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Overclocking C2D E8400 - How to go further?

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January 19, 2011 5:42:29 PM

I've successfully overclocked my Core 2 Duo E8400 from 3.0GHz to around 3.7GHz without changing the voltage, only moving the FSB from 333 to 410 (multplier locked at 9). As this speed, I feel that I'm stable, with Prime95 running for hours straight with zero problems. Unfortunately, if I go any higher, the system crashes right before Windows starts to load. I tried upping each of my voltages by the minimum amount, but no single voltage increase seems to do much. However, when I increased the CPU voltage up one notch, Windows started to load, but crashed after starting. Increasing one more notch gave no noticeable difference.

Being a novice overclocker, I don't know where to go from here. I think it's odd that the system would go from being perfectly stable to not stable at all. My temps seem fine, never going above 50C.

My other hardware is an Asus P5Q-SE2 mobo, two sticks of 2GB DDR2 800 rated RAM, a CM Hyper 212+ cpu cooler, a Thermaltake Dokker case with good cooling, and an MSI twin frozr AMD Radeon HD 5850 gpu.

If you need any more information, please let me know. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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January 19, 2011 8:10:40 PM

When you overclock with the fsb you need to lower your ram speed as picking up fsb picks up the ram speed making ram a possible factor of your instability. You need to lower the ram frequency ratio or your ram frequency multiplier (depending on mother board and system)
So you got yourself to 3.7, make sure you lower the ram speed back to as close as possible to 800Mhz. Then, increase the fsb in small increments and see where stability becomes an issue. When it does pick up your cpu voltage in small increments until you see an improvement in performance...if you raise the voltage quite a bit like .125 or something and still don't see any improvement in performance, then you need to try hiring the northbridge voltage...if that doesn't make things better you either need more and better tweaking or you hit a wall...and that happens on every system...it's jus that the wall is different every time and depends on your mobo a lot...
Anyway, good luck ;)  and if you have any more specific questions ask here...
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January 19, 2011 11:14:57 PM

Thanks, that really seems to help. Is there a limit to how high the voltage can go? Like, is it worth raising it like .2V just for 100MHz or so?
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January 20, 2011 1:28:43 AM

No it's not worth it unless you're going for a bench at high clocks or something like if you're going 4+ gigahertz...That cpu is 3Ghz stock so I don't think it will go too high beyond that...It could probably reach 4Ghz or a bit higher like 4.2 (that would be max) but not higher than that unless you go extreme cooling...an average overclock of this cpu is 3.8 - 3.9...and most people max out at 4Ghz stable...
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January 20, 2011 1:47:34 AM

In that case I guess I've maxed out at 3.7. I tried upping all the voltages a little bit and none of them helped it be stable for more than 10 minutes or so. I also kept getting tons of errors from my applications, so maybe it's best to just stick with what works fine now. Unless you have any other ideas, thank you very much for your help!
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January 20, 2011 1:47:45 AM

Best answer selected by rjkucia.
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a b à CPUs
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January 20, 2011 1:55:16 AM

Well I still think you can get that cpu a little bit higher...
I have a computer in my house with the same cpu but I haven't oced it yet. I have oced other computers with the same cpu though...a bios update might help you get some stability if they fixed any issues the board could have had...
in any case I'll pm you if anything comes up...
If you still want to you could find some specific guides for that cpu to see if you can get it any higher...
Anyway, good luck ;) 
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January 20, 2011 2:35:34 AM

My E8400 likes 4.050 ( 450 FSB ) at 1.31v. I run my Corsair DDR2-800 at 900mhz cas 5-5-5-15 and run 1:1 ratio with the FSB. Speedstep is on and works fine. I do have a great ( but loud) ZeroTherm Nirvana NV120 cooler and I idle at 25-28C depending on ambient temps. I reach the low 60C range after hours of playing something like Dragon Age that maxes the CPU.

I can go to 4.3 stable but it does nothing in benchmarks so I left it at 4.
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January 20, 2011 2:41:14 AM

anort3, is it 100% stable? even under intel burn test? and did you add any other voltages other than the cpu voltage? and again it could just be differences on mobos...
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January 20, 2011 2:43:13 AM

videl said:
anort3, is it 100% stable? even under intel burn test? and did you add any other voltages other than the cpu voltage? and again it could just be differences on mobos...



Stable under everything I have thrown at it for almost 2 years. Orthos and Prime 95 both for 12 hours each when I first overclocked.

CPU voltage to manual RAM to 2.1v ( it was preoverclocked RAM cas 4-4-4-12 and 2.1v from the factory) evrything else is auto.
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January 20, 2011 2:49:13 AM

You have the perfect setup then...or a higher binned chip...a lucky chip lol...
I have seen systems like rjkucia where they just don't wanna overclock...it's weird but happens...
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a c 227 à CPUs
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January 20, 2011 2:51:33 AM

That's why I'm still running it lol. Although I see an i7 2600k in the near future for myself ;) 
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January 20, 2011 2:56:31 AM

haha...should be really nice! lol...you'll definitely see a performance increase...
I went from my phenom II x4 to a xeon L5640 and was freaking out the first few days...lol...it was killing my old phenom!
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January 20, 2011 3:00:17 AM

I hope I can get 5+ghz on air with the 2600K. Going with a Gigabyte P67 UD4 as I have had such good luck with the UD line for both Intel and AMD. It has traditional BIOS and supposedly overclocks a bit better than the newer auto overclock BIOS boards.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-motherboard-rou...
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January 20, 2011 3:03:32 AM

yeah I like gigabyte as well, although had nice experience with other good boards also...and I never use the auto overclocking stuff...lol...I think you might actually be ably to get to that speed as I have heard some nice rumors about how high the sandy bridge can go...so that would be a nice machine if you get it and run it at that...
but you might want to wait for the lga2011 socket sandy bridges...
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a c 227 à CPUs
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January 20, 2011 3:06:01 AM

Nah the price is right and I actually have the money right now and this E8400 is getting a bit old. Hell I was going to go with an i5 750/760. Glad I waited.
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January 20, 2011 3:08:33 AM

lol...well in that case go for it...totally I nice upgrade from the E8400...
Try looking for some combo deals on newegg too...sometimes you can get a pretty nice deal...When you get your new comp you should bench test it and post some scores...wanna see what it can get...lol...
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January 20, 2011 3:13:07 AM

I can get what I need for about $700. Reuse my hard drives, SSD, case, Psu, GTX460 and DVD drives. All I need is MB, CPU, RAM and a Cooler. Going with a Scythe Mugyn 2. Number 2 rated cooler on Frostytech.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 20, 2011 3:22:00 AM

yeah it's a pretty good cooler although if you do have the money I would recommend going with something like the Noctua NH-D14..although t really is quite expensive...
$89.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or the cooler master v8 is a pretty good choice as it got cheaper...
Also thermalright had some good coolers like the venomous x but you'd have to be careful with that and not pu too much pressure on the socket because they go over the 60 pounds limit...they go to 70 pounds and can ruin your socket by flattening the pins...lol...not the most thought out design if you ask me...lol...

Although the Scythe Mugyn 2 is also very nice, especially for the price and would be able to be compared to the ones I mentioned...and what graphics card are you gonna use?
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January 20, 2011 3:27:42 AM

videl said:
yeah it's a pretty good cooler although if you do have the money I would recommend going with something like the Noctua NH-D14..although t really is quite expensive...
$89.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or the cooler master v8 is a pretty good choice as it got cheaper...
Also thermalright had some good coolers like the venomous x but you'd have to be careful with that and not pu too much pressure on the socket because they go over the 60 pounds limit...they go to 70 pounds and can ruin your socket by flattening the pins...lol...not the most thought out design if you ask me...lol...

Although the Scythe Mugyn 2 is also very nice, especially for the price and would be able to be compared to the ones I mentioned...and what graphics card are you gonna use?



My GTX460. I may go for a second but right now even the single handles what I play at max setting on my 23' LED Samsung. I am not a hardcore gamer but I like Fallout 3/ New Vegas , Dragon Age ect.
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January 20, 2011 3:34:10 AM

Ahh the 460 is pretty nice...It would be pretty good to get a second one some time later...would be really good...lol...

Oh and btw, you'll see a performance in crease in graphics with the sandy bridge for sure as the E8400 is probably capping your card a bit...
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January 20, 2011 3:36:52 AM

I doubt it at 4ghz but yeah some games will benefit from the extra cores. Pretty sure there is no bottleneck in my current system.
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January 20, 2011 3:41:15 AM

well the best way to see that would be to test the system now and compare the scores on the new system...
what are you getting in 3DMark 06 and Vantage right now?
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a c 227 à CPUs
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January 20, 2011 3:45:30 AM

I have no idea. I have not done any 3d Mark testing with this card at all. Not since my old 9800GTX+ actually. I get over 60FPS in Fallout New Vegas lol. I do have the card overclocked to 821-1642-2000 though.
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January 20, 2011 3:48:30 AM

That's not too bad...but you should test that card with your e8400 before you upgrade to see just how much performance you will gain out of it...I bet you money that aside from the cpu score your graphics scores (sm2 and hdr/sm3.0) will improve with the sandy bridge...
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January 20, 2011 3:52:04 AM

Probably.
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January 20, 2011 3:54:36 AM

Yeah well I'm going to stop high jacking this thread...lol...
You should test your system and start a new discussion thread to show
us the scores and post the new ones once you have your system...
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January 20, 2011 3:13:01 PM

Haha don't worry about threadjacking I find this interesting too. Anyways, do you think I might not have increased my voltage enough? I only ran my RAM around 1.8V or so, didn't move it too high. Also, when I set my CPU to a certain voltage, it never reads that exact votage. For example, when I set it to around 1.25V it reads between 1.18 and 1.2. I just think it's so weird that it's totally stable until 3.7GHz, and then no amount of voltage will make it go past that. I was so hopeful to get it to 4 :,(
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January 20, 2011 3:45:04 PM

Well the voltage not reading correct is actually called a vdroop (voltage droop)
It happens on most motherboards and some of them have a feature to fix the vdroop...in other cases people sometimes do a hard mod (usually a pencil mod) on the motherboard if the bios doesn't have the feature...the easiest way to "fix" vdroop is pick up the voltage even higher when overclocking...

and yeah, you could also try picking the ram voltage up a bit and seing if that does anything...so you might still be able to reach the 4ghz mark if you keep trying...
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January 20, 2011 9:51:17 PM

Anort3, what voltage is your CPU at? I think I've gotten 3.8GHz stable, raising the RAM and CPU voltages up a few notches.
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January 20, 2011 10:56:35 PM

Although the Scythe Mugyn 2 is also very nice, especially for the price and would be able to be compared to the ones I mentioned... said:
Although the Scythe Mugyn 2 is also very nice, especially for the price and would be able to be compared to the ones I mentioned...


I put a Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B in my CoolerMaster Ammo case a few months back. Keeps my Q6600 @ 3GHz nice and cool (peaks at 120*F (48*C) in games, but usually sits at 95*F (35*C) for web surfing/movies).
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January 21, 2011 12:08:10 AM

Alright, I haven't been able to get past that, so I just reset the voltages and put it back to 3.7. Thanks for your help everyone! Those with the powers to do so may close this thread
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January 21, 2011 1:14:27 AM

alright, it's unfortunate that you couldn't go higher than 3.8 but that happens sometimes...if you have any other questions or anything post here again...
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January 21, 2011 1:24:02 AM

rjkucia said:
Anort3, what voltage is your CPU at? I think I've gotten 3.8GHz stable, raising the RAM and CPU voltages up a few notches.



I posted my voltages above. 1.31v for CPU and 2.1v for RAM although the RAM was 2.1v from the factory not 1.8 like standard DDR2-800. Voltages register correctly in BIOS.
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