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Overclocking an Intel Q6600 2.4ghz CPU

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April 20, 2012 11:54:18 PM

Ok I'm new at this and after debating for a while I want to upgrade my Dell XPS 420 (that's a few years old), I'm looking to put some money into it. Right now everything is stock, Intel Quad Q6600 2.4ghz CPU, 500GB HD, 3GB RAM, 375W PSU w/ dual 12v rails @ 18a each, and a Radeon HD 2400 Pro (32-bit Vista). I found out that I have a Dell OTP406 Mainboard/Motherboard. I'd like to OC my CPU to about 3.0-3.2ghz, what is required to do this safely (cooling, software)?

So far my plan's are to reformat the HD and install Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Premium, put in a Corsair TX650 Watt PSU that has a single 12v rail @ 53a and decide on a mid-range GPU (MSI 560TI?). I ultimately want to connect this PC to my 40" 1080p LCD TV via HDMI, will a screen that big cause problems running a proper resolution @ X1080? I'd like to be able to play game's such as Skyrim, BF3, Crisis etc...with possible modds.

Any input/advice is greatly appreciated, this is my first attempt at a PC hardware build/upgrade any help is huge, thank you in advance.

More about : overclocking intel q6600 4ghz cpu

April 21, 2012 12:26:49 AM

I'd like to Max out settings for most games, but I can settle for High+, is an overclock even required at all? If I should OC would I be capable with that mobo? I also have a wireless network adapter installed if that make's a difference. Does 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 make any difference? Do I need more RAM?????? Anyone?
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 12:48:05 AM

if this is the motherboard:
http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-xps-420/4507-3118...

it has the "Chipset type Intel X38 Express" which does well for overclocking. that is a pleasant surprise i would expect dell to use a motherboard such as the G41 chipset that doesn't overclock well at all.

you could easily get to 3Ghz on the Q6600 by setting the bus speed from 1066 to 1333 as long as you have a decent aftermarket cooler to keep the temps low.

what is your RAM like? two 500 MBs and two 1 gig sticks? (4 total) or three 1 gig sticks? getting 1 more gig would help for a total of 4 gigs.

ok?
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April 21, 2012 12:57:01 AM

Being you have a Dell PC, Dell, like almost all OEM's, does not provide the ability to overclock their system's. Another motherboard is a possibility, but if your version of Win& is the OEM version from dell (if it came w/ your computer), it is locked to your motherboard & you would need to purchase either an orm copy or retail copy of Win 7 to install..
Not knowing your budget, its hard to make recommendations, but w/ the age of the system, I'd consider (especially if getting a new mobo) to consider a newer processor, like the i5 2500k.
If you add more memory, you would need to go to 64 bit, 32 bit only 'sees' 3 - 3.5gb memory. Again if you upgraded to a newer processor, you'd also need to get DDR3 meory (which is cheap), you curently pro bablt have DDR2..
While the Q6600 isn't a bad processor (just retired mine 3 months ago), it hard to recommend new motherboards & memory cause of it's age. At least graphic cards * power supplies can be moved to 'newer' systems.

Jim
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April 21, 2012 1:24:36 AM

jimpz said:
Being you have a Dell PC, Dell, like almost all OEM's, does not provide the ability to overclock their system's. Another motherboard is a possibility, but if your version of Win& is the OEM version from dell (if it came w/ your computer), it is locked to your motherboard & you would need to purchase either an orm copy or retail copy of Win 7 to install..
Not knowing your budget, its hard to make recommendations, but w/ the age of the system, I'd consider (especially if getting a new mobo) to consider a newer processor, like the i5 2500k.
If you add more memory, you would need to go to 64 bit, 32 bit only 'sees' 3 - 3.5gb memory. Again if you upgraded to a newer processor, you'd also need to get DDR3 meory (which is cheap), you curently pro bablt have DDR2..
While the Q6600 isn't a bad processor (just retired mine 3 months ago), it hard to recommend new motherboards & memory cause of it's age. At least graphic cards * power supplies can be moved to 'newer' systems.

Jim


Yes my 32-bit Vista came installed with the computer, I was going to buy a retail copy of Win7 Home Premium, reformat the HD and install, would that allow me to adjust the clock? I rather try and use this CPU/MoBo if it's possible, if another GB of RAM is cheap and easy to add then 64-bit Win7 is no problem I planned on buying it anyway.
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April 21, 2012 1:26:28 AM

Anonymous said:
if this is the motherboard:
http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-xps-420/4507-3118...

it has the "Chipset type Intel X38 Express" which does well for overclocking. that is a pleasant surprise i would expect dell to use a motherboard such as the G41 chipset that doesn't overclock well at all.

you could easily get to 3Ghz on the Q6600 by setting the bus speed from 1066 to 1333 as long as you have a decent aftermarket cooler to keep the temps low.

what is your RAM like? two 500 MBs and two 1 gig sticks? (4 total) or three 1 gig sticks? getting 1 more gig would help for a total of 4 gigs.

ok?



thanks, I'm not sure if it's that chip....is there a definite way to find out? i downloaded pc wizard to find out what mobo i had....my ram is 2 - 1gb's and 2 - 500mb's. Sorry if I'm asking too much....I need to get an aftermarket cooler if that's the case, as far as RAM how does that get installed? One last thing, does everything else seem like it will work well for what Im trying to do?

i can get 1gb stick ram certified from dell for 23.99$, i could do that and install 64bit win7 will this make a big difference?
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a c 197 K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 1:42:06 AM

CPU-Z will tell you what motherboard and chipset you have. But there is a good change that your Dell motherboard has a locked BIOS.

If you can overclock your CPU, the G0 stepping Q6600 will run at 3.0 GHz with the stock cooler.
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April 21, 2012 1:50:36 AM

jsc said:
CPU-Z will tell you what motherboard and chipset you have. But there is a good change that your Dell motherboard has a locked BIOS.

If you can overclock your CPU, the G0 stepping Q6600 will run at 3.0 GHz with the stock cooler.



Thanks for the info....confirmed it's a x38 intel chip, there's no way around a locked BIOS? even if i reformat and install a new version of win7?
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April 21, 2012 1:52:33 AM

BIOS brand is Dell Inc, Version A03 from Jan 08.
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 2:23:39 AM

your bios is strictly dependent on what dell would make available. to find out if it is locked should be rather simple. if you can get into the bios, by pressing the del or F1 key while posting; before windows starts to boot. (i think the F1 for a dell)

you will have to navigate around until you see on your screen that refers to the FSB (front side bus) most likely it will be 1066, the default for the q6600, if you can adjust it UP then your gold. go get a compatible socket 775 cooler. (look for one that is also compatible with socket 1155 for upgrading with in the future).

if it doesn't allow you to adjust the FSB, then your stuck at stock settings :( 

find out if you can do this FIRST before upgrading anything!
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April 21, 2012 2:31:07 AM

With a Dell motherboard, you're going to find your bios is locked & can't be over clocked. Also, socket 775 mobo's are'nt as plentiful anymore. Tiger Direct lists 6, & all take DDR3 memory (I'm sure you have DDR2) that said you can get 8 gigs of DDR3 for $40-$50.. If you search the web (geek.com?) you may find a mobo that uses DDR2 memory.

Jim
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April 21, 2012 2:35:02 AM

Anonymous said:
your bios is strictly dependent on what dell would make available. to find out if it is locked should be rather simple. if you can get into the bios, by pressing the del or F1 key while posting; before windows starts to boot. (i think the F1 for a dell)

you will have to navigate around until you see on your screen that refers to the FSB (front side bus) most likely it will be 1066, the default for the q6600, if you can adjust it UP then your gold. go get a compatible socket 775 cooler. (look for one that is also compatible with socket 1155 for upgrading with in the future).

if it doesn't allow you to adjust the FSB, then your stuck at stock settings :( 

find out if you can do this FIRST before upgrading anything!


Ok, I'll check it now....but lets say I can't configure, do you find it necessary to over-clock or could I just add a gig ram and the other hardware upgrades and get solid performance? I really wanted to avoid starting from scratch.
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April 21, 2012 2:36:57 AM

jimpz said:
With a Dell motherboard, you're going to find your bios is locked & can't be over clocked. Also, socket 775 mobo's are'nt as plentiful anymore. Ti, &ger Direct lists 6 all take DDR3 memory (I'm sure you have DDR2) that said you can get 8 gigs of DDR3 for $40-$50.. If you search the web (geek.com?) you may find a mobo that uses DDR2 memory.

Jim


Yeah I have DDR2 RAM, wouldn't DDR3 require a new board?
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April 21, 2012 2:54:26 AM

Anonymous said:
your bios is strictly dependent on what dell would make available. to find out if it is locked should be rather simple. if you can get into the bios, by pressing the del or F1 key while posting; before windows starts to boot. (i think the F1 for a dell)

you will have to navigate around until you see on your screen that refers to the FSB (front side bus) most likely it will be 1066, the default for the q6600, if you can adjust it UP then your gold. go get a compatible socket 775 cooler. (look for one that is also compatible with socket 1155 for upgrading with in the future).

if it doesn't allow you to adjust the FSB, then your stuck at stock settings :( 

find out if you can do this FIRST before upgrading anything!


Well jimpz was right my system, processor and memory fields were all inaccessible.....:(  Can I pull this off with this board and cpu as is?
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April 21, 2012 3:29:35 AM

You may be able to overclock in windows while not as good as bios overclocking it will still work. You can use nvidia system tools or setfsb , search either of these and they will allow you to set your fsb while in windows. Worth a try, and you can get some experience with overclocking before upgrading to a sandy bridge cpu, also nvidia system tools will allow you to overclock your gpu as well.
A lot of laptop users use these programs to overclock laptops because laptops are nearly always locked
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April 21, 2012 3:48:25 AM

dkrebo87 said:
Well jimpz was right my system, processor and memory fields were all inaccessible.....:(  Can I pull this off with this board and cpu as is?


Dell deliberately makes it hard for you to do meaningful upgrades as well as things like overclocking, so the answer is probably no.

In any case, I don't think overclocking would do you a ton of good - since your machine has only an onboard graphics adapter, that will be the bottleneck for gaming long before the CPU is. You could upgrade to a better video card ... but then you only have a 375W power supply that probably has no PCIe plugs for a good card. So now you're buying a video card and a power supply. Then in order to overclock, you'd need a new motherboard, so you're buying a video card, power supply and motherboard, plus a new copy of Windows that isn't locked to the old board. Then your RAM probably isn't compatible with the new motherboard, so you're buying a video card, power supply, motherboard, Windows and RAM. That's most of a new computer already - see how that works?

At any rate - for roughly the same amount of trouble and about $660, you can build a machine that will blow away anything you could do with that old Dell.

Save the Q6600 out of the Dell and sell it or use it for another project. They still go for about $100 on ebay. Re-using the hard drive would probably be a good idea to save a lot of money too, since they've doubled in price recently.
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April 21, 2012 4:25:23 AM

capt_taco said:
Dell deliberately makes it hard for you to do meaningful upgrades as well as things like overclocking, so the answer is probably no.

In any case, I don't think overclocking would do you a ton of good - since your machine has only an onboard graphics adapter, that will be the bottleneck for gaming long before the CPU is. You could upgrade to a better video card ... but then you only have a 375W power supply that probably has no PCIe plugs for a good card. So now you're buying a video card and a power supply. Then in order to overclock, you'd need a new motherboard, so you're buying a video card, power supply and motherboard, plus a new copy of Windows that isn't locked to the old board. Then your RAM probably isn't compatible with the new motherboard, so you're buying a video card, power supply, motherboard, Windows and RAM. That's most of a new computer already - see how that works?

At any rate - for roughly the same amount of trouble and about $660, you can build a machine that will blow away anything you could do with that old Dell.

Save the Q6600 out of the Dell and sell it or use it for another project. They still go for about $100 on ebay. Re-using the hard drive would probably be a good idea to save a lot of money too, since they've doubled in price recently.



But what if I just got a new PSU and GPU and used my MoBo and CPU as is, couldn't that run on high-max.

Like:

Dell OTP406 x38 MoBo
Intel Core Quad Q6600 2.4ghz CPU
Corsair TX650W PSU w/ 12v @53a
And 560ti or hd7850 GPU

Maybe add 1gb ddr2 ram, I shouldn't HAVE to over-clock right, wouldn't that be fine to run most games high-max?
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Best solution

Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 5:31:54 AM

you know what?

do it. the 2.4 Ghz for gaming is not going to be the best but its going to be better than what you have now. btw, running at higher resolutions takes the load off the cpu and more on the gpu.

the bad thing your doing is wasting your money to get 2 1 gig sticks of RAM to replace those 512 sticks. (so you have 4x1 gig.)

but the GPU and PSU will carry over to when you get a sandy bridge cpu and H67 motherboard with ddr3 ram. (about another $225 - $300)

everyone is going to tell you NO NO NO its a waste. but again, you will being tossing away the RAM money and you won't get getting the best performance out of your GPU. but it better than what you have now.

and also since you have pci-e 1.0 you may want to stick with nvidia graphics be i BELIEVE ati pci 2.1 cards (the 6xxx series) aren't happy campers with it. but the 7xxx are pci 3.0

i sense you wanna do it anyhow, so as long as you're making an informed decision, who is anyone to judge.
Share
April 21, 2012 5:36:19 AM

Dell OTP406 Board with x38 Chip
Intel Core Quad Q6600 2.4ghz CPU
Corsair TX650W PSU w/ single 12v rail @53amp
500GB HD / 4GB RAM
HD 6870 or HD 6850 GPU

This set-up should be fine right?
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 5:42:09 AM

the pci 2.1 of the 6xxx series cards have problems with the pci 1.0 of your board.

EDIT: also you do not need to get a 650 watts PSU a 550 is enough to handle ANY single card graphics solution.
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April 21, 2012 5:59:11 AM

Anonymous said:
the pci 2.1 of the 6xxx series cards have problems with the pci 1.0 of your board.

EDIT: also you do not need to get a 650 watts PSU a 550 is enough to handle ANY single card graphics solution.


My board has at least 1 - PCI-Express 2.0 slot, you think a 550W is enough power?
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 6:09:40 AM

ah! so it does . i was thinking P35 chipset . .only had pci-e 1.0

the X38 was the first chipset with pci-e 2.0 support.

yeah a 550 watts is fine this has 43 amps on the 12 volt. no SINGLE card will come close to 100% load on that.
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX550M 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

even 30 CONTINUOUS amps is enough for about any card.
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April 21, 2012 6:22:31 AM

Anonymous said:
ah! so it does . i was thinking P35 chipset . .only had pci-e 1.0

the X38 was the first chipset with pci-e 2.0 support.

yeah a 550 watts is fine this has 43 amps on the 12 volt. no SINGLE card will come close to 100% load on that.
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX550M 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

even 30 CONTINUOUS amps is enough for about any card.



You actually might have been right, I have to check tomorrow, it might be 1 PCI-E x16 and 3 PCI-E x8. Either way a 2.0 card will work, thanks for helping me out, much appreciated.
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April 21, 2012 6:23:04 AM

Best answer selected by dkrebo87.
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
April 21, 2012 6:38:21 AM

dkrebo87 said:
You actually might have been right, I have to check tomorrow, it might be 1 PCI-E x16 and 3 PCI-E x8. Either way a 2.0 card will work, thanks for helping me out, much appreciated.


there is a difference with pci-e 1.0, 2.0 2.1 and 3.0 as opposed to x4, x8,and x16

this might explain it for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express

have a good one:) 
g'night.
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