Cooling, mild overclocking

December 31, 2009 at 20:19:58
Specs: Windows 7 Home Prem 64bit, P4 660 3.6/3Gig RAM
Gigabyte G41m-ES2H, E2160 Pentium Dual, XFX GeForce 9600 GT 512MB GDDR3, WD 500 Black SATA, Crucial Ballistix 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800, Apevia Java 500-Watt PS, *stock cooler from core 2 quad*, 2 - 120mm fans (front in, back out), CoolMaster Case.
Background: When I first built at stock speed, the core temps were pretty stable around 34c, when I brought the speed up to around 2.1Gighz with speed step, it would run up to the high 40's under load but would quickly drop when I let the speed step kick back the multiplier from 9 to 6 while idling. OK so far. The more I read, the more seemed to recommend turning off the speed step and locking the video port at 100 (I think it was 96 or 98 on auto when I went to lock it in) I did both of these and the cores are typically 46-49 idle and 52-ish at typical load and the video reads 49c to 50c or so always.
Question 1: Should I leave the PciE at 100 or back it down a little?
Question 2: Should I try resetting the Video card's heat sink with a better compound (possibly voiding the warrentee?
Question 3: What do you think about the Zerotherm Butterfly BTF90 for cooling? Also looking at Ultra X-Wind and Thermaltake Silent 775D.
Please note that I am not going to push the speed much higher (maybe 2.2 to 2.4), I just want a quick stable system that runs close to normal temperatures for durability.
Question 4: Should I leave speed step off or turn it on again if the system is set to sleep after 20min. idling. (( I had it at 2.4 for a while, but it would not go into sleep even manually and I did not want to up the voltage even a little with the current cooler))
Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#1
December 31, 2009 at 21:13:06
When overclocking an Intel system, you should do your best to keep the CPU:DRAM ratio at 1:1 & at the same time, take full advantage of you RAM's potential. If your board is capable of 1600MHz FSB (400MHz frequency), clock your CPU at 2.4GHz (6 x 400MHz) with your RAM running at 400MHz (800MHz DDR) to match.

If your board is only capable of 1333MHz FSB, set the CPU to run at 2.33GHz (7 x 333MHz) & configure the RAM to run at 333MHz (667MHz DDR) to match.

Answers to 1 - 4:

1. leave it at 100MHz

2. no. Your temp is fine. Safe max for most GPU's is generally 125C (or thereabouts). Don't look for problems that aren't there.

3. your CPU temp, even when overclocked, is fine. An aftermarket cooler is unnecessary.

4. Speedstep use is up to you. General recommendation when overclocking is disabled. Standby & hibernate are generally not recommended for desktop systems. If you want to be green, configure the power options to shut off the monitor & hard disks after a short period of inactivity (e.g., 15 min). And shutdown your PC entirely when it won't be used for extended periods of time (e.g., overnight).


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#2
December 31, 2009 at 22:09:28
I tried 400 with mult at 6 but would not boot, I did not want to try more voltage without better cooling. how high (temp) is safe for hours straight? should I build up to 400 in steps and see where I need more voltage? and how small of a step in voltage should I use?
ADDED:
MB spec's:1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
I guess 7x333
(change the ?? to 333)


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#3
January 1, 2010 at 08:57:39
I gave you two options. Since one didn't work, try the other. But you have to make 100% sure your RAM is running at the correct speed. Do NOT use AUTO. You either have to set it to 533MHz, in which case the speed will increase when the CPU FSB is increased, or you have to look for a CPU:DRAM ratio setting & set it to 1:1.

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#4
January 1, 2010 at 09:25:46
I should have been clearer, I tried 400x6 without changing memory, I assumed it stayed at 400. Since my board does not support 1600, that is probably why. I will next try:
"If your board is only capable of 1333MHz FSB, set the CPU to run at 2.33GHz (7 x 333MHz) & configure the RAM to run at 333MHz (667MHz DDR) to match."
as you recommend. But this last comment:
"But you have to make 100% sure your RAM is running at the correct speed. Do NOT use AUTO. You either have to set it to 533MHz, in which case the speed will increase when the CPU FSB is increased, or you have to look for a CPU:DRAM ratio setting & set it to 1:1."
is clear except the "533" part, that would be 1066 DDR2, then what would be the cpu? this third option? (533x6=3.198) not 'minor overclock' anymore... or was this a typo? (my RAM is "800DDR" though)

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#5
January 1, 2010 at 17:51:40
I was referring to the RAM, not the CPU. I haven't looked at your motherboard manual so I don't know what memory options you have. I was incorrect in what I told you about the RAM though, so let me try to explain. The 1st thing you need to understand is how to determine the ratio:

- your CPU's default FSB speed is 800MHz (QDR), which is 200MHz frequency.

- your DDR2-800 RAM's default speed is 800MHz (DDR), which is 400MHz frequency.

- that means that the CPU:DRAM ratio (which is based on frequency) is 200MHz:400MHz, or 1:2.

A ratio of 1:2 is fine IF you can pull it off. But as you increase the CPU freq, the RAM freq will increase along with it. If you start with the RAM running at 400MHz freq & then begin increasing the CPU freq, it won't take long before the RAM maxes out & prevents any additional overclocking.

If you can start with 1:1 ratio (CPU at 200MHz, RAM at 200MHz), you'll have a ton of overclocking headroom because the RAM won't max out until 400MHz+.


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#6
January 1, 2010 at 21:41:13
That makes some things clearer, the rest will probably become much clearer when I next make adjustments (probably in a few days) Thank you very much for all of your help.

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