Advice needed on OC'ing

By Reno82
Nov 28, 2008
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  1. Firstly, I sincerely apologize for asking yet another question that has probably been asked a million times before. How do I overclock?

    I recently became the proud owner of a sturdy E8400 and Asus P5Q Pro P45 motherboard. I also bought GeIL 4GB PC2-6400C4 800Mhz Black Dragon RAM to cover my Crysis RAM needs.

    Now, I tried. I really, really did. I came to the sad conclusion that I'm clearly too thick to do this on my own without help. I've read manuals, tutorials, how-to's, tried watching videos on Youtube etc. Sadly, I just cannot get my head aroud this overclocking business. I'm capable to understand that by raising the FSB, my CPU speeds will increase, got that. The moment I start hearing about Vcores, RAM timings, Vdimm, my brain becomes foggy and the letters on the screen seem to turn into ancient Greek language.

    This is my experience so far. I've managed to get into the BIOS after 20 or so tries. Once confronted with the BIOS, I almost ran away. Page after page of settings, one more foreign than the next. By some miracle, I've managed to luck into finding the FSB value and upped that. It was a magical moment for me when I fired up CPU-Z and realised I've managed to increase my CPU to 3.2Ghz. You would not believe the joy I felt. I walked around with a goofy grin for hours afterwards.

    I'm now told that my CPU can even go higher than the 3.2ghz it's currently at. I'm using aftermarket air cooling, my current CPU temps are around 38 celsius under full load. I can probably find the FSB value again and up that, but I'm concerned about voltage and the PC not starting.

    Now, I'm asking you kindly, to assume you're talking to a 10 year old, and explain to me exactly how RAM comes into play, what RAM timings are and how it will influence me, if I need to up the Vcore and how I do that, what this RAM 1:1 thing is everyone is talking about while I'm silently sitting there, completely lost. All I want to achieve is getting the CPU to around 3.6ghz and leave it at that.

    I've asked the same questions on other forums and after the obligatory sarcastic remarks, I'm usually met with 2-3 short answers that clearly assume the writer is of a technical mind.

    If you don't feel like typing out something that is so obvious to you, to someone like me. Kindly pointing me in the direction of a tutorial you remember seeing on beginners overclocking advice, or even a link to another post you feel is good for beginners, would be greatly appreciated.

    If you got this far in reading this post, I thank you for doing so. If you answer and help me understand this overclocking business better, I'm indebted to you.

    Jay.
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    While RAM is a major part of OCing, messing around with RAM without knowing what you're doing can easily kill it. So let's leave that part out for now.

    As for the RAM:FSB ratio, theoretically, if your RAM's frequency is equal to your CPU's FSB, then you have the ideal conditions where a bottleneck does not exist. However, this is an irrelevant issue due to the CPU's cache being used for most operations. Don't bother with it either IMO.

    Now you're left with the most relevant and important part of OCing: the CPU. As a rule of thumb, increase the FSB in 10-15MHz increments and reboot, then run a test like Prime95's Torture Test for around 20 minutes to see if the system is stable. Then reboot and repeat the cycle again. Be sure to keep a paper and pencil handy to note down each successful FSB value. There'll eventually be a point where the machine will be unstable, or may not even boot. Don't fret if the latter happens though, just power it down, remove the power plug, ground yourself by touching the chassis and then remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard for a minute or two. Then put it back in and the PC should fire up fine. After doing that, just enter the last stable setting you've (hopefully) written down and enjoy your OC!

    To take the above a step further, when your CPU becomes unstable, increase the Vcore (shown as a CPU Voltage setting under the AI Tweaker in the motherboard's BIOS. If you don't find it initially, keep going down until you do. It's just below the AI Transaction Booster option) by the smallest increments possible until you get the CPU stable at whatever frequency you want to run it. But before doing this I highly recommend that you buy a third-party cooler for your motherboard though, since increasing the Vcore will make the chip run hotter and your stock HSF may not cut it.

    Good luck and also check out this article for more information.
  3. Reno82

    Reno82 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Splendid! I actually managed to up the Vcore to 1.3v and the CPU to 3.6Ghz. Now, I've read a bit on RAM timings and want to try 4-4-4-12 with my RAM. Now, do I need to do anything else before I set the timings? I will up my Vdimm to 2.0v.

    How does OC'ing RAM works? Once I've set the timings and Vdimm, what do I do next?

    thanks again for your help Rage!
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    Did you need to increase the Vcore for it to be stable at that frequency? I've seen a lot of E8400s hitting 3.6GHz at stock voltages. You might want to look into that. Also check out this E8400 Overclocking Guide.

    You just increase the RAM frequency in small increments and then test for stability, ideally looking to match your CPU's FSB frequency.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    Did you need to increase the Vcore for it to be stable at that frequency? I've seen a lot of E8400s hitting 3.6GHz at stock voltages. You might want to look into that. Also check out this E8400 Overclocking Guide.

    You just increase the RAM frequency in small increments and then test for stability, ideally looking to match your CPU's FSB frequency.
  6. Reno82

    Reno82 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hmm, no, it seems the Vcore is still set on "Auto", however, I could've sworn I saw higher volts in CPUZ. Anyway, I'm asked in the BIOS to "key in" the value of the volts I want for the CPU. What do I want to key in exactly? 1.3000v ?

    Also, when you said I should increase the RAM frequency, you meant the actual MHZ right?
  7. Reno82

    Reno82 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Oh, and is 2.0v fine as a Vdimm setting?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    Hmm, no, leave it alone IMO.

    Yes, that is exactly what I meant. Follow the same guidelines as I laid out for increasing the CPU's FSB.

    And yes, you can set Vdimm to 2.0V if your RAM is rated for 2.0V or higher. If it isn't, do NOT increase the voltage! You will fry your RAM!
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