This is my first time overclocking and I would like some help on:
What to expect with my setup, both in terms of temperature at idle and full load.
I went into BIOS and looked at my CPU temperature and left it there until it stopped rising. It went all the way up to 52C~ for the CPU and 45C~ for the mobo with the H50 cooling unit when I had no overclocking except to have the RAM settings properly set to 1600 from 1333. The H50 was installed in a push/pull configuration with the stock Corsair fan pushing at 1700 RPM and the stock case fan pulling at 800 RPM. I was unable to get any CFM information. Based on the numerous benchmarks and user experiences I gathered, this seemed completely unacceptable. I looked further into how accurate BIOS and software based temperature readings are, and the general consensus I got was that BIOS is reasonably accurate (by how many C's I don't know) and the CPU is idle while in BIOS. The stock fan actually idled at or below these numbers and I swapped to it, but I then noticed these numbers actually fall significantly when Windows was loaded (around 40C for the same measurements). I rebooted and looked at the BIOS and it seems this was confirmed as the temperatures showed similar numbers to the software based readings, but abruptly jumped around 20C as if the newest data fed to updated it to a much higher number. I have sent a support ticket to Corsair. I have also flashed the BIOS to the newest version since then, but have not checked the idle temperatures after discovering the huge discrepancies in the readouts with software and in-Windows operation as well as discretion between idle and full load temps.
I would like to know how hot I can expect the stuff to run but more importantly what numbers to trust and from what source.
I would also like to know about how to do the actual overclocking, including the software recommended to benchmark, the steps I should take to overclock (e.g. "Go to bios, raise your FSB by 5-10 MHz increments, and reboot. If the computer refuses to boot up, then try increasing the memory, chipset, then core voltages by the smallest increments. Also, overclock the CPU, memory, GPU in that order to eliminate and isolate any complications."), and the realistic performance gains I should expect. With the setup I have, I am expecting to push 4 GHz, but I do not know if and by how much these assumptions are off-target.
*The PSU on that link is listed as 700W but the one I received is 750W.
I've read from some sources that the Propus core is generally unsuited for overclocking (they OC it to around 3.4~ GHz with almost stock voltages), while others report great success "easily pushing" 3.8~ GHz on air cooling. I noticed that mine runs at 1.35V while many of the tested ones run at 1.4V default, I am not sure what to make of this.
Also, I have heard about CompuTronix's guide to calibrating SpeedFan complete with over 4000+ hours of testing but all the links seem broken and a Google site search yields skeletons and not the actual thread/post. Any idea on where I can see this?
Any help is greatly appreciated. I've had parts of this rig sitting for at least 2 weeks now and it's getting quite aggravating not being able to use it after finally being able to put it together.
I personally cannot tell you how to overclock because I don't have an overclockable AMD system, however I can tell you that you should not go over 62°C during full load Prime 95 testing with the Athlon II X4 635.
I think you are trying to do too much too fast. Try to get a stable CPU overclock before you start worrying about overclocking your ram and your GPU. I have the X4 620 and my temps at load never go past 43C at load and that was with small FPTs in Prime95. I am using the CM Hyper 212 +. I also lapped the processor and heatsink. My temps after boot are 27C. My voltage is at 1.5v. For now my ram is at 1080mhz with a CAS of 6. My max stable overclock is 3510mhz.