Slower PC after overclocking

Hello everyone,

I recently decided my PC needed to perform faster. Mainly due to the hickups I noticed while playing Dragon Age and GTA IV not
performing well at all. I first thought of upgrading my PC, but an upgrade in this would certainly need an upgrade in that, which
would absolutely need more of this to work good (you get the picture) and I started considering alternatives. I only had one
Here are the specs of my system :

(Windows XP Service Pack 3)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (rev 1.0)
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6700 @ 2.66GHz
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
4gig RAM (2x1 gig of Kingston RAM DDR2 667 & 1x2 gig of Kingstam RAM DDR2 800)

So I did some research and started overclocking. I overclocked my CPU from 2.66 to 3.33GHz which seemed somewhat stable, although
I had a strange error crashing my pc and showing a blue screen when restarting (rarely, though). I used 3DMark06 as a benchmark and went from around 8500 to 12400 (I know, still sucks ;) ). I allowed myself a 'victory!' scream after that. I couldn't push it more, because the temperature was
around 68-72 °C, which I found hot enough.

0.01 seconds after my scream, I decided 3.33Ghz wasn't good enough and I needed better cooling methods. I bought a new case,
the coolermaster HAF932, and a new CPU cooler, the coolermaster Hyper N520. Two very decent products, it seemed to me. An even
greater victory seemed imminent.

But then the problems started. I moved my mobo etc,... from one case to the HAF932 and installed the new cooler. I formatted my entire
system and reinstalled windows XP with all the new drivers and so on. Then I tried overclocking again.
First benchmark came out 11268 @2.66Ghz (so no overclocking), which seemed quite decent.
Then I overclocked my CPU to 3.00Ghz and my benchmark score went to 9280!
My CPU test score went from 2300 to around 1000 and my graphics tests performed worse too. I also noticed my CPU was still quite hot
(around 60-65 °C).
I tried taking everything out of my pc and reformatted again, but the same problem occurred... I don't know what leads to this decrease in performance, is it a wrong installation of my cpu cooler? I applied a very thin layer of thermal paste and it is tightly attached to my CPU. That wouldn't explain my video card performing worse, though.
I need some advice!

To sum it up :

Overclocking worked, 3DMark06 went up to 12400
Newly bought Coolermaster HAF932 and Coolermaster Hyper N520 installed
Performance in 3DMark06 decreases when trying to overclock
7 answers Last reply
More about slower overclocking
  1. I know this is a (perhaps too) broad question to answer, which is why I decided to make it a little easier for you guys to answer.

    I have been doing a Real Temp GT (was it a mistake to use GT instead of normal Real Temp?) sensor test :

    I hope this helps in analyzing my system performance a bit. As you can see, Real Temp says I have 5° left when running my CPU 100% at stock speed. (btw, is it normal that Speedfan and Real Temp are 10° different?)

    Now I have the following questions :

    Is my CPU too hot for running at stock speed?
    If yes, what could be possible reasons for that?
    Could that heat drag down the performance of the entire system? (eg. vga card performing worse) -- I presume it can
  2. No, I tuned my cpu down again. It's now running at stock speed again.

    It's really bad, I installed coretemp (both of my cores have an idle °c of 56-57) and tried the inplace large FFT test in prime95. It instantly went up to 66-67 °C and got to 78°C after 15 seconds. Any suggestions? My cpu is obviously way too hot, although I think my cooler is working fine
  3. Reapply the cooler. Instead of "applying a thin layer" you should put a bead or two down and let the cooler squish it out, that way it fills the gaps and bumps better plus less likely of having any air bubbles.

    I found the best method is this: Imagine a line down the center of your CPU. About 1/4 of the remainder on either side of that line (or 1/8 of the entire surface) run a bead about 1-1.5mm thick, and keep it short on either end by about 7mm. Then gently place the heat sink on and begin screwing it down lightly, making sure to tighten opposite screws first (IE: bottom left/top right then bottom right/top left) and just tightent a few turns then switch screws. You want it to be going down nice and even.
  4. Thanks for the advice Wolfram, I'll try that out tomorrow.

    I hope this is what you mean (because that doesn't seem enough paste, imho):

    Uploaded with ImageShack.usL]
  5. Sorta. If you connect the two dots and mirror them on both sides of the red line (let's say a total of 6mm separating them), that's what I mean.
  6. The directions said I should 'apply a thin layer of thermal paste', which I thought I did.
    But in my fear of using too many thermal paste, I didn't use enough. I did what Wolfram23
    said and now my CPU is running at an awesome 36-37 °C idle, 45-47°C under load!

    Seems my problem is solved! Thank you!!
  7. Awesome, glad I could be of service. Good luck with overclocking :D
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