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First time Overclocking (E8400 3.00GHZ): Need advice

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October 30, 2011 6:53:29 PM

Hello OC enthousiasts,

After pondering over wether or not upgrading CPU/MOBO/MEM or GPU in order to have a better gaming experience in BF3, I came to the conclusion that I'd be wiser to OC my current CPU and see if the performance increase will allow me to breeze through the low settings - which is all I'm asking for. ATM, gameplay is laggy when there's too many ppl running around me.

Here's my rig:

Intel Core 2 DUO E8400 @ 3.00GHz, 2997 Mhz, 2 Core
AMD Radeon HD 6850
4.00 GB Ram
600W ATX Seasonic SS600ET
Windows Vista 64x

Basically, I'd like to know which extra parts are needed (if any), like a cooler, fan? This is all new to me. Also I'm not the type of person to test the very limits of something. So even if I could theorically maximise the OC but with a lot of failure risks, I prefer gaining a smaller improvement with low risk. Not sure if you guys follow me, I'll elaborate later on if needed, simply let me know what infos you need.

Tks for helping out.
October 30, 2011 8:27:38 PM

overclocking the cpu will get you absolutely no gain in BF3, it is completely gpu dependent, the only thing you can do is get a more powerful gpu.
October 30, 2011 8:49:52 PM

holdingholder said:
overclocking the cpu will get you absolutely no gain in BF3, it is completely gpu dependent, the only thing you can do is get a more powerful gpu.


Thanks for taking some of your time to answer holdingholder. I've had this discussion (what's best for me to do for BF3) both in the CPU and Home Built Systems forums as well as with the author of the BF3 analysis performed by Tom's Hardware.

Long story short, in my case, chances are I'm being bottlenecked by my CPU if we're talking low/medium game settings in a multi-player environment. Keep in mind that the analysis conducted by Tom's Hardware was done with the help of a single-player mode segment.

Although you may be right, I prefer taking my chances with a CPU overclock that will cost 0$ or a fan (if needed) vs an upgrade in GPU that will cost close to 400$ (factoring the need for a new motherboard).

Which brings me back to my question in my previous post :D 
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October 30, 2011 8:59:29 PM

Well I used to have an e8400 and on stock cooling I was able to get it up to 3.7 ghz with temps at load around 50c, what motherboard do you have?
October 30, 2011 9:04:02 PM

holdingholder said:
overclocking the cpu will get you absolutely no gain in BF3, it is completely gpu dependent, the only thing you can do is get a more powerful gpu.


totally false. the cpu drives the gpu. if you dont have the cpu power to drive the gpu the gpu bottlenecks.

do a quick test, open task manager and then play bf3. alt tab out after playing for 10 seconds in a map and see how much of your cpu is being used. (performance tab) if its 100 percent you will infact gain performance in bf3 by overclocking your cpu.

and yes, bf3 uses a lot of cpu. hence why they recommend a quadcore, because stock dualcores dont tend to cut it.
October 30, 2011 9:13:04 PM

holdingholder said:
Well I used to have an e8400 and on stock cooling I was able to get it up to 3.7 ghz with temps at load around 50c, what motherboard do you have?


Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5K/EPU Rev 1.xx
Bus Clock: 333 megahertz
October 30, 2011 9:32:27 PM

good board for overclocking btw

start stepping that fsb up! see how far you can take it without upping the volts
October 30, 2011 9:35:04 PM

neonneophyte said:
good board for overclocking btw

start stepping that fsb up! see how far you can take it without upping the volts



Cool news but if I tell you that I don't know what fsb means yet... I think the best thing I can be given atm is a link to a reliable and updated guide to OC my CPU. Yes, I can google it, but there's so much garbage on the net nowadays that I prefer asking the TH community for a proven source.
October 30, 2011 10:52:06 PM

neonneophyte said:
i dont have a guide offhand, but if you change that 333mhz to 400 you will overclock your cpu to 3.6ghz =P

your ram is 800mhz right?

theres something like this
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/intel_core...
tho its pretty brief


I know it's DDR2 and that I have 2X 2G of it but I don't know how to find out the speed of 'em.

It's exactly that type of ''guide'' that I try to stay away from. It's clear that the author's primary goal is to redirect traffic from his ''guide'' to online purchases of XYZ products in the hopes of getting affiliate commission. Maybe the guide is legit but it just looks bad from here :p 
October 30, 2011 11:53:05 PM

Hi, right bottom line ALL 8400's will hit 3.6ghz / 400 fsb with ease - most at stock or even lower voltages. The board you have will get upwards of 450mhz fsb and if its a good one then closer to 500mhz. Ive got an 8400 on an MSI P35 Platiunum (chosen for the hardware jumpers for fsb) and it gets upwards of 4.4ghz at the limits but I run it at just shy of 4ghz which makes EVERY game playable for me at 1650x1080 (monitor native res) with a 5770 gfx card. Anyone telling you your gpu is the problem is lying and ill informed - it IS the cpu.

That said it is very very simply to overclock that board with the bios settings but dont do anything unless you are sure. I would reccomend hitting DEL on the post screen and looking through all the menus to get a feel for it and pay attention to the menus that control FSB / RAM speeds. TO BE CLEAR - unless you save it anything you change in the bios WONT be set in stone and simply resetting the pc by the reset button / ctrl-alt-del or even just turning it off will not affect anything if you are unsure.

Its realy not hard to just set it manually and save and exit - Id go for 400fsb as a start and set ram to auto if possible or 667mhz for safety but I expect you have 800mhz ram at least.

That will give you a good boost and honestly I havent come across an 8400 that didnt do 3.6 without any other mods like upping voltages and even with stock cooling.

There are plenty of guides out there if you google your mobo / cpu combo and you will be way in no time - it is worth it and the only other thing Id recommend is a good after market cooler a minimum of an arctic freezer7 pro which is about £15 total and std push pin fittings.
October 31, 2011 12:59:05 AM

Hmmm here's what I get with the help of a program I found:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/257/memoryo.jpg/


the ''wrong values reported by bios'' part scares me a bit. Ideas? It says my ram speed is 400 MHz (DDR2 800) with supported frequencies of 200 MHz, 266.7 MHz, 400 MHz.

Sounds like crap, am I right? Or I can use those to OC?
!