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Overclocking intel dual core E4400

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March 21, 2011 9:26:07 PM

hi guys im not sure if i should overclock my cpu, or upgrade my graphics card. or buy a new motherboard?
here are my specs;



intel core 2 duo E4400 4400 @ 2.00GHZ

RAM: 2GB

32 BIT OPERATING SYSTEM

WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM

NVIDIA 7500LE

my motherboard is a: Packard bell
bios: phoenix technologies


would there be any gain in overclocking the cpu and upgrading the graphics card? Or am i better of with a new motherboard?
(switching from ps3 to pc for gaming)


Any questions or suggestions would be very helpful thanks in advance!

More about : overclocking intel dual core e4400

March 24, 2011 4:24:32 AM

I've got an E4500 in my old HP rig and I was wondering the same thing. Would it be worth it to OC it? Or could I even OC it being an HP?
March 24, 2011 4:45:36 AM

Packard Bell and HP motherboards sporting E4400 and E4500 cpus typically do not allow any overclocking of the cpus in the BIOS. You can try the BSEL Mod explained here at http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/341123-intel-bsel-v...
but it's not guaranteed to work and will void any warranty (if there still is one on your rig). If it works, it will increase the speed of your cpu by 33.25%. The reason it may not work is because your BIOS does not allow you to increase the voltage the PSU channels to the CPU. As far as I know, this is your only option to overclock your CPU if you keep your current motherboard.
Related resources
a c 180 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a c 180 U Graphics card
a c 158 V Motherboard
March 24, 2011 4:45:53 AM

Let's be clear; the above system will not play games very well. It will either be limited by the CPU or by the graphics section. If it's limited by the CPU then a 10% overclock would give at most a 10% FPS improvement in games. If it's limited by the graphics card then a new card would improve things but ONLY up to the point that the CPU now becomes maxed out.

The CPU feeds commands to the Graphics card. Therefore either one is the weakest link (and this can even change from one game to another if the system was balanced well which most are not).

Task Manager:
CTRL-ALT-DEL brings up the Task Manager. Monitor all cores (two I guess) not just the average which shows one. Play a game for at least 5 minutes with TM in the background.

Did any of the cores hit 100%?

Analysis:
1. A core hitting 100% means you are CPU-limited. How much is uncertain.
2. A core hitting 50% means you are Graphics-limited. In fact you can PROBABLY use a card with TWICE the processing power. That's certain in a single-core CPU but not as certain with multiple-cores because games usually can't use all the cores fully in a CPU.
3. A core hitting 80% means it's also Graphics-limited but that there is also very little room for improvement when purchasing better graphics.

Gaming Systems:
There's an article (today?) on the $500 Gaming System. Even an expert like myself would have difficulty in putting together a $700 "gaming" system. I could do a pretty good job at $1000 though.

You always start with the graphics card. If you want to play modern games at MEDIUM/HIGH settings you need to spend at least $150 on a graphics card. I recommend at least $150 for the CPU. Windows 7 x64 OEM is $100. Note we're up to $400 before tax/shipping already?

If you can afford it, I'd start with this:
1) Nvidia GTX 560 Ti
2) Intel 2500K unlocked CPU
3) 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
4) 1155 (P67) Motherboard
5) Windows 7 Premium x64 OEM
6) 750W PSU (read reviews on PSU's. Corsair, Antec etc for quality)
7) WD 1TB Black hard drive
8) DVD burner
9) optional: better HSF for CPU
10) Antec 300 (great value case.)
a c 180 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a c 180 U Graphics card
a c 158 V Motherboard
March 24, 2011 4:54:09 AM

*Note that the above system is roughly $1000 (before tax and shipping).

Now play with the numbers. If you take $100 off the graphics card you reduce gaming by about 50% but the system is still $900!! (see how important graphics are?)

You can take $100 off the CPU and still probably have about the EXACT same gaming experience but then you leave little room for future improvement with a second or better gaming card.

The 4GB of RAM is pretty standard and really can't be changed.

Windows 7 can't be changed.

The PSU should NOT be changed (spend $70 to $120).

The hard drive can't be changed much.

The DVD burner can't be changed much.

The case can't be much cheaper.

The motherboard I used was $150; there's not much room there.
March 24, 2011 7:56:27 AM

photonboy said:
Let's be clear; the above system will not play games very well. It will either be limited by the CPU or by the graphics section. If it's limited by the CPU then a 10% overclock would give at most a 10% FPS improvement in games. If it's limited by the graphics card then a new card would improve things but ONLY up to the point that the CPU now becomes maxed out.

The CPU feeds commands to the Graphics card. Therefore either one is the weakest link (and this can even change from one game to another if the system was balanced well which most are not).

Task Manager:
CTRL-ALT-DEL brings up the Task Manager. Monitor all cores (two I guess) not just the average which shows one. Play a game for at least 5 minutes with TM in the background.

Did any of the cores hit 100%?

Analysis:
1. A core hitting 100% means you are CPU-limited. How much is uncertain.
2. A core hitting 50% means you are Graphics-limited. In fact you can PROBABLY use a card with TWICE the processing power. That's certain in a single-core CPU but not as certain with multiple-cores because games usually can't use all the cores fully in a CPU.
3. A core hitting 80% means it's also Graphics-limited but that there is also very little room for improvement when purchasing better graphics.

Gaming Systems:
There's an article (today?) on the $500 Gaming System. Even an expert like myself would have difficulty in putting together a $700 "gaming" system. I could do a pretty good job at $1000 though.

You always start with the graphics card. If you want to play modern games at MEDIUM/HIGH settings you need to spend at least $150 on a graphics card. I recommend at least $150 for the CPU. Windows 7 x64 OEM is $100. Note we're up to $400 before tax/shipping already?

If you can afford it, I'd start with this:
1) Nvidia GTX 560 Ti
2) Intel 2500K unlocked CPU
3) 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
4) 1155 (P67) Motherboard
5) Windows 7 Premium x64 OEM
6) 750W PSU (read reviews on PSU's. Corsair, Antec etc for quality)
7) WD 1TB Black hard drive
8) DVD burner
9) optional: better HSF for CPU
10) Antec 300 (great value case.)


With all due respect, your reply is a little confusing in parts. You talk about overclocking the cpu by 10% as though that is a real possibility. Those HP and Packard Bell motherboards do not have Bioses that allow a 10% overclocking.

The only way to overclock those CPUs in those motherboards is by the BSEL MOD method I listed. That would yield a 33% overclock as I mentioned if it works. That would help graphics performance of undemanding games at low resolutions. eg. 1024 by 768 if they have a NVIDIA 7500LE or comparable card.

If they want to play the latest and most demanding games like Crysis 2 or even Crysis at high resolutions, that Packard Bell and that HP computer did not come equipped with graphic cards that can do that. Even if they can change their graphic cards and put in a newer, more powerful GPU card, their graphic performance at high resolutions will be limited by their CPUs performance even after the overclock obtained by the BSEL MOD. And we don't know that a modern powerful Graphics Card will even fit in their computer cases. Maybe they have low profile (slim-line cases) or no clearance for a longer, modern graphics card?

Basically, computers built with e4400 or e4500 were not conceived with high gaming performance in mind. Those cpus are fine for browsing the internet, emails, chatting, webcams, watching dvds and the like. If they want to play the latest games, it's more cost effective for them to buy a computer with a Sandy Bridge CPU, even the i3 2100 overclocked with a p67 Motherboard with a modern high end graphics card and 4 GB Ram and Windows 7 will be fine for acceptable FPS at 1920 by 1080 or 1200. They don't need to pay extra for a 2500K cpu just to play games like Crysis at acceptable frame rates at that resolution.
March 24, 2011 1:33:20 PM

^^^I came to this same conclusion (see my sig). I was just curious if it was even possible to OC my old HP system....
!