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Is my Q6600 a bottleneck?

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October 11, 2011 2:18:41 AM

I have a quick question regarding my setup. I was wondering if my Intel 2 Quad Core Q6600 is a bottleneck for my system. Here are my complete specs:

Windows 7
NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
4 GB DDR2 RAM
1 TB HD

Should I upgrade my PC?

More about : q6600 bottleneck

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October 11, 2011 2:25:27 AM

In what sense? Is it overclocked?
Upgrade is up to you!
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October 11, 2011 2:41:03 AM

It's not overclocked. It's at 2.4 Ghz
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October 11, 2011 2:50:12 AM

Overclock even with a 680 you should get to 3.0ghz and that makes a massive difference.
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October 11, 2011 3:03:05 AM

at 2.4ghz I'd say it's just a bottleneck. At 3ghz, I think its a match for the 4870x2.
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October 11, 2011 3:04:32 AM

What speed is the DDR2? I see this being the bottleneck if you OC.

The biggest concern would be what are you trying to do? what do you use your computer for? There may be a bottleneck but if you don't need to do any high end gamming or video production work then OC and/or small RAM upgrade could be useful.
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October 11, 2011 3:08:34 AM

I'm a pretty hardcore gamer. I guess I was a little bit disappointment with my battlefield 3 beta performance and thought my CPU was the problem. Maybe it just needs further optimization.

Anyways, I'll try to overclock it. I have a Zalman CNPS9700 NT (air cooler) so I'll try to get it to 3.00 Ghz.
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October 11, 2011 3:22:49 AM

You should be able to OC that CPU up to 3.0GHz on stock voltage and 3.4GHz with good cooling and added voltage.

Other than that, your system should have no trouble with BF3 on Ultra.

Make sure to install HWMonitor or something similar and keep an eye on temps. Don't overvoltage unless you know what you're doing.
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October 11, 2011 3:26:56 AM

680i is isn't that great for OC'ing quad cores and frankly not even that great with duals but I forsee 3.0 ghz regardless of stepping, As for ram bottleneck I wouldn't consider that an issue for you. Run your ram at twice the fsb FSB 333x9 ram at 667mhz there is no advantage to bring it up to 800mhz
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October 11, 2011 3:29:49 AM

Yeah, I was only able to play it on medium settings :-(.
Anyways, Thanks so so so much for the replies. I'll overclock it tomorrow!
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October 11, 2011 3:43:51 AM

You could overclock right now if you like. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to go to your bios and change the fsb to 333 and drop the RAM multiplier. Then reboot and run LinX 10 times with HWMonitor.

Your 680i is still better than the two boards I've hit 3.0GHz on with Q6600's. Then if it's not stable at 3.0GHz, you can give up and try tweaking stuff tomorrow.
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October 11, 2011 4:00:57 AM

3.0 GHz is a must for that CPU! I did have an ASUS 680i and could not go past 2.8 GHz. I also had an EVGA 680i and could go to 3.4 GHz with a Corsair H50 Cooler. What brand board is it XFX EVGA ASUS Ect......
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October 11, 2011 2:43:50 PM

Alright, I overclocked my Q6600 to 2.998 GHz and it's at 54 degrees (C) idle. Is that a good temp for idle?
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October 11, 2011 3:27:07 PM

Not good... The temp is too high for idle!
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October 11, 2011 4:27:32 PM

Are you leaving voltage on auto ? If you are do not try 1.33 then go up from there.
If you already are changing voltage manualy remove the heatsink wipe off paste reapply (wipe off means clean with rubbing alc 90% sink and cpu)
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October 11, 2011 4:51:23 PM

WIthought Oveclock you are considerably bottlenecked. In theory, 4.0 Ghz is about the max "worth it" improvement.
As an example, i have that same CPu on 3.0 Ghz, with a 560 Ti and im getting very low minimum fps in games that with that card should run at 40+ minimum.
However averege FPs went up massivly.
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October 11, 2011 10:14:20 PM

You should be around 40C idle and 65C load with a stock heatsink with proper voltage and a proper thermal paste application. That would be higher than I'd recommend you should run it, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what would be typical.

Do you have adequate case fans blowing hot air out the back?
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October 11, 2011 10:23:40 PM

Unfortunately I'm only able to overclock my CPU to 2.81 GHz because I get a message saying I must turn down my FSB. I didn't realize it at first but it didn't actually apply my overclock
The message appears to me in the BIOS. I'm guessing that my RAM can't keep up with my overclock. Is that the case?
I have 2*2gb DDR2 RAM at 781 MHz when the CPU is at 2.81 GHz

I have a Antec 900 case with many many fans so I don't think that case cooling is a problem for me.
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October 12, 2011 12:05:29 AM

If it's your RAM, then you just need to decrease your RAM multiplier. Always change the RAM multiplier to the slowest speed when you start overclocking. After the CPU is stable, you can up the RAM speed. If it is your RAM, then it would have to be 667 stuff if it can't handle 781MHz. If that's the case, a multiplier of 2 will give you 625MHz, which shouldn't be an issue. You can also up the RAM voltage a little (stay below 2.0V for now, maybe lower unless your RAM reads a higher voltage on the stick).

Keep an eye on temps, you don't want to go over 60C or so for extended periods and pretty much shut it down immediately if it touches 70C or maybe a touch sooner than that. Remember to manually set your voltages. Auto will tend to use high voltages when you overclock. And you shouldn't need much if any voltage increases to get 3.0GHz on a decent mobo.

Did reapplying the thermal paste help with the temps? Also, if you want to check if it's the RAM, download Memtest86+ and run it from a flashstick on bootup.

Here's some instructions on how to apply the thermal paste: http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appmeth/int/hl/intel_ap...
They also have general Intel and AMD guides at that website: http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_application_method.ht...
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October 12, 2011 12:26:47 AM

Yeah, I might have to reapply my thermal paste. My fan should be getting me a much lower temperature at idle. Thanks so much for you help :-)
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October 12, 2011 3:52:33 AM

You're welcome. If I wasn't helping you and wasting time in 12 other threads, I'd be getting work done at work though. So it's win-win for me.

Just keep us posted as you go through this process. Make sure not to fry your CPU by letting it overheat too much.
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October 19, 2011 1:28:44 AM

Best answer selected by wynne1.
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October 20, 2011 3:32:39 PM

I know it's been a while but I just had the weirdest thing happen to my computer. After my overclock I seemed to notice that my computer would stutter every few seconds. My CPU load would go from 1%-50% and back again. In games it would freeze and start. Almost like micro stuttering but longer.
When I went back to my stock frequencies it stopped.
What could be causing this? Is this just a coincidence?
Thanks
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