I ran a prime95 stress test. It seems to run for a while with no errors, but i stopped it when the core temps hit 72C as im running stock cooling atm. Are these temps a concern?

Yes. I personally consider more than 68C to be too much. Others may disagree with me ;)  on that.

Quote:
Should I try and lower the vcore and see if the temp on the cpu drops?

Sure. Go for it. Imo, you should start OCing after you get new cooling as once you get a new HSF OCing temps/voltages/stability may change.

Quote:

Intel recommends no more than 1.3625 volts on a 45 nm CPU.

Actually, that's the max stock voltages that Intel uses. ABSOLUTE MAX voltage for 45nm is 1.45v. ABSOLUTE MAX is defined as the point where CPU damage happens. See under "Absolute Maximum and Minimum Ratings" (page 17) here: http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/318...
It's amazing how much info's available in the Intel data sheets.

esp @overshocked: BSEL mods any one? Ahh.... I miss the good o'l days. Tbird unlocking....ATOX850 pipes......oh the days. Imo, OCing is no longer a "black art" due to ease of OCing with BIOS and even through Windows (note: I DO NOT recommend OCing through Windows).
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 6:40:05 PM

Shadow, just because it is older, doesn't mean it doesn't work well. heck i'm at 4.03Ghz on it.. and temps are max 60C after 12 hrs prime 95
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 6:47:45 PM

^True, but at $25 after MIR the CCF is a better buy than AF7 ($32 @ Newegg) and better performance and future (as in can be used on higher heat CPUs ie i7). It's a good cooler, but there's better ones out now. I use one (AF7) on my old Celeron D @3.6.
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 7:04:01 PM

oh ok.I stand corrected. I haven't looked since i purchased mine... so i am a little out of the loop on aftermarket cooling solutions. I was looking at the coolermaster V-10 though lol overkill i know. and If I can manage to get my board to let me FSB go higher than 440 i would be real happy.. lol I have heard of the core contact but haven't found any good reviews on it
August 9, 2009 7:12:43 PM

68C isnt high if it's core temp,
ur max core temp is 100C
also use intelburntest v2.3 instead of prime because its faster and better.
10mins of intel = 10 hours of prime
August 9, 2009 9:02:52 PM

Thanks for the info. I've got a sunbeam core contact freezer on the way along with two decent 120 case fans to replace my cheapo stock fans. I'll play around more and post with the results in a few days.
August 9, 2009 9:50:42 PM

you can probally get that chip to 4GHz no problem.
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 9:51:46 PM

FirstTimeBuilder said:
Ok, so i've been having some success with overclocking, i think. I've been following those guides above and things seem to be running well; tbh i'm very impressed and have already noticed quite a difference in speed. I haven't been pushing it too hard yet so i can get my feet wet. I do have a few questions now however.


I have been mainly ramping up the FSB and every time i post with no problems, system seems to be running faster than ever. I have not messed around with vcore yet--i was intending to lower the vcore to help the temps when i got comfortable with playing with the FSB speed, and this RAM divider concept. I have not OC'd to the point where I get a BSOD yet.

My last two configurations have been:

1. FSB of 333, 9.5x for 3.16Ghz. Here i set the FSB : RAM divider to 5:6, which my BIOS refers to as 2.4. I believe this maxes out my DRAM freq at 800 Mhz, the max for my RAM being DDR2 800.

2. FSB of 343, 9.5x for 3.25Ghz. FSB : RAM divider was 1:1 (so as not to exceed DRAM freq of 800) DRAM freq 650 Mhz.

I hope this makes sense--i'm still trying to figure out all of this terminology.


I ran a prime95 stress test. It seems to run for a while with no errors, but i stopped it when the core temps hit 72C as im running stock cooling atm. Are these temps a concern?

Also, when i'm setting the FSB : RAM divider or whatever, is the goal to maximize the DRAM freq but not exeed your RAM's rated freq? Or can you exceed it a little bit and thereby OC the RAM? (I'm still learning about the whole FSB : RAM concept so my question may not even be well formed.)

Should I try and lower the vcore and see if the temp on the cpu drops? (ive never payed attention to temps before so im getting a bit nervous now that im running speedfan)

Anyway, I'm temped to stop messing around as i've got a new cpu cooler, case fans, PSU, and GPU coming next week.

Where should i go from here?

Any comments or suggestions are welcome, thanks.



Shadow gave you pretty thourough answers. I would wait to get a new cooler to overclock more but it looks like youve got a decent chip because you havnt needed to increase the vcore yet.

72c is getting pretty hot. ;) 
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 9:52:43 PM

FirstTimeBuilder said:
Thanks for the info. I've got a sunbeam core contact freezer on the way along with two decent 120 case fans to replace my cheapo stock fans. I'll play around more and post with the results in a few days.



+1 to the ccf.

And i agree. should be aiming at 4ghz no prob. [:mousemonkey:4]
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a b K Overclocking
August 9, 2009 10:21:38 PM

overshocks said:
68C isnt high if it's core temp,
ur max core temp is 100C
also use intelburntest v2.3 instead of prime because its faster and better.
10mins of intel = 10 hours of prime

100C??? I do hope you are not implying that OP doesn't need cooling. Tj Max for 45nm is 95C. Again, cooler CPU = happy CPU. Heat = CPU death. Always keep the CPU coolest possible.
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August 10, 2009 6:10:05 PM

Nobody likes "in windows" overclocking programs bro.
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a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 6:22:17 PM

+1. DO NOT OC through Windows.
August 24, 2009 6:40:52 PM

Ok...

After some unexpected hardware problems (dead HD) and reinstalling vista (what a pain with the updates) here is where I'm at:

I'm currently running my E7200 on my Gigabyte P35-DS3R with DDR2 800 memory at 3.61 GHz (380 FSB 9.5 multiplier, 1.29V, 1:1 divider on the RAM), new corsair 650 PSU, sunbeam CCF cpu cooler, two roaring new case fans, ASUS 4870 1G Dark Knight.


I was able to boot with the FSB at 390 (3.7GHz) and things seemed good, but on a later boot my Kaspersky kicked on regarding some kind of error and urgent updates and I got a BSOD. After that I bumped it back down to 385, booted and got a BSOD. I settled on 380 MHz and the settings above to do some stress testing, to run Prime95, and to try out my first real OC.

Things "seem" stable. I don't crash, can boot up with no problem, etc. I haven't really run any games yet (waiting on a second HD). However, when I did run Prime95 (on the middle-of-the-road test) each core passed about 8 tests or so and then one core stopped due to an error. (worker #2 stopped, i am assuming the workers are my cores, still learning about prime95 and stress testing)

I had some other programs running at the time like kaspersky updating, etc. I am going to do some more runs with prime95 later with nothing else running, and try the other two tests.

At this point I have a few questions.

1. Should I be concerned about getting prime95 to run flawlessly, if so, given my current BIOS settings what might I do to either make things more stable, or push my OC?

2. I noticed that at 1.29V my CPU-Z is reading 1.34, which is more in line with my BIOS "Health status" readings of about that. Why are the voltages all different and which ones should i worry about? (I basically stopped upping the voltage at 1.31V when it looked like, according to CPU-Z, I was nearing 1.36 which is the max.)

3. I've been nervous about pushing the voltage beyond 1.3V though i had it as high as 1.31V at some point. The max voltage according to Intel, is 1.3625V. I read that another poster had his E7200 at 3.8GHz with the vCore at 1.3V and was trying for that but I couldnt boot up much past 390 MHz at 1.31V so I've backed off for now. What is the story with these disparities in voltage readings, which ones should i go by?

4. What do those of you with more experience think, am I flying too close to the sun or can i get closer? :) 

Thanks alot and sorry for the long post, and for those of you who have helped in the past, tyvm. OC'ing is da bomb!



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a b K Overclocking
August 24, 2009 7:28:29 PM

1. Bump up voltage.

2. It's called vdrop/vdroop. Absolute Max voltage for 45nm is 1.45v NOT 1.36.

3. See the Intel docs. VID != Max Voltage.

4. You never listed temps.
August 24, 2009 7:44:59 PM

Thank you, I'll man up and up the voltage.

The temperatures all seem to be good, though again, I seem to see different temps on speedfan vs BIOS. At Idle speedfan registers about 47-49C on both cores, during prime95 they were up around 60C i think, i'll pay more attention next time. However in BIOS the cpu was reading 31 to 34C. From what ive seen so far I haven't been really concerned with my temperatures.

I have a temperature probe/fan controller attached to the base of my core contact freezer, right on the side of the block, and it reads 33.4C pretty much constantly, even under load with the fan maxed.

I just got a spare HD so maybe later i'll play around with the voltage and see where i get.

again, thanks for the info
August 26, 2009 4:39:48 AM

Ok...

So i just finished upping the voltage/fsb and running prime95 at 3.8GHz; here's my current setup:

FSB: 400, multiplier: 9.5, vcore: 1.3875V, divider is 1:1 so RAM is at 800 MHz.

I ran Prime95 on the "In place large FFT" test. It passed the first round of tests in 16 minutes on both cores and proceeded to start another round.

I observed temperatures (speedfan) of 73C max, but mostly hovered around 70C-72C for each core, Nbridge was 57C max. core voltage (CPU-z) read 1.328V during testing.


So far this is the most stable setup I've achieved and I am pretty happy with it. I am curious to know what are people's thoughts: are the temps ok, voltages safe? Is this considered a conservative overclock? Should I try to overclock further? What do people consider an "extreme overclock?"

Thank you all for your input!


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August 26, 2009 3:48:16 PM

Quote:
The temperatures all seem to be good, though again, I seem to see different temps on speedfan vs BIOS. At Idle speedfan registers about 47-49C on both cores, during prime95 they were up around 60C i think, i'll pay more attention next time. However in BIOS the cpu was reading 31 to 34C.

BIOS temp is ALWAYS cooler as there is very little load on the CPU. Use RealTemp not SpeedFan.

You NEVER run Large FFTs. Small FFTs really stress the CPU.
August 26, 2009 7:29:13 PM

Thanks again, you're right about realtemp, seems to be a better utility than speedfan.

Here's my situation now:

I ran Prime95, the small FFT test and one core failed after a few mins. I bumped up the voltage one notch to 1.39V and ran it again. This time, one full round of tests finished on both cores and the second round started up. The Temps of the cores hit 70C max and TJMax hit 31C at its lowest. However, on the second round of tests one of the cores failed....

Do i keep upping the vcore and try to get prime95 to run longer without fails? I know I'm not near 1.45V but, I don't want to fry my baby! What should I do?
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a b K Overclocking
August 26, 2009 9:33:47 PM

^You need better cooling. A Core Contact Freezer is a good choice.
August 26, 2009 9:42:03 PM

I'm currently using a CCF on my cpu.
August 26, 2009 10:49:53 PM

the only possibility is #2.

i know i used too much thermal paste the first time. i uninstalled the cooler and used far less, but perhaps still too much (the directions provided state to "use twice as much" though i was never sure what that meant). i did suspect that something like that might be a problem as i never did notice much of a temp change with the new cooler.

thanks for that link. any idea what temps i should be expecting under load/idle with it correctly installed?

taking her apart again should be fun^^
September 6, 2009 12:57:27 PM

Ok, sorry for the wait, but I haven't had the time to get into my pc in a while--here is an update.

I remounted the core contact freezer, new application of TX-2 in thin strips down each heat pipe and tested my previous overclock: E7200 @ 400MHz x 9.5 (3.8GHz), 1.4V.

Prime95 ran for 46 minutes, passing the first three rounds of tests (8k, 10k, 12k FFT) on the small FFT setting for maximum stress with no errors/warnings. This is the first time I've been able to run Prime95 past the second round of tests.

The temperatures (according to Real Temp 3.0) hit 67-68 and then maxed out at 69. They never hit 70 and typically hovered between 68-69, even into round 4 which is when i stopped Prime95. The distance to TJ Max never dropped below 31.

This is certainly the most stable setup for me so far. I think this is an improvement but I would love to hear what the experts have to say.

Are the temps ok?

Is the 1-2 degree improvement at max load the kind of efficiency I should expect by simply changing the amount and area of application of my thermal paste?

Is it worth trying to hit 4GHz or should I stay at 3.8GHz and count my blessings?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.

Again, thank you to all who have been replying!

Cheers
!