New member - Overclocking Questions

Hello Tom's Hardware Community~!!!
I for the life of me can't understand why i hadn't joined this community yet. Finally glad i did!!!! Google being my favorite search tool 9 times out of 10 it points me to Tom's Hardware. That alone should tell you something heh. Well I'll get to the point, after tons and tons of reading I've seen mixed reviews and suggestions of software, guides and the lot of how to overclock and what tools used to overclock. As well as some good benchmark and stability tools. Most of the post and info I've read about looks to be possibly be outdated, ranging from 2005 to 2010.

If anyone have the time to help me out that would be great.

I currently have a Asus P5Q-Pro with a E8400 3.0 Intel Core 2 Duo and 8GB of Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 Ram (Note - I bought 4gb in 1 order, and the 2nd 4gb's in a order 6 months or so later. Some how managing to get 2 different revisions, One rated 5-5-5-18 1.8v and the other 5-5-5-18 1.9v - Both same exact Model number) I also have a Zalman110MM CPU fan with Artic Silver 5 Thermal Paste as well as a ATI PowerColor 5850.

After all the reading I've done i deiced to take a stab at overclocking not really knowing what I'm doing, but mostly just following what others have done.
Boosting FSB to 400...ok yeah that pushed my CPU to 3.6. Wow i thought to myself. After installing the New CPU fan and Thermal Paste the CPU temp didn't rise much. Thinking wow i can push this so much further. I take my FSB to 450+ (can't really remember what it was set to but the bios said 4.2) and upon booting windows 7 x64 i blue screen. So i take everything back to stock and start from scratch. That's where i am now. I want to push my system (mostly safely) to the higher/highest limit it will go. Bang for your buck is what i expect and any first hand info/exp would be great.

Part of the over clocking i don't understand are when i push FSB past 400 it looks to scale my memory with it, passing 800MHz. Anything past 801 causes instability, but i've read things about ignoring this lowing my Ram to things such as 4-4-4-15? and uping the core voltage on the CPU to 1.3+ Give or take a few. I don't quiet understand how or why this works but i would love to understand and if possible get my system running stable with the highest benchmark and gaming performance as possible.

As far as benchmark go's I've used so many different one's hearing pro's and con's to all. Aquamark3 being the most notable, but also using 3dvantage (only 1 or 2 benchmarks) and 3d06 which really didn't work right for me. I've also just installed Performance Test 7 x64. I've yet to run a benchmark but i want to be through and i want to do this the right way as well as learn as i go. My system is current reset to all defaults where i've cleared my entire Bios OC profile. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance TH community!!!.
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More about member overclocking questions
  1. OK, where to start, YES your ram will be the limiting factor in your OC. You have the right idea about changing the ram timings, just backwords. You need to loosen up the timings (5-5-5-18 to like 6-6-6-20) to try and get more out of your ram and yes you will have to increase the voltage also.

    What you need to do to start would be to go onto Intel's site and download the data sheet for your processor so you know what the recommended and max voltages and temperatures are. Then read a bunch of OCing guides to get familiar with all the Bios entries and what stress programs and temperature monitoring programs you will need. Then start by lowering your cpu multiplier and see how far you can push your ram, this will give you a good idea of how far you can OC your system, or just buy 1066 ram.
  2. With the price of DDR2 rising quickly I'll prob pass on getting new* ddr2 Ram. I'll grab those data sheets from Intel and start reading up. Thanks for the quick response and any addition info or input from any one else is welcome!!!
  3. RJR took your advice changed the mem to 6-6-6-20 and and upped the vcore to 1.3625 which is the highest on the datasheet. CPU-Z shows the vcore as 1.336 i assume this is due to vdrop. I have the fsb set at 443 getting me oc'ed to 4.0 This does make me happy but i ran a prim95 In-place large FFT test last night and the 2nd core got an error after 56 mins. The other core ran fine all night. Any suggestions?
  4. thanks RJR u said in essense exactly what i couldn't find the energy to type at 4am!

    ok, Mak0, yes DDR2 is too much money nowadays, especially to replace 8GB! with your fsb that high you may be running into problems on fsb voltage (bios will call it northbridge (NB) or MCH volts),
    download speedfan and it will tell you the voltage it is using, or just look in bios. if its at auto in bios then should be ok, but personally I like to manually control these things. you will (probably) need around 1.33-1.37v for 443 fsb (I'm using 1.33 for 426fsb on my q6600/p35 setup). coincidentally the northbridge also helps with RAM (although probably not enough to bring your timings back down, but might net you a few Mhz). There are a few other voltages, but i doubt you will need to alter them at this stage.
    You might also want to ensure that your memory is stable at this speed before the CPU, do this by lowering your CPU multiplier whilst leaving the fsb and RAM multi where it is, until the CPU is at a speed you know is 100% stable at this voltage, then leave memtest86+ running for at least a few hours (overnight is what most people do) this will also mostly rule out the northbridge as the culprit! once you know that mem and NB are set right, it only really leaves vCore, unless its a case of your power supply not being good enough (doubtful if its a decent brand name)!
  5. The first thing to do with your memory is to get it running at a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio.

    I am not familiar with the Asus BIOS, but it uses "straps" to set the basic memory timing.

    Google an overclocking guide to your motherboard.

    Once you set your ratio to 1:1, then it's time to start relaxing memory timing.
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