Core2Quad Q9300 OCing

Hey guys, this may sound really dumb but well, here it goes.
I have a C2Q Q9300 running at stock speeds and I want to OC it. Not any wild OC, I just want it to run at 3Ghz. The thing is I don't really know a thing about OCing and I read the Core 2 Overclocking guide but it's all just too confusing... I also know everything's trial and error, but if I'd appreciate if you guys could give me a hand.

My compy's specs

Asus P5N-D 750i SLI
Core 2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5Ghz
2x2GB DDR2 800Mhz
XFX Geforce GTS 250
WD Caviar Black HDD 1TB

I have a 600W Sentey psu... I know that's not the best of manufacturers :P

So... Help please?

6 answers Last reply
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  1. If you don't understand the overclocking guide, you need to read up on it more. Google specific things or items you do not understand. Take the time to learn. It took me quite a while.

    That said, I will try anyway.

    You will want to overclock in your bios, not with software in your OS.

    First, increase your base clock (the one that is 333MHz). You usually want to do it in steps of 10-20MHz. After each increase, try to boot into windows. Once you reach a point where you cannot boot into windows or you get the blue screen or random rebooting, bring the base clock back down to the last setting where everything seemed fine.

    Now you want to run stability testing. linx works well and is easy to use. Plus with some settings, it doesn't take too long.
    I'd say use the 512mb setting and run the test 5 times. Just for now.

    Again, reboot and lower the base clock if the test does not pass without errors.

    Ok, we still are not sure if it is stable but for now it is enough.

    So now you want to test to ensure long-term stability. I recommend the following:
    -Run linx at the 2048 for 50 runs. This will take time and you will not be able to use your computer while it runs
    -Run prime95 64 or 32 bit for 12-24 hours. You can use your computer while it runs because it does not force itself to use all your resources. Run 4 threads and use the "in place Large FFT" setting

    Again, if you run into an error, lower your base clock a bit.

    Because you are trying for 3.0GHz, I don't expect you to have to change the voltages to get there. But if you find you can't get stable at the speed you want, you might have to investigate increasing voltages.

    You may run into other variables. Above was a simple guide but other parts like your ram could become unstable because they are also affected by the base clock. if your motherboard has a multiplier for ram, you can lower it by one step.
  2. The Q9300 can be overclocked pretty easily but the problem with it is that it has a low multiplier so when you start getting it up to reasonable speeds your ram will be running really fast. You have to make sure you have good ram before you start overclocking.

    The Q9300 has a multiplier of 7.5 and normally runs at 2.5GHz, meaning the motherboard bus is running at 333MHz. The lowest ram multiplier is 2:1 meaning your ram would run at 666MHz.

    Now lets say your ram was rated to run up to 800MHz, you could crank up your motherboard to 400MHz, and your cpu would be running at 3.0GHz. If your ram is up to the task, this is as simple as setting the FSB to 400, and set the ram multiplier to 2.0. You should also set your PCI to run at 100MHz. That's all it takes.

    IF your ram is better than 800, or if you want to push it a little, then start bumping your motherboard frequency beyond 400 in 10MHz increments.

    The next problem you'll run into is heat. When you go beyond 3.0GHz you will likely need a good aftermarket cpu cooler, and in any event you want to watch your cpu temperatures while you are testing it.

    What I do is download "cpuid", "prime95", and "coretemp". I will set my frequency, boot into Windows, run cpuid to make sure everything is set as I think it is, then I'll crank cup coretemp and prime95 and watch the temps while I run prime95 for 10 minutes or so. If everything is OK then I'll go to the next speed increment and do it again.

    You'll get to a point where it won't boot into windows, or your temps will be too high. At this time you drop down to the previous speed increment, boot to windows, and let prime95 run for 12 hours or so. If it runs 12 hours, then you're done. If it fails then you drop down another speed increment and try again. Your highest reasonable overclock is the speed that will run prime95 for 12 hours without failing.

    BTW, I have a Q9400. It is the same as your chip except for a multiplier of 8 instead of 7.5. I have pretty high speed ram so I can run my bus at 475, which runs my cpu at 3.8GHz and my ram at 950.
  3. Ok, so basically I have to play with the FSB until I get it right... About my ram, I should open the case to check its max voltage, but here's a cpuz screenshot of my ram, in case it helps.

    Thanks guys! Imma try something right now, I'll be back with some positive results, hopefully!


    Ok, so linx is giving me errors @ fsb 387.5Mhz... what should I do? I know I can roll back to my previous stable setting, but if I want to push it more, should I increase voltages or something like that?
    And I kind of don't understand prime95... lol.
  4. If you do want to try to push it, increase the voltage but make sure you don't go beyond the CPU's limit, which I believe is 1.36V. Don't quote me on that, I could be wrong but note that if I am wrong, my number is lower than the actual max voltage of the Q9300.

    I enjoy overclocking but for me, I'm not fond of overvolting. I haven't overclocked a wide variety of processors (all AMD) but I find the gains from increasing the voltage beyond stock haven't been much to be worthwhile. That said, I do believe I have also been motherboard limited on my builds so far.

    Prime95 once you have it running it does calculations to find prime numbers. Each time it moves on to the next "line" it completed one test. If an error is encountered, the thread running on the core with the error stops and it usually reports something like a rounding error.
  5. Ok, so I really don't want to fry my chip, so I'd rather not overvolt...
    But still, ugh my mobo is so confusing for overclocking, I don't have a FSB option, I mean, I do but it's not the mobo's FSB, it¡s the core's FSB... So I start with 1333FSB and max stable I've reached was 1500... Which is about 375FSB and 2.81Ghz...
    The thing is I still don't know how to configure my ram... If i go for an unlinked config so that it runs at 800Mhz, the system won't boot... So I go for linked synchronous mode and that's 750Mhz for the ram... But it's a pc6400 ram so it should run at 800Mhz... the other thing I don't udnerstand is the ram timings... I've found in internet that my ram's timings are 5-5-5-15 and I've set them on my mobo... But I still don't know...Everything is so confusing :pt1cable: LoL! I need some serious help here :(
  6. I have 9550 that I've had up to 3.8 GHZ but got tired of trial and error with voltages to push higher.

    I run @425 FSB now which comes out to 3.58 GHZ and I have my memory at 5:3 which I think is 1119 MHZ (1066 RAM). When going over 400 MHZ on the FSB I'd start with my memory at a 1:1 ratio, even if it's lower than the rated speed. At this point we're still trying to get CPU speeds set. We adjust memory after we have a stable CPU over clock.

    I had the core voltage stay on auto up to 400 mhz FSB. After that I ended up with 1.22 for my core and it's fine. I'd not be concerned with voltages under 1.25, but keep an eye on temps. Increased voltages under the manufactures limit are safe for what we're doing here. It's long term usage (years) that might wear the CPU out. But again, YMMV.

    When I pushed past 425 FSB I had to start changing NB voltages, and on previous versions of my mobos BIOS I had to set SB as well.

    Make sure you have "load line calibration" enabled if your mobo has it, and also make sure "pci spread spectrum" is disabled.
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