October 5, 2006
It's been over a year since I built my last PC, and all those killer Core 2 Duo benchmark and overclocking results were making me anxious. I just pulled the trigger on the following Core 2 Duo upgrade:
I'm not replacing my video card, hard drive, power supply, or case. This is a straight "drop in" replacement for my existing Athlon X2 4800+.
First, a few words on why I chose these specific parts. Computer hardware is one of my few indulgences, but I do a freakishly obsessive amount of research before buying anything. Allow me to share my freakish obsession with you, dear reader. After all, that's what the internet is for.
- Motherboard. The 965 Express was an editors' choice at Tech Report. It's the most modern chipset for the Core 2 Duo, too. ASUS is a well respected brand name, and I really like the fact that it has a silent heatpipe on the northbridge instead of a fan. Modern northbridges run very hot, and cooling them quietly can be a PITA because of their proximity to the CPU and video cards.
- Memory. Fast DDR2 memory ain't cheap. And I won't go below 2 gigabytes, which is what I consider a mainstream memory configuration these days. Have you priced 2 gigabytes of DDR2-1066 lately? Personally, I think buying extremely fast memory is overrated; by the time the system has to reach beyond the L1 and L2 cache into main memory, the performance penalty is already so severe that a few additional nanoseconds isn't going to matter in the big scheme of things. That's why I went with a nice midrange DDR2-667, specifically the AData Vitesta memory which did quite well in a recent AnandTech value memory roundup. Even if you push the front side bus up to 400 MHz-- what I consider an extreme overclock-- that's still only (400 x 2) or DDR2-800 officially. And all the value DDR2-533 memory AnandTech tested ran fine at 800 speeds, as long as you bumped up the voltage a bit.
- CPU. Core 2 Duo is clearly the benchmark champ at the moment. I've been a long time AMD enthusiast, but Intel finally abandoned the problematic Pentium 4 architecture and built a better mousetrap this time. The E6600 is the cheapest Core 2 Duo with 4 megabytes of level 2 cache. I'm a big believer in cache, so I'm not willing to drop down to the E6300 or E6400 which only have 2 megabytes of L2. This might be a little irrational if you actually compare the performance of both cache sizes on an apples-to-apples clock rate basis, but so be it. I loves me some L2 cache.
- Heatsink. If you want a quiet PC, buy the best CPU heatsink you can afford. That said, the Scythe Infinity is definitely overkill for a Core 2 Duo system, even an overclocked and overvolted one. But it's such beautiful, magnificent, glorious overkill. It barely fit in my case. That just made me love it all the more. This monster barely gets warm under dual Prime95 load. Running it completely passive is a no-brainer, but make sure you have proper case airflow.
My general strategery with computer upgrades is to buy upper midrange and overclock myself into high-end territory for extra value. The Core 2 Duo CPU makes this easy, because they're all incredible overclockers. I overclocked my $319 2.4 GHz E6600 chip beyond $999 Core 2 "extreme" X6800 territory with a few quick modifications in the BIOS:
As a responsible overclocker, I also ensure the system is actually stable at these settings through hours and hours of Prime 95 torture testing. I still have those two instances of Prime95 running in the background as I'm writing this post.
So how did I turn my 90-pound weakling of a $320 CPU into a fire-breathing $999 monster CPU? It's quite easy. Read on.
- Install the latest BIOS on the motherboard. This is standard operating practice whenever I build a new system. On the P5B, the flash utility is built into the BIOS and it even supports USB flash drives! Finally! I downloaded the latest P5B Deluxe BIOS from ASUS' web site, copied it on a flash drive, plugged it in. I then booted, pressed ALT+F2 during startup to access the flash utility, and it autodetected the new BIOS file. All I had to do was hit enter to start the BIOS update, and I was done.
- Slowly increase the FSB speed in the BIOS. I have an E6600, which is a 2.4 GHz chip with a 9x multiplier. That means the FSB speed is 2400 / 9 or 266 MHz. As I increase the FSB speed, the CPU speed also increases. I first tried 333 MHz, which results in 333 * 9 or 3.0 GHz. As you can see in the screenshot, I've currently gone a bit further for 3.15 GHz. Remember, make small changes and test as you go. Don't immediately go for the highest possible overclock. Be conservative initially; you can adjust upward more later after you develop confidence.
- Increase voltage to the CPU, and memory in the BIOS. To goose that extra bit of performance out of your system, increase voltages in the BIOS across the board. Don't worry, I'm not talking about massive increases here-- just slight boosts. I'm using 1.425 volts for the CPU (up from 1.35v), and 2.1 volts (up from 1.8v) for the memory. If what you want to do doesn't work with these modest voltage boosts, it probably won't work at all.
- Boot and see what happens.
- My computer won't boot. Don't worry. No harm, no foul. Unplug your system, find the clear CMOS jumper on your motherboard, and use it to clear the CMOS. You can also pop out the CMOS battery if you're impatient. Make sure you do this with the system unplugged, and give the system a full minute to clear the CMOS.
- I can't boot into my operating system. Your overclocking settings are too aggressive. We already increased voltage, so you need to back down your overclocking settings in the BIOS.
- It works! Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Don't get cocky. See next step.
- Burn your new settings in with Prime95. Assuming you booted and logged into your operating system without crashing, hanging, or bluescreening*, your next job is to run torture tests to see if things are really working. Prime95 is your new best friend. You'll run one instance for every core in your CPU-- create a copy of the Prime95 folder for each core, and run the executables from those folders. Use Options, Torture Test, "In place large FFTs" to start. If you can run Prime95 this way for an hour, it's very likely your system is stable. If you can run Prime95 this way overnight, your system is guaranteed stable.
Now that I've gotten my Core 2 Duo system stable at 3+ GHz, I can bask in the glory of a system that's 50% faster than my old Athlon X2 4800+ -- at least according to SYSmark 2004. Not bad for under 800 bucks.
* Sounds traumatic, but if you want to make an omelette, you have to break some eggs. Don't be afraid to break stuff.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Ben Hollis: You might try CPU Burn?
Jeff: I'm a big fan of Zalman's heat pipes, as well. They're a bit more beautiful. I used the same rationale as you did for spending the extra money for the E6600; the extra cache made the deal so much sweeter. You can overclock all you want, but cache misses are still going to destroy your performance. I went with a gig of OCZ 800, because it was on sale :) From scratch, the system I bought came out to be $1200, without a monitor. Not bad for a system which overpowers my previous computer (a P4 2200 laptop) by an order of magnitude!
What video card and power supply are you running Jeff? Your purchase is what I was looking at with the exception of the memory and heatsink/fan. I typically stick with Corsair and was going to buy the DDR 2 800 XMS 2GB set. Also, I'm not familiar with the heatsink/fan combo and would have went with a nice Zalman (which have never let me down). I'm a huge Asus fan and believe that is a great board. The processor is the best bang for your buck. Nice choices.
Excellent post - since my workplace won't purchace a proper development box for me, this looks like just the frugal upgrade needed to run Lotus Notes!
Hm, I wonder about these heatsinks, one kilo hanging by the socket?
Out of curiousity, did you notice the "wrong chipset" comment about your motherboard on newegg?
G965 / P965 -- G965 has integrated graphics but is otherwise identical per this article:
I'm not sure why that person would expect integrated video.. maybe he thinks the serial port is supposed to be a VGA connector?
Will an upgrade as described in this post make a substantial difference?
A Core 2 Duo at ~3.0 GHz would be close to 100% faster than a P4 3.0 GHz. Plus the whole dual core thing (I assume your P4 is single core). I'd call that substantial!
Does that mobo have an AGP slot?
Nope, all modern mobos are PCI express only. But there are lots of good inexpensive PCIex video cards. I can recommend the nVidia GeForce 7600gt as a good mid-range performer:
What video card and power supply are you running Jeff?
Antec Neo 480w PSU and ATI 1900XTX video card. I recommend Seasonic S12 power supplies because they're nearly 85% efficient, which means less heat and less waste.
Anything in the 330w-380w range is fine.
It's a common misperception that you "need" 400w or more power for a computer. Unless you're running dual high-end video cards and an overclocked CPU with multiple hard drives, it's unlikely you could even crack 300 watts.
If you're supposed to be running Notes, that's a good thing. Notes has no place on a real box.
Out of curiousity, did you notice the "wrong chipset" comment about your motherboard on newegg?
Do you know what the linux equivalent to Prime95 is? It might be nice to be able to take a clean system and stress-test it with a Live CD instead of installing Windows first - I still worry about what all the hard crashes you'll incur while testing overclock settings will do to Windows.
I'm generally suffering from slow performance in Visual Studio 2005 on a P4 3.0, 2GB RAM. Will an upgrade as described in this post make a substantial difference?
Nice setup. I curious what you did with your old parts? EBay?
The Athlon X2 4800+ that you're replacing is better than my Athlon X2 3800+. :)
G965 / P965 -- G965 has integrated graphics but is otherwise identical
My reading of the comment was that this person did NOT expect integrated graphics (expected P965) and was very upset (judging by his low rating) when the Intel chipset ID software told him that his P5B had the G965.
His mobo works just fine, but he sees a number he didn't expect and he's irked. Geeks. Go figure.
Some possibilities (aka wild, unfounded speculations) which occurred to me. (1) The Intel chipset ID s/w he used has a bug? (2) User error of some kind? (3) Intel could be using G965s with the video disabled to meet demand for P965s?
Oh well. Thanks for the gracious response to my probably not all that pertinent question.
I'm going to disagree with this overclocking love-in and say that any overclocking is idiotic. Intel et al design their components to work at certain speeds. They test the components coming off the assembly line to confirm that the required levels are reached, and to mark up the parts appropriately according to the speeds achieved by each part, or the amount of cache that actually tests OK on the processor (for example). I expect that all Core 2 Duos in the E6x00 range (and possibly the Extreme Edition X6800 too) are coming off exactly the same production line, made with exactly the same masks; E6300 and E6400 parts are those where some of the cache doesn't work and the cache has to be restricted to 2MB, or where the cores can't hit the clock speed to be labelled an E6600. E6600s couldn't hit the 2.66GHz to be labelled an E6700, and E6700s can't hit 2.93GHz to be labelled X6800.
Now, the actual results of production may not match the demand curve, so there may be some parts that are marked down from their actual test results. But you'll never know which those are. There's a certain amount of safety margin too, but again, you don't know how close to the safety margin your particular processor and other components can handle.
What makes a part top out at different speeds, despite being manufactured with the same masks, is that there will always be slight alignment problems in applying the different masks, and slightly different amounts of chemical etching, which will make some features slightly larger or smaller than actually designed. This affects the resistances and capacitances in the circuits, which affect the time taken to charge (or discharge) to a particular voltage, if a change in voltage is applied. This RC circuit is often not desired in digital electronics, but comes from the inherent resistances and capacitances; it cannot be eliminated. A change in these values - an increase in the resistance and/or capacitance - increases the charging or discharging time, which affects the propogation delay through the circuit, leading to the possibility that the wrong value is sampled on the clock edge. This leads to all sorts of erroneous results, including some instructions failing that should never be able to fail.
People get around this by increasing the supply voltage. With more supply voltage, the RC circuit reaches the reference sample voltage more quickly. In the other direction, though, I think it'll take longer to drop below the reference voltage required to switch a transistor off. There is also more current flowing in the circuit and therefore more power being consumed and dissipated (as heat). More cooling can help, but there's still a greater possibility of getting hot spots which burn out a particular section of the chip (generally not the silicon, simply melting through the metal interconnect between features).
did you just burn up your computer?
Yep, unfortunately. Northbridge temperatures of 120c (as measured by a temperature gun) is something I've never seen before. I suspect a defective motherboard, as things were working just fine until that point. Even under load I never saw the NB go over 70c.
Anyway I returned the mobo and ordered a replacement.
Intel et al design their components to work at certain speeds
Well, if you don't like overclocking, don't do it. It's the same reason people trick out and hot rod cars. It's not for everyone, but to argue that it violates some fundamental law of physics is silly.
" I can bask in the glory of a system that's 50% faster than my old Athlon X2 4800+"
But how much faster is it than it would be if you didn't go through the hassle of overclocking it? In other words, what did you REALLY gain by going to the trouble of overclocking? Or did you forget to test the base configuration... ;)
Jeff, what you're doing kind of parallels turbocharging a car's motor. Performance gain, heat increase, possible reliablility issues, etc.
Of course, much like what you are doing, turbocharging can be acheived with great success but there are certainly risks, even when the install is done by an experienced mechanic.
I think I pretty much agree with everything Mike Dimmick said in his post. So naturally the next turn my mind took was to wonder about what was not said. Perhaps what was omitted was a few words about tolerances.
This would be a good thing to leave out because it's the tolerances we know the least about. And ultimately the component tolerances are what make overclocking possible.
While it's true that Intel tests every CPU, do we know how they are tested? Within what range of environmental conditions does Intel try to guarantee a given CPU will work? And if you severely limit the range of one condition, does that affect (increase) the safe operating range of other variables? If you stick a heat sink the size of Cleveland on the processor chip, does that increase the range of clock rates where it can run without error?
I think the answer to that one is a solid "probably". If the failure rate were as high as I think Matt's post tries to imply it will be, OCing wouldn't be as popular as it is.
OCing is just about statistics. About betting that component tolerances ... tolerances which we don't actually know ... will allow the system to work rather than fail at extremes ... as it appears to have done this time for Jeff.
A fun statistic that I never expect to actually see would be the percentage of OC-ers who are primarily software folk vs hardware. My gut feeling is that OCing is more appealing to software types. Why? Because programmer's are usually optimists ... like Finagle and Murphy. ;-)
Hardware folk not so much. Which (ironically?) is probably a key reason why system components have those "big" tolerances which make OCing possible in the first place.
Actually, from a friend who works at Intel, has this to say:
A single production line may churn out identical except for their speed. The chips differ in speed due to the complexity of the manufacturing process. As exact a science as producing chips is, it isn't exact enough to remove all the variability in the process. Manufacturer will at times intentionally underrate chips in order to meet market demand and create differentiation between high-end and low-end product.
Therefore, if we all remember the overclocking of Celeron 333's in the past, there were only a few chips (typically marked with SL2W8/ SL2YK, brings back quake, and voodoo cards!!) that could be overclocked reliably. The trick is just finding the chip ID that was planned for 3.4 and is now 2.4 due to marketing needs, or just overclock a 2.4 to a 2.8, and be happy with the increase in speed.
In case anyone is interested, I did blow up my original P5B motherboard (as noted by Frederik above, see that thread for more details). The replacement is working fine. I think my problem was increasing the 965 northbridge voltage to 1.55; it overclocks perfectly well at the default voltage, anyway. So increased NB voltage isn't necessary.
Thus, I removed the recommendation to turn up northbridge voltages since I now think that is a dangerous recommendation. The NB gets up to 80c under full load, with no voltage boost at all. When mine stopped working, I recorded northbridge temps at the cap of 120c (!!). Regardless of what's going on with the computer, it's always the hottest thing on the motherboard according to my temperature gun..
I did remove the "cap" -- really more of a metallic sticker-- that ASUS puts on the northbridge heatsink. This uncovers the heatsink fins and seems to help a bit with temperatures.
People that don't like overclocking should go back to playing in their sandboxes and stay out of these overclocking posts! My E6600 is overclocked to 3.33 and runs at 50c. It's steady as a rock, fast, and makes my homebuilt PC a pleasure to use, just as my homebuilt 130mph boat is a pleasure to drive. Some people just don't understand what go fast is all about.
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Thanks for an excellent how-to guide, better since you have chosen almost the same components that I decided upon. Now that I read this I want to pick up a Scythe Infinity to replace my sad stock heatsink/fan.
Just asking what programs could possibly need a 3.00 up dual core processor to run ,.......... are you like trying to run 100 different programs at once?
I just upgraded my system.
MOBO = ASRock 775Dual-VSTA ATX Intel Motherboard.
CPU = Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
RAM = 2 Ghz (sdramm ddr2 667)
After running CPU-Z I noticed the following
Only displaying 1 core insted of 2.
Only displaying 1 thread instead of 2
Please help. I'm getting the run around from the manufactures.
Hey Jeff, I would liketo recomend you to use Orthos instead of Prime95, this is because orthos is already a dual core cpu stresser. I would also recomend to use some artic silver thermal paste and a thermaltake or zalman cpu fan even if you do not have high temps on your cpu and motherboard. This will help your computer to prevent furher damage because of the heat. Thanks for your report and please tell us your new results with these new features.
I would really really like to know how to overclock my Intal Core 2 Duo E6300 from 1.86Ghz to about 2.13GHz.
Can any1 plz tel me~?~?~?~~?
I would like to know which version of Vista you are running is it 32 bit or 64 bit? I haven't been able to get CPUZ to show me all the information in the 64 bit version of windows, it's possible I may need to run it in compatibility mode I suppose due to the fact that you don't actually install it. I am at work now, I suppose I will try that when I get home.
I just built myself a new home server/desktop machine, which is very quiet and fast.
Antec P150 case (comes with NeoHE PS, and 120mm rear exhaust fan)
Intel DG965WH mobo (onboard video, lan, audio, firewire, 6 hotplug-capable SATA)
Core 2 Duo E6600
Zalman 7000B Al-Cu (with ZM-CS1 mounting bracket)
Zalman 92mm intake fan to cool hard drives.
1GB Kingston DDR2-800 DIMM
WD 500GB RE2 hard drive (WD5000YS) - very quiet, esp. when suspension-mounted in the P150. supports NCQ.
AMD64 Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Etch).
Linux driver support for the G965 graphics are still a little rough. starting a second X server (e.g. with gnome's switch user) corrupts the vid mode.
Support for the onboard IDE isn't in any official stable kernel yet; I'm going to try Alan Cox's patch for the Marvell IDE. I installed from CD using a USB-IDE adapter. (Vantec's USB to IDE/2.5" IDE/SATA works well, and the power brick with a 4 pin molex output is handy for testing fans, and other messing around kind of things even when you're not using the adapter!)
The onboard gigE doesn't support jumbo frames; only the "server" e1000 boards do jumbo frames :(.
Intel's mobo fan headers do PWM fan speed control in response to its temp sensors, so the front fan runs quiet at ~1600RPM. At 12V it runs fast and loud, 2800RPM. (I'm not using the inline resistor it came with). If I boot the board with a fan connected to the mobo's rear fan header, and the disconnect it, it will spin up the front fan to compensate. (still PWM with a period of ~1 sec, so it's a series of whooshes...) The BIOS has an option to "detect fans" at next boot, or at every boot.
The Zalman 7000 heatsink is just the right size for this board in this case. There's maybe 1cm of clearance between the heatsink and the power supply. The 7700 heatsink would probably be too big, hanging further over the edge of the mobo, so I'm glad I got the 7000 + the mounting bracket. It has a 3 pin fan connector, so the mobo can't control the fan speed, but the variable resistor it comes with works well. I leave it on near-minimum, and CPU temps stay under 50C, I think. (I can't monitor from within Linux, only from the BIOS. lm-sensors doesn't support the ich8 yet, and I haven't found anything to read the CPU's die temp sensor.)
The Zalman "flower" heatsink design has the advantage of moving air around over the voltage regulators and northbridge heatsink, which is why I went for it instead of a tower-style cooler like the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.
The Intel board has absolutely no overclocking options. I can set the RAM timings manually, but the voltage is fixed at 1.8V. Make sure you get RAM that runs at its rated timings (as programmed in the SPD eprom) at 1.8V. Kingston ValueRAM is on Intel's list of tested and recommended memory, so that's what I got. I am sick of problems when using multiple sticks of RAM... (DDR2 is expensive right now; It was cheaper half a year ago, and I saw some industry analysts saying it should be cheaper in the future, too, so I'm going to add more RAM later.)
I actually work at Intel in the chip production area. (Etch). I recently built (one of my first builds) a Core 2 Duo system. I plan to overclock it (just because.. ) However, I am unable to get the CPU temp at idle under the high 40's to low 50's. I haven't even tried loading it up.
My build: Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA case
XFX PVT71PUDP3 GeForce 7900GS 256MB vid card
Raidmax RX630-A Volcano power supply
G Skill DDR2-800 memory
Asus P5B-E mobo
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 HD
SAMSUNG 18X DVDR DVD Burner
Silent 775 Thermaltake CPU cooler.w/artic silver5
I am trying a similar motherboard Core 2 Duo upgrade but having problems. Can someone tell me whether the Core 2 Duo requires 64-bit drivers for Windows XP?
You only need 64-bit drivers if you are using an x64 OS..
Hi there nice article one thing i am curious about i have an e6600 with 3 gb of ddr 533 pny and an asus p5n deluxe and i am having major problems getting the clock speeds over 2.7??? did you up the memory voltage as i have left mine as is so far?
Slowly increase the FSB speed in the BIOS. I have an E6600, which is a 2.4 GHz chip with a 9x multiplier. That means the FSB speed is 2400 / 9 or 266 MHz. As I increase the FSB speed, the CPU speed also increases. I first tried 333 MHz, which results in 333 * 9 or 3.0 GHz. As you can see in the screenshot, I've currently gone a bit further for 3.15 GHz. Remember, make small changes and test as you go. Don't immediately go for the highest possible overclock. Be conservative initially; you can adjust upward more later after you develop confidence.
I CANT DO IT , MY CPU FREQ STAYS AT 266, AND WHEN I PRESS IT NOTHING HAPPENS NO OPTIOBS TO INCREASE IT, I GOT SAME SISTEM US U BTW :/
Can anyone please post their CPU temperture after over clocking a Core2Duo E6600. I have mine over clocked to 3.0 ghz using the fan that came with the boxed processor and the temp is 59 degress when I run Prime96 torture test. Is this too hot? Do I need a netter fan. What temp should I expect? What the lowest temp I can hope for?
Fantastic Article. Putting together various prices for my C2D setup. Based in the UK and the components are a tad more expensive than you guys are paying which really gets on my goat. I'd love to get accecss to the 4MB of L2 cache in the 6600 but my pennies only stretch as far as the 6300 just now :-(
I have a total overclocking rookie question. I've never overclocked anything before. I can't seem to get my set up to run my core 2 duo at 3.0 GHz. I'm not really certain if I'm setting the correct stuff though...
I have a p5b deluxe motherboard with a c2d e6600. corsair xms2 2 gig memory. All of my parts are listed on this newegg list - https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.asp?ID=5107867
What am I possibly doing wrong? I have my bios settings set to the following:
CPU Frequency: Default 266 (Do I change this to 333 for 3.0GHz?)
DDR2 SDRAM Clock: 800MHz
Memory: Manually set to 4-4-4-12 Timings
DDR2 SDRAM Voltage: Manually set 2.1v
CPU VCore Voltage: Auto (Is this the CPU Voltage that I change?)
FSB Termination V: Auto (What's this?)
MCH Chipset V: Auto (What's this?)
ICH Chipset V: Auto (What's this?)
Again, sorry for the rookie questions. When I change the above to 333 and CPU Vcore to 1.45 my system says overclocking error. What am I missing?
"I CANT DO IT , MY CPU FREQ STAYS AT 266, AND WHEN I PRESS IT NOTHING HAPPENS NO OPTIOBS TO INCREASE IT, I GOT SAME SISTEM US U BTW"
On the Asus boards under BIOS you have to use the keypad to type in the CPU frequency, then press Enter to confirm the new frequency. This is something I realised just recently!
Seems very similar to the system I just put together from parts from Newegg:
C2D 2.4ghz OC ~3.0ghz
Nvidia 8800GTX 768mb
2x1gig G.Skill PC6400 RAM
Thermaltake Toughpower 700watt PSU
ASUS P5N-E 650i SLI mobo
Apevia X-Dreamer II case (black)
22" Westinghouse LCD Widescreen
Groar I am teh overclocking monster!!!11!1
E6600 @ 3.6GHZ using Tuniq Tower 120 AS5 (Tuniq Tower 120 best heatsink in the universe omgwtfbbq)
To the n00b who said overclocking is foolish: Why is it that my C2D E6600 is running stable @ 3.6GHZ? This is a 50% (1.2ghz)overclock -- it will undoubtedly run faster than these $900 processors will at stock speed, and it only cost me about $315. Hell, it might run even faster, but I will admit it is getting exponentially harder to overclock -- I keep having to bump Northbridge voltage up to get it stable.
I am running a C2D 6600 on a P5B Deluxe v1.03g with a Zalman 9500, AS 5 and 4 gig of DDR800C5 Corsair XMS memory. I have an easy OC to 3.3ghz on 1.375vcore; the P5B Deluxe undervolts therefore the CPU voltage is actually running 1.32. I run 44c idle and 55c full load with Orthos. I can boot into Win at 3.4ghz but, I cannot get it stable yet beyond 45 minutes on Orthos. I have FSB Term, NB and SB on auto and I can probably get it stable at 3.4+ on air if I set these voltages but, no guts no glory. It's blazing fast and stable at 3.3ghz so I am very happy. I can run at 4-4-4-12 or CL4 on CL5 mem.....not bad. Hope this info helps.
Heatsink question: I have a P5N32-E SLI motherboard with an Intel X6800 chip stock heatsink. I really need to know if you think it's safe to put a Zalman CNPS9700NT. It's a 110 mm fan. It's also about 700 grams.
This fan is completely compatible for the chipset and processor. My question is strictly with the motherboard. Is it safe (weight), etc. Don't worry about the $ issue either, it was free.
Hi, I have a laptop with these specs:
Processor Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor T5500 (1.66 GHz)
Graphics Card 256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400
Memory 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM (2x512MB)
I've already overclocked the gpu from 450/700 to 600/850. How can I clock my cpu without hurting it, and since I cannot open my laptop to clear the cmos, what safe software should i use?
Thanks in advance
Luke mate, i wouldn't overclock a laptop, as teh heat would be too much for the laptop to handle, i would try a cooling matt that you can buy to get better air into it, to make things faster either upgrade your RAM and defreg your drive reguarly.
Finally went for it and upgraded by 2004 system, went with the
MSI P6N Plat with E6600 and the scythe cooling tower.
Into hour two of my prime95 tests, had it overclocked to 3.6 Ghz stable system but was getting screen flashes when switching some programs switched down to 3.4 GHz and no problem; guess I will stick with that instead of getting a newer graphics card.
hi, im new to overclocking and im slightly confused. in the bios on my mobo ( asus P5N-E sli) my fsb shows up as 1066 instead of in the region of 333-. i have a e6300. now i have upped the voltage from 1.29 stock to 1.32 on the vcore and changed the fsb to 1088 from 1066. in my bios it says the multiplier is 7 which would make my actual fsb 266 MHz as clock speed is 1.86 as stock on the 6300. any idea why my mobo is showing these numbers and if theres any way i can change it? thanks
Slowly increase the FSB speed in the BIOS. I have an E6600, which is a 2.4 GHz chip with a 9x multiplier. That means the FSB speed is 2400 / 9 or 266 MHz. As I increase the FSB speed, the CPU speed also increases. I first tried 333 MHz, which results in 333 * 9 or 3.0 GHz. As you can see in the screenshot, I've currently gone a bit further for 3.15 GHz. Remember, make small changes and test as you go. Don't immediately go for the highest possible overclock. Be conservative initially; you can adjust upward more later after you
So I tried starting off at 300 instead of 333, it changed it on the bios screen, but under windows (vista 64) using cpu-z the core speed remains at 2400 (bus speed at 266 multiplier 9). Any idea why; does the increment from 266 need to be by a certain factor?
Increase voltage to the CPU, and memory in the BIOS. To goose that extra bit of performance out of your system, increase voltages in the BIOS across the board. Don't worry, I'm not talking about massive increases here-- just slight boosts. I'm using 1.425 volts for the CPU (up from 1.35v), and 2.1 volts (up from 1.8v) for the memory. If what you want to do doesn't work with these modest voltage boosts, it probably won't work at all.
... is this required ...
Sorry if these questions r silly, I'm a newbie.
I overclocked mine e6600 to 2.6Ghz just using msi overclock utility, and it states in it that it's runing at 2.6Ghz, 295 is bus speed with multiplier of 9, but when i look in cpuz it shows that i'm runing 295 bus speed with multiplier of 6 o.0 . how is that possible and how do i fix that? the computer still runs games like test drive unlimited at everyhting maxed out 50-70 fps with 50% load on cpu
MSI P6N SLI-FI NVIDIA nForce 650i
G.SKILL 1GB DDR2 800
So I tried starting off at 300 instead of 333, it changed it on the bios screen, but under windows (vista 64) using cpu-z the core speed remains at 2400 (bus speed at 266 multiplier 9). Any idea why; does the increment from 266 need to be by a certain factor?
Oddly, when I tried 280 it worked, however when I move up to 300 the system reverts to 266?
Any idea why this may be?
Reading through these posts I have come to a conclusion:
Overclocking is not everybody, somebody mentioned these guys that pimp their cars. Now to me that is dumb why change the engineering
of the car!!??? I'm sure they look at my pc and say what the hell??
Why do you overclock? It's all relative, either do it or don't and
if you do do it properly!
Im also new to overclocking but I overclock in small amounts all the
I have very similar hardware to most folks out there:
E6600 overclocked to 3.0GHZ
ASUS P5B MB
3x300Gig SATA HDD
2x DDR 2 800 MHZ 1gig modules
This pc creams my AMD 4000+! However some people don't need monster
machines, so one should not say AMD sucks now, to some guy just
typing up invoices and occasionally using his pc a 4000+ AMD
would be MORE THAN SUFFICIENT! I have 1400 egine in my car, I can't
overclock it but it doesnt mean it sucks!!!
Enjoy Core 2 Duo... until AMD come back.... the battle will never end!
Intel tests and rates their chips for a certain speed, but that speed is geared towards the lowest common denomination of case and cooling (for example, a case with only one or two fans and the stock heatsink for the CPU). Intel rightfully doesn't want to foot the warranty bill for someone overclocking their chips with a poorly ventilated case and a standard heatsink, so they test with that scenario and worse in mind. Overclockers spend a lot of money on their cases and cooling in the quest to achieve better performance and reliability. For example, my FutureMark06 scores went from 5016 to 7023 after I overclocked my video card and CPU (I am also running Vista which is slower than XP). My system is completely stable. My sons mail order computer from a major manufacturer running at stock settings is not completely stable.
I have an Intel Core 2 E6600 2.4GHz overclocked to 3.5Ghz (and I had it overclocked to 3.8GHz with the VCore set to 1.44 (1.39 now). I use liquid cooling to keep the temps down. CPU idles at 39C, playing BF2142 it goes up to 48C. I have seen the temp hit 52C when my room is warm. This is still lower than it idled at with the stock CPU fan provided with the chip originally. Overclocking is a no brainer if you have the time, knowledge, and a few extra bucks. True, you can fry a component, but that risk is an inherent part of overclocking. If you are unwilling to assume the risk, then don't do it. Nobody is making you. Just don't claim you cant significantly improve the performance of a chip with overclocking. That isnt true.
Still can't figure this out. Even if I set the voltage as outlined above
"Increase voltage to the CPU, and memory in the BIOS. To goose that extra bit of performance out of your system, increase voltages in the BIOS across the board. Don't worry, I'm not talking about massive increases here-- just slight boosts. I'm using 1.425 volts for the CPU (up from 1.35v), and 2.1 volts (up from 1.8v) for the memory. If what you want to do doesn't work with these modest voltage boosts, it probably won't work at all."
I can't get this puppy to take anything over 280.
Any help or insights would be appreciated.
"I can't get this puppy to take anything over 280."
While there are too many variables to really help you out, I'd start with memory, particularly if you are letting the mb set the timings for you. I've seen motherboards guess wrong with the auto settings more times than I care to remember. If you do have the memory timings set to auto, then manually set them to whatever the manufacturer recommends. If you don't know the recommendations, download CPU-Z (if you are overclocking this is a must have program anyway). It should show you the recommended memory timings under the SPD tab. If your motherboard allows you set timings other than those listed, just leave those particular timings on auto. Also, remember if your fsb speed is at 400Mhz, your memory is running at 800 (ddr2). Again, you probably want to set this manually to the manufacture spec (or below if u r having problems). The run memtest86 overnight. If you dont have errors, you are good to go.
To the person who is getting a 6x multiplier instead of 9x: Just go to control panel and set the power options to performance. The CPU will not drop down into power saving mode (6x) after that. It is however a good thing for the CPU to go to 6x when it is not being taxed so I wouldnt leave it that way
Overclocking is half science, half art, so perservance is most of the battle.
cpu core duo e6400
memory ddr2 2048 mb freq 427 5-5-5-12
cpu cooler gigabybte Galaxy II liquid cooling
Case Gigabyte 3D aurora 570
power supply 650 watt
I started off with the machine the same way i O/Ced my 965 ds3
With these settings Cpu max to 3 disable
Cpu enhance halt disable
cpu thermal monitor disable
cpu eist disable
then cntr f1
i started @ cpu host freq 320 for first test to see if it would boot
c.i.a 2 diasble system mem multiplier 2.00
high speed option 1
after being able to get this beast to 376 = 3.08GHZ
i decided to try taking it a bit further as u do when everything boots fine n will run performace benchmarking
atm my host freq is 427 giving a overclock off 3.4 GHZ
Rated Front side bus = 1708 mhz
Do u think this is the most i could get out off this system
with the setup i have
Btw system is running home premium
cpu temp is 28 deg at idle 35 at full load....
any comments pls
ONE BIG Question? ok enough over-clocking talk...how bout using two core 2 x6800's? are there mobos that will take two x6800's? any benifit...and prices KEEP DROPPING!!! a $999 x6800 last Oct is down $300! so should i wait a year put back the $4400 for my dream system at cost now and end up spending...$3200 for the same or better and smaller tech??????? White Death~ Money drives these companies let bill gates have a couple of years (like 4) and buy that, then instead of EVERY DAY!UPGRADES! its a waste and we pay for it ;(
I have just built my pc and this was my first and it seems everything perfectly went well. I tried to OC my E6600 from 2.4 to 3.4 and it was stable.(35cc @ idle and 45cc @ full load). MB is about 45cc.The only problem i had was the onboard LAN isnt working after OC'ing over 3.0, so i pull it back to stock speed which is 2.4 and will just probably OC it sometimes when im not satisfy with the stock speed. Means right now i am satisfy with stock. I OC mine just for curiosity. CPU stock spd temp is 30cc @ idle and 37cc @ full load. MB is 35cc.
Here are the spec. of my rig
Intel Core Duo E6600
Asus P5L motherboard
2 GB OCZ 667 memory (2 x 1 GB) w/ HS
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro HSF
Rosewill 550 PSU
ATI Radeon X1950XT (not OC and will OC sometimes also when not
I use my old pc case, i painted it with black SP and modified it
with side panel window.
PC case has 2 92 mm fan (front and back)
Nice looking piece of rig :)
Just looking into building a nas box out of a core 2 duo 4300 which I already have thought it would be nice to keep it cool, quiet and not too power hungry so does anyone know if there is any point underclocking this as it will remain idle most of the time or does power usage only really go up when its not idle. Thanks for any advice.
probably not related to an e6600 but i overclocked my e6300(1.86ghz) to 2.62ghz with 375 mhz FSB, motherboard is an ASUS Striker and ram is OCZ pc6400 2gb. This was done at a cpu voltage of 1.213v.
woot i just got my core 2 duo e6420 (2.13ghz) to 3.4GHz, 8hrs prime stable so far :P
running it on an asus p5k at 425 fsb with 2gb ddr2-667
3. Increase voltage to the CPU, and memory in the BIOS.
To goose that extra bit of performance out of your system, increase
voltages in the BIOS across the board. Don't worry, I'm not talking
about massive increases here-- just slight boosts. I'm using 1.425
volts for the CPU (up from 1.35v), and 2.1 volts (up from 1.8v) for
the memory. If what you want to do doesn't work with these modest
voltage boosts, it probably won't work at all.
You just don't know what are you doing. This IS a massive increase.
You only need to increase voltage if your system runs unstable. In fact you may want to decrese voltage if your system runs stable on the desired freq.
If you're looking for cooling and plenty of case space I can't say anything bad about my new ThermalTake Kandalf LCS. It came with the full Kandalf Liquid Cooling System and it keeps me at a toasty 36C. I put an old setup into this case just to see how much I could really get out of it. I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ running an extremely stable 2.7 GHz sitting nicely in an ASUS A8N-SLI Premium board. Everything is liquid cooled to include the 8600 GT that is on board. I can't complain AT ALL about this setup. I don't even have a complaint about how HUGE the case is. It easily sucks up all 4 hard drives I have in it, as well as the DVD burner and the Blu-Ray burner. You can't ask for a nicer case setup.
Does that mobo have an AGP slot?
I recently built a C2D machine to replace my X2 3800.
1GB Corsair XMS DDR2 (667)
Freezer 7 Pro cooler
Even at stock speeds the machine felt much better than my x2 3800+. My next step is to get 2GB of ram to replace this 1GB. Even with 1GB less memory, my virtual machines run better than the on the AMD setup.
I am doing ALOT of re-encoding video to H.264 for my HTPC (I've ripped all 350 of my movies on to 2TB of storage and it's nearly full). So far it's averageing 2-2.5 hours per movie running x264 using HQ-Slow aiming for 90% quality. First pass is 60-70 frames per second, second pass is 25-30.
This was well worth the cost to upgrade, after selling my old setup I paid around $250 to upgrade.
Bring on the Quad-Cores!
This is incredible! I have learn a lot from your comments guys. Thanks. I also got the same suggestions from this site, http://web-tech-rus.org. I have read pretty good instructions as well. I am actually planning to upgrade my graphics card for a more powerful gaming experience. click here to learn more...
What's the use of overclocking the CPU alone? Use MSI Afterburner to easily too.