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Overclocking in 10 steps

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by greenbrucelee, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Since some people have expressed an interest in what it is and how it works I though I would write a little piece on it.

    This is mainly geard toward Intel 45nm and 65nm (duos and quads) CPUs if anyone wants to know about overclocking an i7 or i5 PM me or send me an email and will point you in the right direction. AMDs aren't that good at overclocking apart fromn the newer Phenoms.

    NOTE: overclocking can damage your components and will lower the life expectancy of the components being overclocked it also voids the warranty.

    NOTE: some pre built computers such as Dells and compaqs have a locked BIOS so overclocking is out of the question

    NOTE: Overclocking creates more heat so a good power supply and cooling are mandatory. Good power supplies are: Seasonic, Corsair (seasonic make corsair) and PC Power and Cooling. Bad power supplies are: Huntkey, Winpower and Rosewill.

    NOTE. Never overclock with a piece of software this can go very very wrong just like flashing the BIOS through Windows.

    The idea of overclocking is to make the cpu run faster than what it is set to run at. You will find that a lot of CPUs these days are designed with overclocking in mind so overclocking isn't as frowned upon as it used to be.

    The first think to do when you are going to overclock a cpu is to check your voltages and temperatures before doing anything. The best way to check your temps and voltages is through the BIOS you will usually find these in a section called Hardware or Hardware monitor.

    Your voltages should be no more or less than 5% of what they should be so you 12v rail should be no more or less than 5% over or under 12v if it is your PSU is on it's way out or close to it.

    You can also use temp monitoring programs for 45nm Intel cpus you should use real temp and have the thermal junction or TJ max setting to 95 for all other CPUs you should use core temp.

    You should also download a stress testing program such as Prime95, Orthos or for a quick check OCCT these programs push the cpu with various calculations keeping it at a high load and you should run the stress test once you have overclocked for atleast 7 hours whilst monitoring the temps.

    To overclock the cpu can take a long time and isn't a quick process.

    1st: Go into the BIOS, you want to increase the from side bus by 10MHz and then save and reboot and if the computer boots into Windows then go back and increase it again by another 10MHz.

    2nd Once you have increase the FSB by 40MHz do a quick stress test whilst monitoring the temps, if your overclocking a core 2 duo or core 2 quad then you do not want the temperature to above 60 degrees C although your actuall cut off point is 72.2 degrees c. If your overclocking an i7 or i5 you do not want your temperatures to go above 82. This applies to all cores and all CPUs.

    3rd. If your temps are ok then you can increase the FSB again and again until you either can't get into windows or you get a BSOD. Don't worry if you get either you haven't broken anything. You will need to get back into the BIOS and up your voltage to the cpu or what is known as VCORE. Never go for some mad high setting just try the next available voltage.

    4th remember that more voltage will create more heat so again do a quick stress test whilst monitoring the temps.

    5th When you up the FSB you will notice that your ram frequency will change, depending on what FSB you have the ram frequency might go up or it might go down. So for example my ram frequency is 1066MHz but because I have an overclock of 443 x 9 = 3.91GHz my ram frequency is 866 making a 1:1 ratio. It is generally a better Idea to have 2 dimms in your system running in dual channel mode rather than having 4 dimms in your system because this can cause voltage issues even in non overclocked systems. So it is a good idea to manually set the RAM speed to double the FSB speed.

    6th The FSB inrease can also affect the graphics card PCIe slot speed so make sure this is set to 100

    7th Enter your ram timings manually even though your bios will detect the ram timings with the setting called auto these can fluctuate so you want them to be constant. You also want to set the voltage of the ram to what the manufacturer states.

    8th In the BIOS disable Intel Speed step and C1E this is what throttles the cpu down to a slow speed when it isn't doing anything intesive. You can enable them later on if you so wish.

    9th you don't have to change the voltage of the northbridge or soutrhbridge but it is generally thought of as a good idea to put them on the lowest voltage as this can fluctuate too

    10th you want to boot into windows, if succesful run stress test for 7 hours whilst monitoring the temps if temps get too high then scale back the overclock

    An example of my settings

    FSB 333 x 9
    Vcore Auto (1.16)
    Ram 1066
    5-5-5-15 (auto)
    voltage (auto)
    Max temp 42 c
    All settings auto


    FSB 433 x 9
    Vcore 1.18
    Ram 866, 5-5-5-15
    Voltage 2v
    Northbridge lowest setting
    South bridge voltage lowest setting
    PCIe setting 100
    Max temp 48 degrees

    I hope this gives people an idea of what overclock is and how it's done.

    If anyone has any questions just ask.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  2. DC Pr0Mo

    DC Pr0Mo Kilobyte Poster

    Thanks a bunch GBL :D
    Certifications: MCDST | BSc Network Computing
    WIP: 70-291 | 70-293 | 70-294 | 70-297

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