Hit a rut overclocking my intel core 2 duo e8500

Hey guys. I know my cpu is old but I want to get everything I can out of it before buying a new computer. My cpu has been bottlenecking my computer for Battlefield 3 so I decided to try overclocking the cpu (my video card is the radeon HD 4850 x2, another old part but it only going through about 60% usage while my cpu is going through 95-100% usage when gaming). So far I have overclocked to 3.8 GHz (FSB @ 1600 MHz, x9.5, Memory @ 800 MHz). I set my BIOS core voltage to 1.4 V (which translated to 1.36 V in CPU-Z) and my memory voltage to 2.0 V. I am using the nForce 780i SLI motherboard. I also have a pretty good Thermaltake cpu heatsink. I built this computer about 3 years ago and haven't really done anything with it since then.

While testing with Orthos, it seems my cpu temp goes to about 60-63 degrees celsius (40-43 degrees while idle). If I try increasing the FSB anymore, I can't get the computer to boot no matter how much I increase the voltage. Does anyone know what the cause of this is? Is it a heat problem? I can't even boot my computer to check the temps. Should I try replacing the thermal compound? Is my motherboard just bad for overclocking?

I've seen people get to 4.1-4.2 GHz with this cpu and my goal is to get to 4.0 GHz.

Also, a side question is which cpu voltage reading should I trust? My bios says it is 1.40 V while CPU-Z says 1.36 V? Is it safe to try voltage > 1.45 V in bios if it translates to a lower voltage in CPU-Z?

Thanks for reading and any comments!
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  1. Also, when I overclock my FSB higher, should I continue to keep the memory at half the frequency (by increasing it past 800 MHz)?
  2. The problem is likely related to how the FSB is overclocking other parts of the PC, like the RAM. You should reduce the RAM ratio/clock as much as possible initially to remove that as a source of instability.

    It would also be good to know what your full hardware specs are.

    I wrote a guide on OCing that might have good info for you:
  3. Can you explain what this RAM ratio/clock is? I am new to overclocking and the only things I know about are the FSB frequency, the memory frequency, the core voltage, and the memory voltage. I haven't changed anything else. I'd also like to note that I try to keep the memory frequency at about half of the FSB frequency. If I make it lower, my pc will only start in safe mode. If I make it higher, I see no difference (the computer still freezes at random times after booting).

    Basically when I increase my CPU past 3.8 GHz, it will boot fine but freeze at random times after booting. Even if I increase the voltage significantly, nothing changes.
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