its always worth doing a mild overclock if you got the right equipment like aftermarket cpu coolers and a nice Motherboard that can overclock. the q6600 isnt to hard to overclock. there is a formula on how somewhere here at toms. Id say to you that you could safely go up to 2.8 to 3 GHz. the forumula for your stock speed is
1200 / 4 = 300 x 8 = 2400MHz or 2.4GHz. 300
1200 is your combined FSB, 4 is your cores, divide that by the cores and you get your FSB number which is 300. you multiply 300 by your multiplyers which the 6600 has 8 multiplyers and that give you your stock speed of 2400MHz. (i hope your following)
now to get overclocked to 3.0GHz (or 3000MGz) the formula is
(1500 / 4) = FSB 375 x 8 = 3000MHz (or 3.0GHz)
so you would set your FSB (front side bus) from 300 to 375 that will overclock your CPU to 3.0GHz
to get 2.8 the formula will be
1400 / 4 = fsb 350 x 8 = 2800 (2.8GHz)
so now you know a basic formula. now all you gotta learn now is how to work your Computers BIOS.
Stock - (1200 / 4) x 8 = 2400MHz
2.8GHz - (1400 / 4) x 8 = 2800MHz
3.0GHz - (1500 / 4) x 8 = 3000MHz
remember your FSB (front side bus) is the number you get when you divide the for example the 1500 by the amount of cores, in your case 4. if you wanna find out what the FSB is by how fast you wanna go. take the GHz and step backwards
for example i wanna know the FSB for 3.2GHz
3200 / 8 = 400 x 4 = 1600 , thats how you can check your answers to make sure its right also.
I hope you could follow me, I Tried my best with 1 attempt because I don't have time for editing hardcore.
I actually did my first overclock without reading any tutorials (not recommended). I just looked around at the options, saw what did what. I then looked up the max voltage and temps for my cpu from intel and my memory max voltage on the box, and began overclocking. Got my e8400 to 3.8ghz without reading a single tutorial and decided to study up before taking my e8400 to the limit (4ghz).
Most light to moderate overclocking can be done by simply changing 2 bios options. Vcore (cpu voltage) and fsb.
The stock cooler could be ok at 3.0ghz if you don't need too much voltage. Just do a torture test while watching your temps and if it stays under you max (i'd still keep it 5c under max) after a few minutes of testing then you should be ok. All of this is covered in the tutorial.
Aftermarket cooling is still a good idea though so you can keep the heat as low as possible.
^Thanks for the replies. I will probably overclock it to 3.0 ghz after I do some more research on the process and get a new cpu cooler.
Should I expect a performance increase at all from a 8800 gts 640 even with the CPU bottleneck? I am mainly upgrading because I got a new 1920x1200 monitor that the 8800 struggles with on some games.
You will definitely notice an increase. I recently upgraded from a 8800 GTS as well although only the 320MB version. I replaced it with a HD 5770. The upgraded rig has a C2D E6600, which is now OC'ed to 2.8GHz, but wasn't at the time of the upgrade (2.4GHz @ stock) and it was a massive improvement even at a low resolution like 1280*1024.
I have a Q6600 that overclocked easy enough to 3.0 ghz on stock cooling and stock voltage. The cpu temps are a bit high with cpu intensive games (62c) but that is not my primary concern with regard to further overclocking.
After doing much research on the subject of overclocking, it seems the primary risk is from the motherboard northbridge chip overheating, rather than the processor (since it is the motherboard that is being forced to go faster). Northbridge overheating is something that is difficult to gauge and difficult to counter and for me is the factor that carries the greatest level of risk when overclocking (since I only have a cheap motherboard).
That is something you may like to take into account in your overclocking endeavours.
Incidentally, I have a 4850 graphics card, which I would like to upgrade to a 5850 at some point in the future (like when I can get a 5850 or equivalent performance for about £150 or less)