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Safe Overclock for Q9400


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#1
BlackHalo

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Hi,

I'm interested in overclocking my new system, but don't want to go to absurd lengths with it. My basic specs are as follows:

Intel Core2Quad Q9400 (2.66ghz)
4Gb DDR3 1033mhz RAM
250gb HDD
Nvidia Geforce 9800GT (1GB)

What would be a safe overclock on stock cooling for this machine? I'm thinking of going 3ghz max...
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#2
Troy

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3GHz sounds alright, I would be aiming for 2.8GHz stable first.

Before you even start, be sure to stress test the system at stock speeds. No point trying to overclock if the system isn't 100% stable in the first place.

Troy
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#3
BlackHalo

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Cool, I'll do that. Which program is the most efficient to use though? I've downloaded OCCT Perestroika from Benchmark HQ. Haven't run it yet, just want to make sure first.

Edited by BlackHalo, 14 May 2009 - 07:51 AM.

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#4
Troy

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I use Orthos
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#5
BlackHalo

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OK, I ran the stress test with Orthos on all four cores. Had it running for about 2 hours and the max core temperature I got was 62 degrees celsius (on core #0). They all levelled out at about 58 - 60 average though. Machine was stable and working throughout. What's my next step?
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#6
Troy

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Run it for at least 48 hours... Your highest temps are already at the limit of what I would call "safe". I wouldn't go pushing it much further at all until you get those load temperatures down a bit. Are you using the original heatsink/fan?
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#7
stettybet0

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Orthos for 48 hours? That's overkill. An overnight run (8-12 hours) is all you really need. 60C is a decent temperature for a quad running Orthos on stock cooling, I wouldn't be concerned until the temperature gets into the 70s. It is typically possible to get to 3ghz from 2.66ghz with a Core 2 Quad without raising the CPU voltage much, so temperatures shouldn't really increase a lot.
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#8
BlackHalo

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Troy: yup, I'm still using original CPU cooler (that's what i meant with stock cooling...). If a small OC (like I want to do) means I have to buy and install new stuff then I'd rather leave everything at stock speeds...heh, I'm lazy.

stettybet0: 3Ghz would be my absolute max, I'm very happy with 2.9Ghz or even 2.8Ghz...Just something with a bit more *oomph*. Should I run Orthos on stock settings overnight and then see if an OC would be safe?
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#9
Troy

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I guess it comes a bit down to personal preference, 70 would be over my desired limit.

First up you could try lowering the voltage and see if you can keep it stable.
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#10
BlackHalo

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Do you mean I should lower the voltages on stock settings (before OC)? I'm stress testing it as we speak on stock, will leave it to run for a good couple of hours. So far it has peaked at 63 degrees celsius, though I think that extra 1degree came from me running an extra app this time round (CPU-Z) which I hadn't run the first time (when it peaked at 62). Still averaging between 57 and 60 though.
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#11
BlackHalo

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OK, I ran the test for 10 hours. Got 0 errors and 0 warnings. Temp maxed out at 63, remained average at about 57 - 60 all the way.
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#12
BlackHalo

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If its not safe to OC at stock cooling, what would be a good after-market cooler for a reasonable price? I'm looking at the Gigabyte G-Power 2 or the Thermaltake Blue Orb Mini. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

But I only want to invest in a cooler if its entirely necessary with a small OC. If I can do it at stock cooling, all the better.

Edited by BlackHalo, 18 May 2009 - 12:00 PM.

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#13
Troy

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Have you managed to lower the voltage any yet?
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#14
BlackHalo

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O...er...no...I thought you meant I should do that after OC...?
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#15
BlackHalo

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Ok, quick Q. In the BIOS in the performance window I'm given the following options:

CPU Voltage Override [default]
Enhanced Power Slope [disabled]
Front Side Bus Voltage Override [default]
MCH/ICH Voltage override [1.100]
Processor Multiplier override [automatic]
Host clock frequency override [automatic]

Then it gives me details about processor speed, processor voltage, etc. It says my current processor voltage is 1.2125.

Which option do I change for CPU voltage...? And what do i change it to? As soon as i go into the CPU Voltage Override menu, the voltages only start at 1.2875V...

Edited by BlackHalo, 19 May 2009 - 02:57 PM.

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