General LGA 775 and DDR2 Overclocking Advice Needed

Hello! I am brand new here, but I have been overclocking for quite a while now, even if not that seriously.

I am going to upgrade my GPU soon from a 4870 to a 6970 to help with the newer games coming out, BF3 namely. Only problem is that I am doing this on a LGA 775 motherboard, and I want to get another year or so out of it before I swap out to the i series motherboards and processors.

I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P with 2x2GB for 4GB of 800 MHz DDR2 Corsair RAM (CM2X2048-6400C4DHX) which has stock 4-4-4-12 timings at 2.1V. I run my current dinky budget processor (E7200, rated at 2.53 GHz) at 2.95 GHz after just minor bios overclocking efforts with ram timings of 5-5-5-15 and an effective FSB of 1244 MHz according to CPU-Z (311 MHz Bus Speed with 9.5 multiplier).

That all aside, my main question is: Do I have to get faster memory if I were to get a Q9650 off of eBay, which runs at 1333 MHz FSB? I'm guessing no, but will I not be able to overclock it at all with my current PC6400 RAM? I've been out of the game too long to remember how all the ram timings, effective FSB, and overclock tweaking in general works.

What is the stock effective FSB that I have with my current dual channel DDR2 memory? And will this memory limit me much in how good of a stable overclock I could get with a Q9650?

Big thanks to anyone who takes time to help answer my questions! I have googled around extensively, but I have found no clear and definitive answers. I'm hoping I can get some of my confusion cleared up here.
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  1. Best answer
    your ddr2-800 memory can run at 400mhz fsb with stock settings, and I'm betting the corsair modules you have can go to ~420mhz if you go to cas 5 timings and 2.2v without an issue.
    That'd mean a potential max frequency of just under 3.8ghz and I'm guessing without a good cooler, that's higher than you'll get stable.

    As to your second question : ddr 1-3 memory runs af an effective speed of twice the clock they're supplied, which means 400mhz in your case, and 533mhz for 'standard 1066 ddr3' Your actual fsb is a fourth of the rated fsb for the part you're installing. Either 266 or 333mhz in this case, so your 310fsb applied to the current cpu is well below the range of your motherboard and memory.

    Remember to set your memory multiplier at 2.0 when overclocking though - otherwise you risk running into stability issues with memory before you've hit your cpu wall.

    Edit: 3.8ghz with the quadcore you're aiming at.
  2. Wow really, I could get that high (theoretically I mean)? Well that's pretty awesome. I have a decent aftermarket cooler now on my E7200 that I can switch over to the new CPU when I get it. Not anything crazy but it's at least a few steps above any stock heatsink.

    Where do I check to see what my memory multiplier is? I would assume it most likely is at 2.0. Then again, maybe not. Regardless, the real tweaking will come after Black Friday; I'm crossing my fingers for a flooding of eBay with cheap, beastly Q9650's :D

    Thanks again for your help!
  3. Best answer selected by Wulfay.
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