Need advice on how to optimize/overclock my new i7-970 System

Hi - I've been out of touch on PC hardware for a while, so while I am pretty knowledgable about computers I don't know anything about overclocking. I use this computer primarily to trade stocks... this computer is more than enough for that... I just want to make sure I am not leaving power/performance/speed on the table that isn't being tapped.

I suspect none of you would leave this PC left as it is and would make some tweeks to it to optimize it. I don't want to max-overclock it, I don't need to push any boundries that would have a negative effect on the lifetime of the computer or in any way affect the stability. But if there were some "light-overclocking" you guys could suggest that essentially I would be an idiot if I didn't do - I'd love to hear what I should be doing with this machine...

From iBuyPower:
CoolerMaster HAF 922 Gaming Case - Black
Intel? Core™ i7 970 Processor (6x 3.20GHz/12MB L3 Cache)
Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink
12 GB [2 GB X6] DDR3-1600 - AData
POWERCOLOR AMD Radeon HD 6950 - 2GB - Single Card
1 x Motherboard USB / SATA Interface
[Free] Internal USB 3.0 PCI-E 2.0 x1 Expansion Card
800 Watt -- Standard
2 TB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - Single Drive
24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD?R/?RW + CD-R/RW Drive - [Lightscribe Technology] Black
1 x Flash Media Reader / Writer
12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Black
1 x Meter Display
NZXT Sentry LX Aluminum Fan Control, Clock, and Temperature Display
1 x Sound Card
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
1 x Network Card
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
1 x Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit

When I ran a benchmarking program, I saw I was well below what the average is in performance for this processor so I am assuming most who run that program are overclocking. So again, the things I would be interested in doing are the things that would be "stupid not to do". For instance, I've read that this 6950 graphics card can easily be unlocked to perform as a 6970. That sounds like something that would be stupid not to do. Anybody know about that process? For the processor, I don't want/need to push it to the limit, but If there is some light overclocking that could be done safely and stably with this setup I'd love to hear suggestions.

Thanks for your help guys!
3 answers Last reply
More about need advice optimize overclock system
  1. help. surely there is some basic work anyone would be stupid not to perform on this machine?
  2. help!
  3. Mate. First you need to understand that overclocking will ALWAYS take a bit of the lifetime. You'll never be able to overclock without loosing lifetime. Else the manufacturer of course would just clock it a bit higher.
    You need to estimate how long time you want this machine. In 3 years, this will be half the computing power of equal machines, therefor overclocking can be good to get some extra performance, while the machine is still good.

    So let's say you want to keep it for 3 years. Then you can probably easy hit 3.7-3.8 GHz.
    But wouldn't recommend unlocking 6950 to 6970, unleash you don't mind probably lose it after 2 years (which, if you use it for gaming, isn't any problem). But why would you OC this for stock trading?

    PS. Why such a powerful system for stock trading? I don't know much about requirements for the platforms (supposing you use such one). But if this is required, that seems a bit extreme.
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