Hi guys! I'm new to tweaking and overclocking computers, and have some questions. I recently purchased my first real gaming computer, a Maingear Shift. I'm loving it so far. Maingear overclocked it to 4.4ghz, and installed a water cooling system. I've been playing every game I own at maxed out settings on a 1920x1200 monitor, and have yet to see the CPU break 40 degrees C, even after hours of gaming. Metro 2033, BF3, Crysis 2, and even Skyrim with a dozen graphics mods hasn't made it heat up above 40.
My question is this: Given the current temperature, is there enough thermal headroom to allow for a higher overclock? Would I see any noticeable gains in FPS in any of my games? Is it "worth it"?
Yeah, you're not going to bottleneck that processor with those cards. You're going to have to be up in the 7970 range to even begin to think about that being a big problem. Those cards are actually probably the slower side of the system as that your processor. Is it the 3770k? 2600k? It has to be something like that. Either way, giving those cards a boost will probably benefit you more than taking that CPU to 4.6 or higher.
3770k can't really go past 4.6 because of the upper heat threshold intel has in their Ivy Bridges
2600k/2700k/39xx can go up to as even surpass 5GHz because Sandy bridges are generally cooler overall and don't have the heat limit.
No there really won't be any benefit anyways, and since you're running flawlessly anyways, I wouldn't take the risk(bad OC can reduce your clock down from 4.5 to 4.2/4.3 PERMANENTLY).