I'm using the i5-3550 @3.3GHz with an ASRock Z77 Pro3 currently (for full PC specs see below).
Now I am wondering, what overclocking abilities the i5-3550 might have.
I am fully aware, that "non k" CPU's are not made for overclocking.
I've already managed to raise the clock speed to about 4GHz by setting the multiplier from 33 to 37 and raising the BCLK from 100mhz to about 106mhz. I know that I probably won't be able to go much higher.
My question is:
How should I adjust the Voltage of my CPU?
Will it run faster, more stable or something at a higher voltage?
Also, I came across the word "Undervolting". What is that?
Another Question: I can theoretically raise my multiplier to 41 in the BIOS. How is this possible? I thought it was locked to the power speed?
I hope you are able to answer at least some of my newbie questions
For starters dont adjust your BCLK, put it back to 100.
Voltage can be adjusted via fixed or offset. What I did was set my fixed voltage to 1.35 @ 4.5ghz. From there I adjusted it down step by step and settled on 1.33v. I set the voltage to auto and ran prime which increased my voltage to 1.38. Then I went back and changed voltage to offset and set it to -.040 ( 1.38-1.34 to be safe) ran more tests and adjusted the offset up or down depending on how the system acted.
To little voltage or undervolting leads to BSOD. To much voltage leads to high temps. You need to find the middle ground of voltage vs temp, which usually means using as little voltage as possible to maintain system stability.
My numbers are from a 2500K chip, since your multiplier is locked you are very limited on how far you can overclock your chip. At 4.0 you should not have to change any settings except the multiplier.
As far as adding voltage goes, you shouln't really need to add voltage for such a small OC, and it certainly wouldn't make it run faster. You may even be able to undervolt slightly, if you're lucky. Undervolting is just using a lower than stock voltage if the chip can do it and be stable. That allows the chip to run cooler, among other things.
You can use a manual "solid" voltage or offsets (dynamic voltage) for voltage tweaks. I actually recommend offsets, since that allows the voltage to drop at idle when a manual voltage won't. The speed would drop (with SpeedStep enabled), but the voltage would stay at, or near, whatever you set it at with manual voltage.
And I agree with DarkOutlaw, set the BCLK back to 100. 103 is the highest that is considered "safe", but much above that can cause MAJOR issues with the system buses that are tied to the BCLK. 100 is totally safe though, since that's what it's supposed to be.