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[Q8400] My First Overclock... The Proper Way in BIOS: Help Needed

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,
So this is my first ever CPU overclock that I will be doing. I mean, the proper way by setting the temps and speeds in BIOS. I have used GigaByte's EasyTune 6 software in the past and while people have told me it's crap software, it did work on Windows 7 32-bit. I managed to get it from the stock 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz without any problems and my Cool Master Hyper 212+ was able to keep it very safe at low 40s.

Now that I am running Windows 7 64-bit, EasyTune does not work anymore sooo luckily for me I get to actually ditch the program and poke around in the BIOS and like a real overclocker and hopefully not mess things up for good.

Please note that my Q8400 is not the best quad core CPU for being insanely OC'd, however with my Cool Master Hyper 212+ hopefully I can get it back up to 3.2GHz+ range..

As I said, this is my first real overclock so I am very new to this and I'm probably gonna need a helping hand as I get through this process of overclocking from the BIOS for the first time. Hoping to get the quick and dirty method if possible of where to start for my rig by just diving in with the help of the OCN community and learn by doing? I prefer the hands on approach rather than reading for hours upon hours only to do a couple of quick changes which may only require a few of minutes of my time. Hoping that's possible ;D

Thanks everyone!
Edited by revlimiter - 2/20/11 at 12:28am
    
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post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter View Post
I managed to get it from the stock 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz without any problems and my Cool Master Hyper 212+ was able to keep it very safe at low 40s.

Now that I am running Windows 7 64-bit, EasyTune does not work anymore sooo luckily for me I get to actually ditch the program and poke around in the BIOS and like a real overclocker and hopefully not mess things up for good.

Please note that my Q8400 is not the best quad core CPU for being insanely OC'd, however with my Cool Master Hyper 212+ hopefully I can get it back up to 3.2GHz+ range..

As I said, this is my first real overclock so I am very new to this and I'm probably gonna need a helping hand as I get through this process of overclocking from the BIOS for the first time. Hoping to get the quick and dirty method if possible of where to start for my rig by just diving in with the help of the OCN community and learn by doing? I prefer the hands on approach rather than reading for hours upon hours only to do a couple of quick changes which may only require a few of minutes of my time. Hoping that's possible ;D

Thanks everyone!
I dispute that claim myself, but maybe I just got lucky Where are you looking to take the chip? I load about 50 (folding >95% load) but I have the chip and board fully underwater, NB sits at around 30C, MOSFETs are WC'd too, roughly the same temps. The key is going to be keeping the mosfets and NB/SB stable and cool because you're going to be running more voltage.

For starters:
  • What's your VID?
  • What's your current vCore?
  • What options do you have in BIOS?
  • FSB/Multi settings right now?
  • Goal OC?
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

All of my settings are at stock, however my mobo is apparently a pretty good OC board so I should be able to work with it..

Here is a video I found online, this guy managed to get his Q8400 to 3.6GHz but his mobo is the EP45-UD3P and mine is the EP45-UD3L. Hopefully that shouldn't make too much of a difference though. Do you think I should just do exactly what he does and see what happens? Or start a bit smaller and work from there? Maybe a 3.2GHz overclock first and work my way up? I am never too sure what the best method is when it comes overclocking safely. Also, he makes the statement that he is not a professional overclocker, so I'd rather get the help from the pros at OCN before I get started. Maybe you can tell me if there are any downfalls with his method?


Also - it looks like he updates the BIOS at the very beginning. Is it necessary? Thoughts / opinions?

Thanks!
Edited by revlimiter - 2/20/11 at 11:21am
    
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post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter View Post
All of my settings are at stock, however my mobo is apparently a pretty good OC board so I should be able to work with it..

Here is a video I found online, this guy managed to get his Q8400 to 3.6GHz but his mobo is the EP45-UD3P and mine is the EP45-UD3L. Hopefully that shouldn't make too much of a difference though. Do you think I should just do exactly what he does and see what happens? Or start a bit smaller and work from there? Maybe a 3.2GHz overclock first and work my way up? I am never too sure what the best method is when it comes overclocking safely. Also, he makes the statement that he is not a professional overclocker, so I'd rather get the help from the pros at OCN before I get started. Maybe you can tell me if there are any downfalls with his method?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1phOy75L5U

Also - it looks like he updates the BIOS at the very beginning. Is it necessary? Thoughts / opinions?

Thanks!
I wouldn't update your BIOS unless you're having issues with it. Also, I'm no pro, but I'll do my best Definitely suggest ratcheting up and testing properly, I would strongly recommend not just copying settings, that's a good way to blow out your hardware. If you had a stable OC at 3.2 I'd use that as a starting point and work up from there. I'd say you're likely to bog down around 3.6, that's where I really had to start tweaking things.

Have you checked out the VID on your chip? You should get a CPU-Z dump and post it here for some baseline numbers to look at...
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here is a screenshot of CPU-Z, and I am currently installing a program --- would that affect these specs?



Also, what is "VID"?
    
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post #6 of 16
VID will require CoreTemp, my mistake. It's the voltage the processor requires to run at stock clocks. It's a semi-useful way to determine how far a chip may go. It's not an exact science by any means, but it can help.

FWIW, I'm running 475x8, VID is 1.2875 and I'm running vCore of 1.425. That and some messing with FSB voltage has gotten me to 3.8.

CPU-Z won't be affected by programs being installed.
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post #7 of 16
We have very similar motherboards; with the same Northbridge and Southbridge cooling, unlike other UD3 series motherboards; with that said, they both support 1600FSB, so you're safe to go there.

Your CPU has an 8x multiplier. If you Vcore (check the M.I.B. settings on the BIOS to see what it is and write them here) is good enough, you could just set the FSB at 400 at get 3.2Ghz on stock voltage.

Mind you, set the Vcore to normal, instead of Auto, as the board on Auto will overvolt the CPU unnecessarily when it's overclocked.

3.2Ghz is a nice setting because it allows your RAM to remain exactly as it is, at 800Mhz. Set the ratio to 2 (The bios has many options and four letters - A, B, C, and D - you should set the RAM multiplier as if you had a 333 Mhz Bus AND NOT a 400 Mhz bus - simply because your native FSB is actually 333. If you set the letter corresponding to 400 the computer won't boot properly - that is what happened to me)

If you want to go higher, you should slowly add 10 Mhz increments to your FSB and see if the CPU is stable, or needs additional voltage. You will also need to look at the RAM, as it will overclock with the FSB from here on, unless you set a different RAM multiplier (don't forget the letter), in which case you will probably end up with slightly slower running RAM. Or, you can relax the timings on the RAM and let it get overclocked with the FSB. 5-5-5-18 at 900 should still be doable on your RAM.

By the way, you said you have overclocked until now within Windows. Does that mean you never went to the BIOS ?

If that is the case, then you have been wasting your RAM's potential. It was designed to run at tighter timings and at 2.1v. If you just plugged them into the motherboard, they are probably running at the stock 5-5-5-18 at 1.8v

Oh, and better to check your BIOS version with CPU-Z and upgrade to the latest (F9), as it improves memory compatibility. This is especially important when you use memory that is designed to work above the JEDEC standard (The standard to which it must comply to boot the system is 5-5-5-18 at 1.8v - so if you set your memory to work at the settings the maker says it can do, it's best to update the BIOS)
Edited by tpi2007 - 2/20/11 at 12:35pm
 
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here are the pics of CPU-Z and CoreTemp, should show what I'm running for BIOS and RAM timings..




    
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post #9 of 16
You're running the same revision and VID that I am...
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post #10 of 16
- You BIOS is the latest

- You have the RAM voltage on AUTO (if I'm not wrong that is what the VIN1 in HArdware Monitor is saying - 1.9v - that is what ususally gigabyte sets the RAM to work at when it's left on Auto - it's a slight overvolt, but it's safe - although useless at standard JEDEC timings)

- You RAM is not working as the maker intended. 5-5-5-15 (what you have), along with 5-5-5-18 is also standard timings.

This is your RAM: http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-ddr...annel-eol.html

800MHz DDR2
CL4-5-4-15(CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) <--------------- these are the latencies you should be using
Available in 1GB modules and 2GB D/C Kits
Unbuffered
Platinum Mirrored XTC Heatspreader*
Lifetime Warranty
2.1 Volts <---------------- in conjuction with this voltage
240 Pin DIMM



- with that VID (I'm suspecting Gigabyte sets that VID the same for all 45nm CPU's - my Q9550 has that Vcore and so does my Pentium E5300 - it could be a coincidence though), you should get to 3.2Ghz easily, with the Vcore set to "Normal"

Even perhaps to 3.4 Ghz Or even more, but that depends on the quality of the chip itself.
Edited by tpi2007 - 2/20/11 at 1:13pm
 
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