Overclocking is easy. Get results!
IntroductionOverclocking is easy to do, if you know and understand what you're doing. A lot of newly registered members have been skipping past the required steps to gaining proper knowledge. This is a very serious issue when you're talking about the ammount of time and money put into your PC. Learn the basic's, learn how to obtain better information, use this site to your advantage without having to ask a question that's already been answered, and get that answer easily and quickly. It requires your time, it requires your
memory, it requires your common sense, if you cannot use any of these or are ignorant, then you should not be overclocking. This guide is not just intended for Overclockers, but
about anyone looking into making their PC better, and even just understanding their PC better from case to components.
So You Gotta Question?
There have been many new users to TPU (Tech PowerUP!) that have joined for the sole purpose of asking for help with Overclocking their personal computers. But there is a right way and a wrong way of going about this, and that is what I hope to show you if you can bear with me and read through this guide. You will be more confident to ask the right question, provide the right information and know what you are doing. Also, you will find that people are more willing to help you with your OC situation, whether it's getting that extra few MHZ or completely new to Overclocking.
Many times when I find someone new asking for help, well here's an example:
I have a core 2, how far can I OC it?Does this person even understand what OC/Overclock means? Probably not more than the fact of increasing speed to make it "faster," and has no clue of what other parts are affected by trying to increase the CPU speed. As always, I respond with an inquiry of their TOTAL system specs, brands, model #'s, stock or aftermarket cooling, etc. When asking a question to people on TPU or any other PC Tech/OC Forum, they will need to know what components you have, if you're overclocking, operating system, and sometimes more details depending on the question or issue. Some people cannot go any further cause' they just don't know, and if the don't know they shouldn't Overclock. Overclocking is a science, an art, and some luck. People need to understand that there's research, reading, soaking-in a lot of information and specifications in order to better understand it. If I could get new people to read this first so they can get a better idea of how to post questions and learn what they need to do to overclock, they'd be so much happier with their results that would also happen more quickly.
How To Get That Answer!
A better way to ask the demo question above would be (using my personal system as a demo, system as of 5/2007):
I have a Core2 system and am interested in Overclocking it, I have this version of BIOS, and am using Windows XP. I've read of users hitting over 3.5GHZ with a similar setup with Air Cooling and would like to know some more on the steps to take to reach my goal of 3.5. Here are my system specs and settings thus far:Can you see the difference? I'm sure even the blind can! But it's that kind of information, that not only ensures those reading your post that you have a clue of what you're doing, but you understand it. The two biggest differences between you and the person(s) helping you is experience and knowlege, but if you can attain the proper knowlege, they can help you with their experience. If you cannot ask a question with these specifications, or close to them, then you have a lot to learn and understand, that's the sole reason behind the creation of this guide. Once you can understand and implement the above information in posts when asking questions, you should be able to Overclock without pulling teeth to relieve your pains and frustrations. Just remember the more you can provide when asking for help, the less that will be asked, which means the fewer posts to get to the solution. And we all want to get things done faster right? Who wants to wade through a thread full of 100 posts because someone couldn't offer the information in the first post or two? Go back up and recompare with the first demo question, and with what you've learned so far, you can see the difference is staggering. Now we could tell this person to attempt to up the CPU voltage, and if cooling fans aren't set for 100% speed to do so as the cooling is already being pushed, it's effective and doing a good job, but based on recommended safety net temperatures for CPU's (STAY BELOW 60C, 55C should be MAX TEMP GOAL), Since this person's at 480FSB, they're probably pushing the envelope of their current settings, so upping FSB/NB/SB voltages by one notch and attempt stability at 485, then 490FSB. If successful, try 495, if successful try 500. If unsuccessful, increase CPU voltage by one more notch, attempt again. And this is a good idea of how the cycle goes! There's a lot of trial and error for every overclock, some have more errors than others, and there are a lot of variables, but with the right knowlege, errors can be overcome.
I have currently reached 3.36Ghz (80% Overclock) by using these BIOS settings:
- CPU: Core2 e6300
- M/B: Asus P5B Deluxe, BIOS 1004
- RAM: 2GB G.Skill PC6400 (DDR2 800) 4-4-4-12, 2.0-2.1v, phu2-2gbhz
- Video: Powercolor x1950 Pro Extreme 256MB
- PSU: Antec Smartpower 2.0 500W 2x12v Rails @ 18A Each
- Cooling: AC Freezer Pro 7 + Arctic Silver 5 for CPU, Factory installed AC Xcellero X2 Video Cooler, Stock M/B Heatsink/Heatpipe Cooling, Corsair XMS Airflow for Memory which
has Factory Heatsinks, 2 intake fans of 80mm, 1 rear exhaust fan of 120mm and 1 top exhaust fan of 80mm, side CPU and Video vents.
Temps: CPU 33 Idle, 52 Load (I like to stay below 55c, 60c is pushing the boundry if the safety net)
Front Side Bus/CPU Frequency: 480
DRAM Frequency/Memory Speed: 960 (Reads 2x the above setting since it's DDR2 type memory, this is a 1:1 Memory Strap)
PCI Express Frequency: 100 (Recommended manually set to this for stability and problem prevention.)
PCI Clock Sync Mode: 33.33 (Recommended manually set to this for stability and problem prevention.)
vCore (CPU Voltage) - 1.325 (reads 1.29v in bios, same in OS, Droops to 1.26 under load CPU-Z and Everest Verify)
Spread Spectrum - Disabled (Disable if overclocking...will cause unstability)
Front Side Bus Termination Voltage - 1.35
Northbridge vCore - 1.45
Southbridge vCore - 1.50
ICH Chipset Voltage - AUTO (Or manually set to 1.05v)
Memory Timings: 4-4-4-12
CPU Manually Set at 7x Multiplier, All Power Saving Features Disabled.
What do you recommend I change for increasing stability at 3.5GHZ (500FSB)? I am currently Orthos stable for the longest I've ran it, which was just over 24 hours.
Learning what each BIOS setting affects is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Increasing voltage too much can cause severe heat increase and damage in a very short ammount of time. But with tried and true methods that are used at TPU, you can be successful. So you can see where this goes with more knowlege of what one is doing. People are willing to spend a ton of money on stuff they know little about, and ruin it because they don't want to read and learn for themselves. I am sure the second demo question asked is kind of pushing it from someone who knows nothing, but if you know little about what you have, it doesn't hurt to learn about it, read reviews and other people's experience with that product. The more you know, the better off you will be, and that cannot be stressed enough, because it could be the difference between a stable and faster pc, and a short-lived smoking furnace. A little research will go a long ways...there's not a single person on TPU that's a successful Overclocker that can argue that fact. I would like to thank TPU for the great opportunity of teaching me the greater fine tuned art of Overclocking many components and being an amazing online community, there isn't a better place on the web!
Remember, it doesn't hurt to ask, but if you're too lazy to research, you will end up having to anyways because we will ask questions that will make you research. It's no different than selecting the type of fuel you need at a gas station, you need to know what kind of fuel your vehicle needs/requires? Check the owner's manual! Usually the Gas Fill Cap and Message near Fuel Gauge also state it, giving you multiple chances given to know what you need to before making the wrong/right decision! Enjoy the rest of the guide as it is full of information for many, whether looking to get better performance, better understanding, or just something to read, we hope you enjoy all that we have compiled for you!