Overclocking Q9300 with MSI easy OC switch

Hey guys. I want to try to overclock my CPU. It's been doing a great job so far but it never hurts to have a little bit extra performance :D So I have this "OC switch" on my motherboard (MSI P43T-C51) which in different combinations can provide an overclock of 5-20%. I want to be sure that it is safe though, before I do anything, I don't want to fry anything. So I came to the experts.

So this switch is supposed to give me an easy OC just by selecting a combination while my PC is off. And when I reboot, the CPU should be OC-ed! The whole thing is the predecessor of OC genie, I believe. But the main reason that I want to try it is that I am actually afraid to go fiddling with my BIOS settings because I don't understand RAM timings and such very well. Also, I want to achieve at least a 10% OC. That will make me quite happy :D

Right, so I'll begin with the specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 @2.5 GHz; 6MB L2 cache, 1333 MHz FSB speed; 7.5 multiplier. My cooler is not that great but still better than the stock one.

RAM: Apacer 2x2GB DDR2 800MHz
-CL (5)
-tRCD (5)
-tRP (5)
-tRAS (18)
-tRFC (52)
-Command Rate: 2T

Temps are a bit high, as follows:
49C 49C 64C 55C
Those are the idle temps but the interesting part is that under gaming load my CPU has never gone over 77C on the third core while the others stay at 60-65C.

PSU is a Seasonic S620II, 620W 80+ Bronze certified. I will post rail amperage if needed. According to an online calculator (unreliable source, I know but it's something) my rig shouldn't pull more than 460W under 90% load. So I am hoping that my PSU is sufficient, even for a 20% maximum overclock.

Yeah. It's not the most hardcore overclocking rig out there. But I will try to do it anyway. Please keep in mind that I can't spend any money on a new cooler and I don't want to re-seat and re-paste my current one as I am getting good temps. I don't really NEED to overclock, I just thought it'd be fun.

And now the questions that I want to ask:
1. Is there danger that I might damage any of my hardware?
2. Will my cooler be able to do the job?
3. How much more heat will the CPU produce if I manage to get it to run stable at the maximum possible 20% OC? And what temps do you guys consider dangerous?
4. How long should I keep Prime95 running?

That should be about it. I know it's a handfull and sorry if this comes out as a wall of text, but any help will be GREATLY appreciated. I think I posted the most important info but I will update if I realise I missed anything :/

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Best answer
    to answer your questions:
    1. there is danger when overclocking but since you will do it automatically there is none since you dont screw with the voltages
    2. yea your cooler should do the job just keep an eye on your temeratures and dont let them go over 90c on load. to check your temperatures and test your overclock stability download and run prime 95
    3. Its hard to tell how much hotter it will run so you have to test that yourself....if the temps come to dangerous numbers the system will shut down itself before anything will get damaged
    4. you should run it for at least 2 hours
  2. Thank you for the quick reply. I'll try it tomorrow though because it's getting pretty late here. Just one last question: if Prime shows an error, I should lower the clocks, right?
  3. System crashed during boot. I couldn't overclock it even a bit. It turned out that the switch had set frequencies and the only one I could take advantage of was the highest one, which would have put me at 3 GHz.

    So now I just reset it to default. Hopefully the system will be stable again, as before. Better luck with my next chip, I guess :D Thank you for the help, alvine!
  4. Best answer selected by auntarie.
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