Originally Posted by Hobybobag
Teach me your ways master
I don't have great cooling, my cpu idles at 35C, and hits upper 50s under load, and I dont like it getting anywhere near the 70s, I want to use this cpu until Bulldozer is in its second or third revision...
There really is no secret to this stuff bro... You just have to have the time/patience to test and then test some more. I've had this chip for almost eight months and I have been at this since the day I got it; always tweaking and trying new settings.... Having said that; there is a method that I always follow and it has served me well.
1. Find FSB Max -> This is just finding what FSB/htref the chip/board will run at while the rest of the settings remain as close to stock as possible. So I raise FSB and lower multipliers for CPU, HT Link, RAM, CPU NB so that those stay near stock speeds, save and boot.
If it boots into OS I reboot and go back into BIOS to raise it some more. I do this until the chip/board will not boot.
2. Once I found FSB Max I start playing with multipliers to get to the clock speeds I want. I don't touch voltages yet. This is how I found that my chip will do 3800 MHz at stock voltages (1.3V), but it will need 1.35V to go to 3850 MHz.
The secret here is finding the balance between FSB, multiplier, voltage that will get you the clocks you want.
I often see people come to the forums and ask "How much voltage do I need to give my chip to get to 4GHz?" when the correct question they should be asking is "What's the least amount of voltage I need in order to get to 4GHz and be stable?"... To be honest with you; to me the word "Stability" is a dirty word anyway... I overclock for benchmarking, so for me if it runs the benchmark and allows me to capture a screenshot before crashing; I'm OK with it.
I'm not interested in finding out if my chip will do 4 hours of Prime95 Blend at any of my settings; I run this 955 at 3850 MHz 1.35V for daily use and that is more than enough for me, it idles at 35C and full load doesn't bring it past 50C ever; that is with a Venomous X Black and a 260CFM fan that runs at 10% speed most of the time and will go up to 20% if I load the CPU to 100%.
Sorry for the looooong reply, but there really is no secret to overclocking; just go at it and tweak, tweak, tweak until you get what you want.