I have a Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L board and C2Q Q8200 processor. I manage to overclock the processor from stock 2.33Ghz to 2.6GHz and that's it.
Why? I find it strange that I have to raise my PCI-E Frequency in order to overclock. Currently, my PCI-E frequency is at 110 (I read that recommended is <112) and I couldn't move past 2.6GHz without raising the PCI-E Frequency further. Raising voltages do not help at all. So is this the furthest I can go?
I'm puzzled why do some people said this is a good budget board for overclocking and claimed they can go as far as 3GHz+ when they have to raise PCI-E frequency as well. Sure, you can put PCI-E Frequency to auto and overclock to 3GHz but you also risk damaging your parts since the PCI-E frequency will hit past the recommended 112.
First step is to disable extra CPU functions which may become unstable. Virtualization, EIST or Speedstep, C1E, you can leave thermal throttling and DEP on.
Don't expect much over 3ghz which is 7.5x 400 FSB. Most will hit FSB walls between 400 and 450, depending on the motherboard and how much you tweak the extra voltages.
Raise FSB and voltage, keeping memory within its rated specs. Test for stability at each point using a stress test such as a Orthos, with a quad you need to run two at the same time to stress all 4 cores. Use CoreTemp to monitor individual temps of each core, and you can use CPUZ to monitor your load voltage which will enevitably be lower then both BIOS voltage, and idle voltage.
To effectively overclock 45nm Quads you also need to know about the extra voltage settings such as GTL reference voltage, FSB voltage, and 1 or 2 others. For a modest OC you may not need to play with them at all, but CPU voltage alone will only go so far.
Thanks for the reply. The reason I have to increase the PCI-E frequency is because I can't even increase more than 1MHz of FSB frequency if I don't. Don't ask me why, I'm pretty puzzled myself.
I already tried turning up DRAM voltage to 2.2v which is the max for my RAM, turn up the CPU voltage to 1.3+v (1.4v is the max safe I heard), set the RAM timing to 5-5-5-15 (the default) and increase FSB voltage. Basically, I tried everything I should and can think of, it just won't budge even with less than 5 MHz of FSB increment, not unless the PCI-E frequency is increased. The max FSB increase I can go is 1MHz without increasing the PCI-E frequency.
The only solution I read from the net is to set PCI-E frequency to auto which is what I want to avoid since it will definitely scale according to the FSB frequency.