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Should I Overclock or buy a new CPU

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June 22, 2010 9:28:03 AM

Hi everyone,

I was wondering would it be better to buy a new CPU or overclock the one I have.

Let me elabirate, I have a Intel Core 2 Q6600 Quad core 2.4Ghz Kentsfield 65nm 1066Mhz CPU I have had it for just over 3 years in my current PC, in September I may upgrade my PC with 8GB Corsair DDR2 PC2-6400 instead of 4GB and a Corsair 850Watt PSU, instead of 550Watt, as well as a Geforce GTX 470, instead of my GTS 250, should I buy a Core 2 Q9650 Quad Core 3Ghz 45nm 1333Mhz CPU or overclock the Q6600, bearing in mind I won't be adding extra cooling fans, just relying on the 2 big fans that came with my system and the vent with funnel over the CPU, I just want to max my board before I move on to a new Motherboard, 8GB of ram is max and I think the Q9650 is near as top of range of CPU my Motherboard can take, the ASUS P5N32E-SLI does support 1333Mhz CPU's, the Q9650 will also use less power than a factory setting Q6600 nevermind an overclocked one. Also if I do overclock the Q6600 how much life can I expect from it, since it's 3 Years old already, or is it safer to buy a Q9650.

I know this isn't a CPU question but I thought I would ask, can I have a GTX 470 and my GTS 250 in my PC at the same time, I know I can't SLI them but can't I nominate my GTS 250 to be a Phyx card in supported games.


Thanks in advance guys.


Xeo...

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June 22, 2010 9:49:57 AM

OC your cpu. You should be able to obtain a 3.4~3.6 oc easily with a decent aftermarket cooler. Be sure the one you get will fit into your case as some of these are enormous and require a lot of space. Your cpu will last until you are ready to upgrade, even overclocked. If you have locations in your case for more cooling fans, by all means put the fans in the case when your oc and add extra video cards. This will help keep your temps reasonable.


Forget about upgrading to 8g of ram. 4g is plenty for your rig.

You can use your 250 for a physx card, that will work fine. You will want this power supply:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the rebate and final price of 89.99 its a no brainer for that setup.
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2010 11:04:20 AM

http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLA...

I agree.

Overclocking your Q6600 to Q9650 speed (well ok the cache is 8Mb and not 12Mb and the Penryn Q9 is about 4% faster in IPC than the Kenty but otherwise basically the same) is as simple as:

Q6600 9 X 266 (1066 quad pumped FSB) = 2.4Ghz

Q6600 9 X 333 (1333 quad pumped FSB) = 3.0Ghz

Raise the FSB in the bios from 266 to 333 and save and reboot.

Providing your colling solution is working well you have just bumped the core frequency up to the level of the Q9650 (close enough).

The Q6600 SLACR and older B series stepping processors will easily handle this without raising the core voltage.

Get the most out of the system you have !!

Pushing the Q6600 past 3.2 or so may require some increase in core voltage ... and a better colling solution than a stock cooler ... possibly.

A slight increase to 3Ghz should be fine on a stock cooler.


Good luck.
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June 22, 2010 1:37:21 PM

Thanks for the response, could I OC my CPU now with the 550Watts PSU I have now or should I wait until I can afford a better PSU.

My Specs are:

ASUS P5N32E-SLI (Just updated Bios to 1902)
Core 2 Q6600 2,4Ghz
4GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-7200 900Mhz (but only runs @ 667Mhz)
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
X-Fi Fatal1ty Champion
2x 500GB Seagate HDD
1x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3
HEC 550Watt PSU (rubbish I know)
Razer Tarantula
Razer Abyssus
Samsung 40" 6 Series HDTV (DVI-HDMI)

Also what software would you recommend to check temperature of components and what is the nominal temperature for CPU, GPU etc... and what should they be if I overclock and what is too hot.
June 22, 2010 1:41:22 PM

englandr753 said:
OC your cpu. You should be able to obtain a 3.4~3.6 oc easily with a decent aftermarket cooler. Be sure the one you get will fit into your case as some of these are enormous and require a lot of space. Your cpu will last until you are ready to upgrade, even overclocked. If you have locations in your case for more cooling fans, by all means put the fans in the case when your oc and add extra video cards. This will help keep your temps reasonable.


Forget about upgrading to 8g of ram. 4g is plenty for your rig.

You can use your 250 for a physx card, that will work fine. You will want this power supply:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the rebate and final price of 89.99 its a no brainer for that setup.



That's the PSU I was going to get, but only the 850Watt version...
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2010 2:13:13 PM

You should be fine for a mild OC with a 550W PSU ...

HWMonitor and CoreTemp seem to work for me ...

You won't notice any significant changes with temps going to 3Ghz on stock voltage.

It does pay to do a clean / reseat / regrease on the HSF though ... the stock coolers get clogged fairly easily.

Will you be ok with doing that or do you want some help?

I have a thread somewhere about that ... /wanders off for a look.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
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a b K Overclocking
June 22, 2010 2:24:25 PM

Overclock all day, that Q6600 is a beast ready to be unleashed, if you OC it to 3.3 or higher, it will be better than the Q9650. Also, no need for 8GB of RAM, stick with 4GB of RAM, preferably 2 x 2 GB sticks.

Not sure how good your Power Supply brand is but it may have issues running more than one video card if you're adding a GTX 470... If it was a decent brand like Corsair or PC Power & Cooling, then i would say no problemo, but you may want to get a Good PSU from Corsair, maybe the TX750
!