I am a newbie here. I just got my system recently.
Configs are :
Intel Pentium E5400 - 2.7 ghz
2GB 800 mhz + 1GB 800 MHZ
500 GB HDD Seagate
Just a week ago, i over-clocked my cpu with M.I.B tweaker in Gigabyte BIOS options.
Multiplier : 13.5
Bus Speed : 222.22 mhz x 13.5 = 3.0 ghz.
Core temp results :
VID : 1.28v
Idle : 39 - 41 degree Celsius average.
Gaming : 60 - 63 average.
Please do note that i over-clocked this with intel stock cooler. I just need to know if there is any problem over-clocking and if it reduces the life of the CPU. I have also disabled the Intel EIST function in the bios. Do let me know if I should enable it. And do let me know if my over-clock makes some difference in apps / games and also if the temperature is normal / above the limit since i am just a noob in overclocking.
Well.. based on exprience.. my overclock is much more dangerous than yours but i definitely did not have any trouble for more than one year... i do not know about life expentency of the cpu becoz many of us overclockers tend to change the cpu more often before the cpu dies.... i guess...
btw.. i oc my proc e5200 ( 2.5 ) to 3.87ghz with 1.6volt!!!
average temp 33-35'c and max temp ( linpack ) 80'c....
I happen to have a fair amount of experience with overclocking Core2 systems :
GA-EP45-UD3P | Q9550 OC'd to 3.6 GHz (425 MHz X 8.5) C3 stepping
GA-EP45-UD3L | Q6600 OC'd to 3.6 GHz (400 MHz X 9)
GA-EP35-DS3P | E7500 OC'd to 4.1 GHz (373 MHz X 11)
GA-G41M-ES2L | E6500 OC'd to 3.66 GHz (333 MHz X 11)
1.6 volt is too high. Intel's tech docs say 1.45 volts max. OTOH, it is a cheap processor. I had an E5200 in the EP35-DS3P running at 3.78 GHz at about 1.4 volts.
As long as you stay under Intel's recommended voltage and thermal limits, overclocking will not significantly affect the life of the CPU. Short of a random failure (that all electronics are subject to), the CPU will be long obsolete before it fails because of overclocking.
The E5200 series works great in a G31/G41 system. The relatively low FSB freq (200 MHz) gives you a lot of room to push the FSB up. The problem with the better chips (333 MHz FSB) is that is close to the max FSB freq that the board can handle. The upper limit of the G41 FSB is about 350 MHz.
You have just about reached the limits of what you can do with the stock heatsink. Overclocking the chip as far as you can without increasing the CPU core voltage will not affect the life of the chip.
I always turn EIST back on after I have arrived at stable OC settings just to minimize the thermal load. Your temperatures? Under load, anything under 70 C is good.
Running CPU-Z minimized will let you constantly monitor CPU speed. If you are not gaming, you will be surprised at how little SpeedStep is deactivated.
I just recently put an E5400 into my girlfriend's HP desktop (it had a 1.8ghz CPU lol) and OCed it to 3.0 ghz as well on stock cooling. Using a BioStar mobo, tho. Anyway, basically did exact same thing as you. It's such a minor bump it won't really hurt anything even on stock cooling. One thing, like jsc said, I'd turn EIST on for sure. Only reason to disable it is if it's giving issues... as in, when ON you're not stable, when OFF you are... I can guarantee it won't make it unstable at this small clock bump.
300mhz isn't big but it can definitely help. 300mhz bumps my quad core 3DMark Vantage CPU score by 2000 (from 16k to 18k) so that's pretty decent (fyi, from 3.7 to 4ghz). It can be noticeable in video encoding and sometimes gaming but it's not really that big... just depends on stuff.