Hi all, to start, I am COMPLETELY NEW at this. I've heard of OC'ing before and know that you can really improve performance if it's done right. I will get to my specs in a second, but my most important question is whether or not it is worth it to begin with.
I would love to see a boost in performance seeing as I use this pc to play more-demanding games like Crysis, GTAIV, BF:BC2, Far Cry 2, etc. Would love to play the new MoH soon, but that's besides the point. I also play some old games like, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Battlefield 1942, etc. I also do sound-recording, studio-style work. I run Cakewalk Sonar 8, etc.
My complete specs are as follows:
ASUS M4N68T-M V2 mATX
AMD Phenom II 925 x4 2.8ghz (stock cooler)
XFX GeForce 9800GT 512mb GDDR3
Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium HD
4gb GEIL Value Plus DDR3 1333 (CL 9-9-9-24)
Raidmax 630W PSU
Now, Crysis lags a bit with the loading screens. I've been told that it's because the 9800 that I have is only 512mb, and a 1gb would fix that issue. If this is the case, then I would see no reason to OC in the first place, other than just curiosity.
So, are the benefits really that noticeable? If so, what is a great place to start with my OC based on my specs? I know it's all trial and error, that no two CPU's are exactly the same, etc. I just want a good basis to go off of. I'm looking to go to maybe 3.2ghz, or at max 3.4ghz. Also, since I have everything crammed into an old Aspire X-Qpack shuttle-type case. Do they make coolers that are better than stock, but will also fit in this small case?
Also, this mobo came with some "easy" OC tools, I'm gonna assume those aren't worth the paper their printed on, right?
I would always advice people to overclock via the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) Rather than using software.
In terms of gaming, overclocking your CPU will not increase your frame rates by much at all, certainly not worth the extra heat output and increase in power usage. The only time where overclocking the CPU will increase frame rates considerably in games is when the CPU is bottlenecking (Holding back the performance of) the GPU. This is not the case for you.
I've never used any sound recording/studio software so I don't know how CPU intensive the software is and so can't say if overclocking your CPU would increase performance or not.
If you still want to overclock then I would highly recommend buying an aftermarket cooler for your CPU
As your short on space here are a few coolers that might be suitable:
i agree with "omgitzfatal" dear i recommend 1stly change your processor to (INTEL) always use intel processors coz these are faster than amd.i compare these 2 cpus amd athlon x3 2.8ghz and intel core 2 duo 2.8ghz e8400 i started them with same time but c2d wins.intel load windows 7 ultimate in 16 seconds and amd load win7 ultimate in 21 second.amd with 3 cores and intel with 2 cores.if you want to run latest games in ultra high setting like call of duty mw3 and black ops dirt 2 fc2 so use intel core i5 with 4gb ram it has faster cache memory that improve your games fps (frame per second).
The OP hasn't said that he/she has the money to change to an intel based system, besides which I feel money would be better spent on a new graphics card and an aftermarket cooler for his/her CPU rather than buying a new Intel CPU and new motherboard.
A Core i5 would improve performance, but no where near as much as upgrading the graphics card would.
Anyway all of this is alittle pointless as we don't know the OP's budget or intentions for his/her PC.
Yeah, this was a budget gaming build for around $450 base parts, case not included, I've added the wireless card, the sound card, etc at later dates. Thus causing my price to go way up over time, lol ahhh such is life.
So, the easiest fix would be a new GPU and aftermarket low-profile cooler. Now, AMD warns that if you don't use the stock cooler that it voids their three-year warranty. Since I probably won't bother OC'ing now anyways, should i still opt for an aftermarket cooler upon purchasing (yet another lol) GPU? The only reason my concern is, was my GPU was $100 dollars, and the Best Buy by me has a 1gb 9800 GT for $110 on sale. Is that worth that extra 100 bucks?
See, I would go for a GeForce 450, or something, and just save my money up, the only problem is that since my MoBo is so small, the PCIe slot is right next to the PCIex16 slot. These new cards take up two slots..... so I'd be using on-board sound...*cringes*. The 9800GT fits nicely next to the soundcard, so unless theirs another more-suitable GPU for my system that's Nvidia, I'm all ears.
If I had to, I would be willing to switch to an ATI card, but I've always had luck with Nvidia... thoughts?
Do you have a link with the infomation regarding loss of warranty if you replace the stock cooler? Thats news to me.
If you don't plan on overclocking then I would say its not worth it to spend money on an aftermarket cooler.
The 9800GT 1GB would certainly help your frame rates when gaming at higher resolutions and with in game settings enabled like AA (anti aliasing), having said that its not really an upgrade, its just the same card as you have now but with more VRAM.