TechSpot

Motherboard for Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Overclocking

By dare2dream
Jan 19, 2010
  1. Having just replaced my heatsync with the Artic Freezer Pro 7, I have become intrigued by the idea of overclocking my PC as the cheapest way to improve my system's performance. Not having any money this would seem to be like a good way to increase my system's life-span and I thought that I would ask for help. I understand that I will have to replace my motherboard for something more OCing friendly, and will probably have to replace my memory too (although the ideal would be to be able to buy another 2Gb to take the memory to 4Gb, but this might be impractical). Having installed the new fan (which is brilliantly quiet) I have downloaded SpeedFan 4 (which offers FSB speed changes) but other motherboards have have their own OCing management interface for total novices like me. Having done some basic research, it would seem that achieving 3Hgz is well within the bounds of possibility (stability is more important than pushing the envelope) but it will very much depend on the cost of getting there. Any advice that you guys can offer on a choice of motherboard and the settings that I would need to look at using would be hugely appreciated.
     
  2. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Posts: 86

    i would suggest against overclocking if you want to increase lifespan because oc'ing runs the pc at more than its made for making it work harder and it will make your hardware and stuff start breaking sooner rather than later. also changing a mobo is a huge pain so i would just oc the ram and change your fsb in bios but do it in small increments to avoid death. don't fry anything now!
    good luck hope it works out for you.
     
  3. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,908   +716

    And folks is why Intel makes sh!tloads of cash from being able to sell the next speed step in the CPU chain for 50% more than the one you own.
    Overclocking a CPU 1. Lifespan depends on the individual CPU, amount of Vcore going into it and the cooling solution. 2. So long as you keep the CPU with design VID tolerances it does not invalidate the warranty, 3. CPU dependant, many Intel CPU's can be successfully overclocked 10-25% without altering the CPU's Vcore.
    You may also note that Core i3, i5 and i7 CPU's have Intel sanctioned overclocking modes via the H55/H57/Q57/P55 and X58 chipsets.

    Incorrect -unless you start with crap components. GIGO - Garbage in , Garbage out. The biggest enemies of overclocking are ignorance and laziness- Ignorance of the BIOS settings and their interrelationships, and laziness through leaving settings on "Auto"

    FAIL........Are you sure you're in the right forum ?

    Attempting to overclock on a non-overclocking friendly board will more likely result in frustration than death. Both options are one step from purgatory

    Wise words.


    After that deconstructing.....

    @dare2dream...

    The Arctic Freezer Pro 7 is a moderately effective cooler-certainly better than the stock cooler- but not for big FSB numbers.
    Your E6300 (1.86GHz, 1066 bus speed (4x the core frequency), 266 Core freq., 7 multiplier) would overclock some without altering the stock voltage but the biggest drawback to getting a big overclock is the low multi -in your case 7.
    As an example - if you are shooting for 3GHz then the equation is:
    3000MHz / 7 = 429 Core frequency x 4 = 1716 FSB . This represents a 61% overclock. This would require both an exceptional CPU as every individual CPU has it's own characteristics and there's no guarantee your chip would make the grade, excellent cooling -most likely water or TEC and a good board. The Gigabyte board Dustin has recommended is excellent for overclocking, as are all their DS/UD/DQ 3, 4, 5 and 6 range boards.
    You also need to bear in mind that overclocking the CPU automatically overclocks the MCH (Northbridge) so good heatsinks and very good airflow over the NB and mosfet area is a must.
    RAM is immaterial to a degree as you can use a 1:1 CPU core freq/DDR rate divider in the BIOS. At 1716 FSB for instance the RAM only needs to run at DDR2-858.

    Lastly, and probably most importantly....
    DO NOT OVERCLOCK USING OS BASED SOFTWARE.
    Overclocking is best done through manipulating BIOS settings. Resorting to software is a very good way of ensuring all your free time is taken up with problem solving BSOD's, data corruption, hanging system and cooling problems.

    Read up on what the BIOS actually does and how the voltages relate to the running of the system board. The basics are fairly simple, and as Aximilator noted, you should approach this incrementally.
     
  5. dare2dream

    dare2dream TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow! Thanks to you both (I fully accept that there will be many opinions on all aspects of overclocking). I gather that it is possible with the existing motherboard to push the processor spead up slightly to get close to 2Ghz, but I'm now beginning to think that my simplest route to improving performance would be to simply replace my 2Gb of RAM with 4Gb of RAM and, if at all possible, upgrade from my 233 DDR2 to 533 DDR2. If I was able to tweek the BIOS settings to further enhance performance (and completely understand that it will be better to make BIOS level changes rather than use an OS based AP to manage the process) so much the better. Any suggestions as to BIOS reading matter? Thanks again, P
     
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,908   +716

    Unfortunately there's not a lot of choice in the 4Gb sector for DDR2-533- most of it is server memory -which is no use to you.
    The Asus QVL of course lists no 4Gb kits even though the specification allows for 4Gb. Not an unusual occurance with this vendor. This kit, if you can find it is probably the only one that is compatible.
    Kingston 2x2Gb DDR2-533 CL4 model # ValueRAM KVR533D2E4K2/4G
    Any other modules you are likely to find will be generic...and like most plain pack commodities can leave a lot to be desired.

    This guide by PCStats is a good primer for getting the basics down. I would suggest you have your motherboard manual handy as reference. They use screenshots of "Phoenix-Award" BIOS which differs from your BIOS (which for all Asus boards is American Megatrends, or AMIBIOS ) in only layout and some naming conventions.
    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1804

    This guide is very well laid out and covers pretty much all aspects
    http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263753

    And a selection of others
    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardware/110267-c2d-overclocking-guide-beginners-p5k-add.html (This guide has your includes screenshots of the same AMIBIOS as your motherboard. The guide is for the P35 chipset but is applicable to you in general terms)
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=162&Itemid=1
    (Phoenix-Award BIOS screenshots)
    and of course Techspot's guide/review of E6300/6700 OC'ing showing the results of overclocking.
    http://www.techspot.com/article/13-intel-core2duo-e6300-e6700-overclocking/
     
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I personally run an E6420, overclocked to 3.2Ghz. I KNOW I can push it a heck lot more, but I'm trying to run my setup as quiet and reliable as possible, especially through summer (where ambient temps hit >40C sometimes) without changing OC settings at all.

    I was looking for a reliable E6300 chip to overclock at the time, but unfortunately things were not to be, and the next thing I know I was waiting for the cache upgrade in the E6x20 chips.

    Long story short, I know about OCing E6XXX chips firsthand. Check out my simple OC FAQ for some OC questions (not much on the actual overclocking, but gives you an insight about what exactly you're doing).

    Of course, we're both using different boards, and before you ask, my board is the Gigabyte P965 DS3P, which at the time was considered one of the best OCing boards out there below $150.

    Bad news, taking a quick look at your board, it seems like your FSB has been limited to 300mhz by the board's BIOS. That brings your maximum overclock to 2.1Ghz, which will show some improvement in CPU heavy activities. Good news is this level of overclock should be completely stable without spending any money on cooling. Your board also does not support Vcore changes, which I suppose is good news.

    To eke more power from your comp, you might be interested in actually overclocking the RAM. Sure, its touted that 1:1 is the best RAM ratio to have, but that advice was generally given to people who was going for much higher overclocks, and therefore their max RAM ratio was something like 7:6 or something. a 3:2 ratio might work (RAM speed at 900mhz), just do some benchmarks at 1:1 and at 3:2, and see if there's actually any benefit.


    Also, if you read my OC FAQ, I'm sure I mentioned in there somewhere that overclocking graphics cards would benefit you more in games, but is much trickier, and you won't be looking at huge numbers: you'd prolly be lucky to get a 15% overclock on graphic cards (I managed a measly 3% on mine, but its a crappy card to OC). My point in bringing this up is that if you're gaming on your comp, spending money on your graphics card would give you a much bigger boost in performance (in games) than upgrading RAM from 2GB to 4GB or upgrading your heatsink.
     
  8. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Posts: 86

    well alls i know is that when i did mine at 15%it died in 2 months, and also i tryed changing mobo and it was a huge pain for me, and my friends went through the same on a completely different pc.
    Okay then if it is so easy then how do you overclock a locked bios, cus mine is and cant change anything that i need to for oc'ing. and every prog i get fails at doing so.
     
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,908   +716

    Unfortunately, locked is locked forever. This is usually from a prebuilt system using a proprietry (their own model) system board based on a stock Intel design. The BIOS is also usually a very basic affair with just enough settings to alter boot order, maybe monitor some temps if you're lucky, select maybe two RAM profiles max., and the rest is just setup of standard parameters.
    This is because the vendor has built in no future expandibility into the system board to keep costs down, keep things simple and to encourage buying a new system rather than an upgrade path at a later date.
    The BIOS is locked so that you can't force the issue. Manufacturers like Dell also have had proprietry heatsinks that deter using better CPU's and cannot be changed for a better cooling solution. This standardization also allows the vendor to offer a reasonable long warranty period knowing that the equipment fit they have shipped the system with is not likely to be compromised.

    @CMH
    Opinion seconded
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I wouldn't be so harsh on that. Some m/b makers do come out with BIOS updates which will allow some locked features to be unlocked.

    Not very common, and definitely not from proprietery manufacturers for reasons mentioned by dividebyzero.




    As far as a system dying after 2 months from overclocking: if you don't touch the voltages, any overclocking you do is completely reversible. Any loss of component life is not going to be felt at all, given that lifespans of computer chips far outlast the usefulness (I've got a 133mhz desktop STILL useable.... thats easily 15 years).

    Other components would be more prone to failure are those that aren't chip based: HDD, motherboard capacitors, fans, etc. Computer breakdown from old age are usually due to the breakdown of these "easily" replaceable components (given the right expertise) assuming they don't take other parts with them on the way out. This is (my theory) why 8088s (I think; basically very very old chips) are still being used in space satellites, among other reasons.
     
  11. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Posts: 86

    okay so could you help me with my new pc and oc'ing it?
     
     
  12. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    I am running an Intel MB (No OC), Core 2 Duo E7400, 4GB RAM, with XP Pro here at work and I am very satisfied with it's performance. It is not a gaming machine. The MB, CPU and RAM cost a total of about $220 USD. It is running at 2.8Ghz. I see you are in the UK, and I dont know your sources there but if all you want is a performance gain, you can achieve that for a small expense. I beliive the E7500 is the replacement for the E7400. It is now $110 with free shipping from newegg (Not to the UK I am sure)

    Intel DG41RQ MB $63.00
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 $110
    Crucial 4GB DDR2 800 Dual Channel $84.00

    RAM has gone up a bit since I bought it.

    Total $257
     
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,908   +716

    If you can post your system specs and system manufacturer and model number.
    If the BIOS allows for changing core frequency (this number multiplied by 4 gives you the FSB) and has adequate RAM dividers (CPU:RAM ratio's) then this can be attempted.
    You can usually raise core frequency without increasing CPU voltage (Vcore)- how much is usually luck of the draw in how good the CPU is.
    Bear in mind that overclocking the CPU automatically overclocks the northbridge (MCH) so having good airflow over it is essential. Overclock the CPU will also require that the RAM be overclocked too. RAM cannot run slower than the CPU core frequency. This isn't usually a big deal as most RAM will overclock to some degree-the big thing to look out for is RAM that is already running at 2.0+ volts at stock speed as overclocking may require you to add voltage for stability.
     
  14. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Posts: 86

    OS Name = Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Version = 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
    OS Manufacturer = Microsoft Corporation
    System Manufacturer = Compaq Presario 061
    System Model = DF214A-ABA S4100NX NA210
    System Type = X86-based PC
    Processor = x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9 GenuineIntel ~2491 Mhz
    BIOS Version/Date = 3.24, 10/14/2003
    SMBIOS Version = 2.31
    Boot Device = \Device\Harddisk0\DP(1)0x7e00-0x12a39a2200+1
    Locale = United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer = Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
    Time Zone = Eastern Standard Time
    Total Physical Memory = 1,024.00 MB
    Total Virtual Memory = 2.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory = 1.96 GB
    Page File Space = 2.39 GB

    If there is any information i missed or you need provided i will be glad to provide further information.
     
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,908   +716

    This is your system?

    I can't find any documentation regarding the system and BIOS setup.
    Does the BIOS allow changes to CPU core frequency ?
    Can you for instance add 5MHz to the frequency and then be able to save the change and the new core frequency/FSB be recognized in CPU-Z ?
     
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