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Q8200 Cooler, and PSU

By thehighroad ยท 28 replies
Nov 22, 2009
  1. Hello!

    Well I've found that my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU, because when I run benchmarks, and oc my video card's core even 75 mhz I see nearly no difference over many games incl. Crysis.

    So to me, its time to overclock!

    I would like to discuss some of my options here. To start my system specs:

    Rosewill 530W PSU (41A 12V-rail, 80PLUS Bronze certified)
    ASUS EAH4870 DK 1GB
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L Motherboard (P45 Chipset!)
    G.Skill DDR1066 Ram 2x1GB
    Intel Core 2 Quad 8200

    The cooler I expect to purchase is the XIGMATEK HDT-SD964 Here

    I have read that a few people managed to get up to a 3.3GHz clock on this CPU, and I would be extremely satisfied if I got a 2.8 to 2.9 GHz clock. (22-26% OC)

    Just so you know: 7x multiplier stock 333mhz FSB.

    Are my system components good enough for this venture? Will I have to raise my CPU voltage significantly?
  2. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 729

    Since the HD 4870 has a reference clock of 750 mhz, you 75 mhz overclock is only changing it by 10%. I would not use that as definitive evidence that your GPU is being bottlenecked by your CPU. Not that overclocking will hurt, but, since 10% adds up to only 3 or 4 FPS in crysis, I would not worry so much about your CPU as your GPU.
  3. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Nonetheless, I am going to overclock my CPU as in 3d mark 06 for instance that same overclock (10%) certainly didn't result in a 10% improvement on the shader 2.0 and 3.0 tests. Infact it ended up being a 0.73% increase, which is why I suspect the CPU bottleneck.

    Further proof of this: I overclocked my cpu to 2415mhz (vs 2333mhz; this is on stock cooling so I'm not going any further yet), and the shader scores were higher at stock gpu speeds with the CPU overclock than they were when the cpu was stock speeds and and the gpu was overclocked. It is also noteworthy that the CPU score was raised proportionally with the 3.5% overclock.

    I hope that wasn't too wordy. Despite 3D Mark 06's CPU bias, I would also feel more comfortable with a faster cpu.

    Back to post 1 we go!!!
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    three things thehighroad,
    first, overclocking is not a linear results scenario. you should not expect a 1:1 ratio results in your performance from it, OC'ing is a diminishing return prospect, always hes been, and is further proof that your CPU is probably not bottlenecking your gpu. secondly, the Q8200 is not typically a great OC'er and more voltage does not necessarily equate to a higher core speed. and if you do get the 3.3 your after, i think you will find the real world FPS equally disproportionate.
    lastly, Rosewill PSU's are the Newegg house brand and as I had a Newegg tech tell me "they are a progress in work" wink, it has the on paper numbers to support the system, but the quality is in the bottom third of PSU's out there.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Nonetheless, you might as well do minor overclocking, you won't even need a cooler, you can likely push a little higher than where you are at the moment, overclocking isn't such a direct science with each CPU being unique.

    Yes your powersupply is questionable.
  6. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    If you are going to stick a new Heatsink on your CPU why not go full copper?

    What stepping is your 8200?
  7. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Red1776: I still believe at this level, the GPU is held back by a bottleneck. It would make sense that the GPU:CPU performance increase should be nearly 1:1 until the bottleneck is relieved. Only after this, the "diminishing returns" should be noted. If this is not true, then please explain the 1:1 ratio I have achieved, with an example.

    I have no intention to raise the voltage. The upper level for this CPU is 1.4v anyways; and it's running at 1.21v as it is. At this voltage many people have reported getting to 2.8-2.9ghz just as I intend to. I would post a link, but I am unsure if I can link to other forums. So if you want go ahead and google "overclocking q8200" and click the first one.

    I never said I was after 3.3ghz lmao.

    I have seen the Rosewill performance varies between models, and as of late Rosewill according to some has improved. They are certainly not the worst by any means. Either way why should I be that concerned if I'm not going to raise any voltages, and the oced cpu might use 10 more watts on a bad day?
    Have a look at it: Here

    hellokitty[hk]: Well right now with my cpu at 2.415ghz it reaches 70 celcius full load. Sure the TJ max is 100 but, I can wait until I get my aftermarket cooler to go any further.

    AtK SpAdE: I would go full copper but apparently I don't need to as I am not going to push the limits as far as they can go. I'll consider that Zalman cnps 9700; but its $75 more...

    CPU-Z reports the stepping is 7, Revision M1.
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    let me try this this way.

    if you overclock your CPU say 30%, you will not get a 30% overall system performance increase in games, or apps.Thats what i meant by diminishing returns .3DMark 06 is not a good indicator of how your machine will perform in actual gaming situations. if you OC your CPU by say 30%, your frame rates in Crysis will not go up 30%

    I commented on the quality of your PSU, thats all. weather overclocking or not (and especially when adding stress, the quality of the PSU is extremely important. I didn't say it was the worst....i said it was in the bottom third of those out there for quality. and if you look at most of the reliable PSU rankings out there, this is the case.

    Thirdly, I think you have the wrong idea about 'bottlenecking' all CPU/GPU will 'bottleneck' at some point and some resolution. you could add a second 4870 to your system (if you had another PCIE slot) and your performance would increase greatly. In other words you CPU is capable of of your graphics card.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Oh I expected the CPU to run a bit cooler than that, but yes you should keep it at or under 70.
  10. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I understand exactly what you are saying. It just seems to coincidental that during the first little bit of overclocking overall performance is increasing proportionally to the overall clock increase of the CPU.

    Perhaps you are right though, upon giving sober second thought to the articles I was going to use to illustrate my point I actually found that they supported your point of view. It couldn't be my FSB, could it?
  11. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Your FSB is what is going to hold you back from any decent OC on this chip.

    A chip that is good for overclocking is normally a lower end chip that has a low FSB with a high multiplier. Because you can not change the multipler, and the low FSB allows some room to move.

    However the Q8xxx chips have a FSB of 1333 but a lower multiple. That high FSB is about as high of a frequency that is attainable with out a big increase in voltage and some serious cooling.
  12. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Well about the FSB deal, my motherboard natively also supports 1600mhz fsb processors.

    As said on the support page:
    Front Side Bus 1. 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
    And in terms of the DDR2 it says:
    Support for DDR2 1366+*
    *refers to: DDR2 1300 (overclock to DDR2 1366)

    Would that not mean that I can set the fsb to 400mhz with my q8200 (333mhz stock) and therefore "easily" attain a clock of 2.8ghz? Also I don't suppose my DDR2 1066 memory would boot at 1280mhz, so instead of the 3.2 memory multiplier, I would use the 2.66 multiplier (back to 533), right?

    Finally, in the memory multiplier choice section they have selections like 2.66D, 2.66B, 3.20A, 3.20D... and so on. What does the end letter mean?

    If anyone else would like to contribute also, feel free to chime in!
  13. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    I apologize for the grammatical error, I was busy talking to someone whilst typing my response.

    Could you increase the FSB to 400? Sure, will it be stable without any Vcore adjustments? Depends on your board.

    An interesting link can be found Here

    Take in mind that he was OCing on a p45 board with a 7M1 rev. of the Q8200 which is better for Ocing.
  14. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Yep, that was the exact forum I was looking at. And if you no doubt recall in my previous post I also have the 7M1 revision, and a P45 board (Although he has the UD3P and I the UD3L). I am looking forward to my results!

    The attachment is a screen shot of my CPU-Z... have a look for yourself!

    Attached Files:

    • cpu.jpg
      File size:
      82.5 KB
  15. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Again I overlooked something! haha I better get new glasses.

    In that case you have a lot of room to go, I look forward to seeing what you can get.
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It is very important to have a reason for every component you buy, and that reason should not be price... though price is obviously very important. If you don;t have a reason, you may not be quite ready. A short wait to do more research won;t hurt anything... along with the fact that there are some new Gigabyte boards coming out soon.
  17. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    What I'd give to be in that position now (somewhat). However, I have already bought all these components raybay, and I am simply looking to take full advantage of them now. (I've had them for about 9 months now). But this was my first real "from-scratch" build, I have some mistakes to learn from, but what I have here is a $720 system that runs Crysis 30-40fps. What more can I ask for?

    An overclocked CPU to play with, haha.

    When I get my results, I will post them. That could be a few weeks away though... I've re-decided on my cooler: COOLER What do you think?
  18. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    I actually have the AMD Version of the Arctic Cooler Freezer 64 Pro, it's a very nice Cooler, kept me at about... 43-45 under Load. Then I got a Liquid Cooling System just to have some Fun. =)
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    If your looking for a good air cooler then check out the Sunbeam CC-CCTF (Core Contact Freezer) same company as Tuniq - I run one on my secondary system-Q9400 at 3.4Ghz (stock 1.2375v )33 degrees celcius at idle average (11 degrees over ambient) and 48-52 celcius (37-41 over ambient) running OCCT/Prime95 small FFT torture test. If you can fit it in your chassis ( its about 160mm tall- same height as a TRUE or IFX-14 with comparable cooling ability) then you'll be good to go. Bear in mind it's a direct touch heatpipe cooler so it's best orientation for a quad core is with the fan facing the GPU and exhausting towards the top of the chassis. Happy oc'ing and DON"T USE GIGABYTE'S EASY TUNE SOFTWARE- oc from BIOS.
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    You need to use the 2.66D or B multiplier if you plan to OC. If you use the 3.2 multi you'll be trying to run your RAM too fast. i.e 3.2 multi x 333 FSB = 1066, so at this multiplier you are running at your RAM's rated speed at stock CPU speed ( 7 x 333 = 2.33GHz). The letter D denotes a 333 FSB processor (1333 quad pumped), B denotes a 400 FSB (1600 quad pumped) - A and C are for 200 and 266 FSB (800, 1066 ). Anyhow...use the 2.66 multi if you don't have a 2.00 multi in your BIOS -if you do then use it . Having the RAM running at 1:1 ratio with your clockspeed (at tighter timings) is preferable to having RAM running faster than your CPU- At stock FSB of 333 your RAM will be running at 333 x 2.66B/D = 886 or 333 x 2.00B/D = 667 -so you have plenty of headroom for raising the CPU host frequency (FSB)- i.e if you are aiming for 2.9GHz then the equation is 414FSB x 7 multi and your RAM speed is 414 x 2.66 = 1101MHz -which SHOULD be attainable at your stock memory timings for 1066 if you have good RAM, or 414 x 2.00 = 828 if you want tighter timings i.e. reduced latency) I presume you will be testing the settings with Memtest 86+ to ensure stability as you go.
    Also note that you should change:
    -"PCI Express Frequency" (should be under the Standard Clock Control tab) from "Auto" to "100" (MHz)
    -"Performance Enhance" (under the DRAM Performance Contol tab) to "Standard" if it's not already set (sometimes it's set to Turbo in the Gigabyte Bios)
    -You may need to add approx 0.1v to the MCH Core voltage for stability even if you are using stock CPU voltage.
    -Disable CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) and CPU EIST function until you have a stable OC.
    -Set your "Driving strength Profiles" (Standard or Advanced Timing Contol tab I think) to 1066.
    Hope this is of some help. I've OC'ed a LOT of Intel quads on Gigabyte mobo's so if you have any specific problems/questions let me know-I'll help where I can.
  21. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Wow, that is some good advice dividebyzero. Thanks! I never would have thought of half of that (C1E, Memtest x86, performance enhance... I have all this stuff but I wouldn't have thought to use it).

    Now there's memory profiles in the BIOS for my ram (Profile1) do I disable that? And as you said I'll change it from Turbo to standard.

    For interests sake about the PCIe frequency-- would setting it to auto run it over the 100mhz spec with the increased FSB, or is it something else?

    And 1.1ghz clocks run just fine on my GSKILL DDR2 1066 (Aqua blue heat-sinks; They're 2 1gb modules, so their timings can be better as well, right?).

    EDIT: the Sunbeam CR-CCTF wouldn't fit my case lol.
  22. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Auto should be 100, and you probably don't want to change it.
  23. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Yeah, I've heard that changing it cause some serious stability problems. I'm just wondering if Auto would ever cause it to operate above 100mhz.
  24. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    well mine runs @ 101mhz and that's the Auto on this board... nothing has happened so far and i run two video cards. my board is a little nuts though so i would still recommend leaving it where it is; there's really NO need to change it.
  25. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Absolutely agree.
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