Hey guys, I decided to join this community because I just started learning how to Overclock probably 4-5 days ago, and literally learning what I need to know by googling and picking the best results. 90% of the time, it's this forum.
So I'll drop my base specs, I'm running a Pre-built(yes a pre-build, I bought it way before I expected to get into this stuff) Dell( ) XPS 630i running the E8400 Duo Core @3.00 Ghz and the GT 8800 for now, but my GTX 260 is coming in 2 days!!!!!!
So I've been reading a LOT into OCing, and I feel I have enough of a handle on it to start asking questions. I want to start simple and have been trying to OC to 3.2 Ghz by setting my FSP to 355(x9 locked) and I was trying adding 1 step to the FPS voltage or the Core, because I can't seem to distinguish the difference of which will be better. I've also downloaded Orthos, Prime95, 3DMark 06, Real Temp, and CPU-Z as well as updated my drivers and such.
I was getting 3.2 Ghz and stress testing it with no problems, I even left Orthos up on a StressCPU with Gromacs core while I was at work for a good 9 hours, CPUs stayed at 55'c and with the OC I Idle around 42'c to 44'c.
But anytime I try and play a game, or use 3DMark, I was either crashing, freezing, or getting BSOD. After downloading CPU-Z and reading through the OC article that you guys recommend in almost EVERY response post, I noticed that the extra 1G of RAM that I bought a few months ago had a max Bandwidth of 333Mgz, which as most of you know is the default clock for my CPU. I bought this chip without really knowing what I was doing, all I wanted was more RAM. Since then I've learned and after all this frustration and pulling my hair out, is getting a faster and not such a piece of crap RAM chip really all I need to do? I seems to simple to be true.
On a side note, is there an application that can just summarize my specs so I can post them in my sig? I don't wanna go through everything cuz I'm still learning a lot of this stuff. I thought 3DMark said it could but that's only if I buy it and I'm waiting til next paycheck before I can get it.
TL;DR: Is my RAM chip of Max Band 333 Mhz really the only thing holding me back from clocking at 3.2 Ghz CPU?
Well first off, your RAM frequency should not stop you from being stable unless you are overclocking it with your CPU. Leaving it at its stock 333MHz should be just fine and dandy. Granted you don't have any room to overclock your RAM, but still, should leave you stable at 3.2GHz.
You said that you only crash in games, and by running Prime-95 and being stable, that should point to a bad overclock in your GPU or just plain something bad is going on in your graphics department.
However, try running Prime-95 on the setting that stresses RAM the most, I think it's the bottom most radio button, if it crashes then, yes, your RAM is probly holding you back.
Otherwise, like I said before, stressing both your CPU and RAM to max (which Prime-95 is DAM good at), and not crashing, that should push the problem away from your RAM (and CPU).
Well first things first, I would set voltage back to stock and see what else you can do first. Voltages are the last thing you should touch as this is what really heats up the cpu and could fry it if your not careful. The computer I have now (Core Duo) can get 1GHZ above stock just by changing the Bus speed, so I don't bother with voltage changes.
P.S. I just noticed your limitation caused by memory bandwidth, and that isn't necessarily going to stop you from overclocking your processor, but if the memory cant match the bus speed your pretty much OC'ing for nothing.