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overclocking my E6400

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November 17, 2008 6:22:09 AM

I am thinking about overclocking my humble E6400, since I decided not to upgrade yet, in order to see what happens with the i7s and with the Deneb competition. I am not a fanboy of any brand, so I don't might waiting until January or February to make a better choice. I've made a couple of threads here asking what I should do, but it's so hard to decide in this transitional time in the market

Anyway, I want to overclock my Core2Duo E6400 @ 2.13 GHz; for now.
My other specs:
Asus P5B mobo (1066 FSB)
2 GB DDR2 PC2-5400
400W PSU (came with the case, which is an unknown brand)
Windows XP Home
ATi 4850
WD 250 GB Sata II

My questions:
1) Can I overclock even slightly with the existing PSU (which has caused no problems for 2 years now)?
2) I want to do it on stock air and without changing voltages. What values should I put in the FSB or the multiplier (which I think can't be changed)?
3) First time overclocker, I'd like to keep it really simple: Get into BIOS, change FSB, save, start Windows. Anything more and I probably won't do it. Is it possible?

I just want a slight upgrade until I get my new PC or I upgrade the existing one (and by upgrade, I mean changing CPU, PSU, mobo and RAM). Can it be done?

More about : overclocking e6400

November 17, 2008 6:35:01 AM

Sorry. I put this in the wrong category. But any replies here would be appreciated as well. I am going to post this now to the overclocking forum.
November 17, 2008 7:54:59 AM

That PSU sounds very sketchy. I had a decent Thermaltake TR2 430w and it couldn't handle my 4850 with the rest of my equipment, so I don't know if I'd trust an OC on it.

It's definitely possible to OC without changing voltages, but a stock fan could be an issue. What temps are you currently getting with it? That will play a huge part in your overclocking success.

Also, you're going to have to adjust your ram:FSB ratio accordingly, and with that ram, you're going to have issues pushing it.

As far as the chip itself is concerned, it's definitely OCable. I currently have my e6300 @3.4Ghz stable.
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November 17, 2008 8:28:59 AM

A Corsair 420 powered my rig with a 4850 tho...

Anyway...first, I'd ditch the PSU - most PSU that comes with the case aren't actually solid PSUs. If you draw too much load, you can damage some of the components. Its not the load as well.. its the continuous power the psu can provide.
November 17, 2008 12:08:35 PM

When you OC, the first thing I would do is change the CPU voltage from "AUtomatic" to the fixed default value.

It should be somewhere between 1.25 and 1.30 for that processor.

Then ensure the memory is set to a 1:1 ratio.
Then slowly increase the FSB.

If you have the stock CPU cooler, I would not go to far too fast.
Perhaps up to 300FSB from 266.

Check your temps under load.
Then slowly increase.

If you had a decent after market CPU cooler, then you could hit a FSB of 333 which would take you to about 3.2Ghz w/o an issue. (I did not do the math but I know that would take the e6300 to 3.0Ghz....)
November 17, 2008 12:19:25 PM

And I agree that upgrading the PSU would be a smart move.
The PSU can be transferred to your next system and the old one placed back into your current system if you ever sell it.
November 17, 2008 12:31:03 PM

I too have an e6400 and i've gone beyond the 3.0ghz barrier on my gigabyte DS3.
It is a solid chip that performs well for being 2 years old. It should easily take 3.2ghz with an afterstock cooler above 1.25v. I usually keep mine at stock because I do not see any noticable performance difference, which surprises me.

Good luck :D 
November 17, 2008 2:12:40 PM

Thank you all for your responses. But I have a big problem right now. I went into the BIOS, changed the Vcore to default and not auto (about 1,3), then went and changed the FSB from 266 to 290, taking things slowly. I even made the fan work faster, just in case (the CPU temp was about 56 celcius, which I consider OK, especially since I was playing a game right before.

I restart XP and run cpu-z. THE HORROR. The FSB was indeed at 290 but the multiplier was set at 6.0x meaning I had actually reduced the frequency.
Panicking, I went back to the BIOS and set everything the way it was, except for the fan speed. The FSB went back to 266, but the multiplier stayed at 6. Now I have a 1.6 GHz E6400. What can I do??

Please, any help will be greatly appreciated.
November 17, 2008 2:22:08 PM

Disable "SpeedStep"
November 17, 2008 2:25:47 PM

Thanks, I'll try that. Another thing. Running cpu-z for some time shows that the multiplier goes from 6 to 8, then back to 6 again.

Guesses follow: The multiplier drops when I don't need that much speed, while it goes on 8, when I actually need it; which means I don't really have a problem...right????
November 17, 2008 2:54:23 PM

Right, you don't have a problem.

Speedstep is desgined to drop the multiplier when you are not doing much.
This saves power when your system is idel or in a low use scenario.

When you are doing stuff that taxes the CPU, it will speed up again.
So, its not inherently an issue.
Some folks don't like their system to ever slow down, even when not in in use.

Also when trying to hit a very high OC, then SpeedStep can cause issues.
I leave it on since I never turn my PCs off.
!