Originally Posted by nachoz
Hmm well I'm currently running it at stock 3.4ghz, I haven't tried overclocking it yet as I haven't needed to. If I did, how high do you think I could get it with just the OEM CPU fan and another fan in my case? Should I invest in a better CPU fan, or water cooling? Water cooling makes me nervous because of possible leakage.
Some good questions there.
Cooling is very important before you start to overclock. I am not a know it all in watercooling/aircooling advantages and disadvantages and nor do I care about 1 or 2 degrees less heat for 200% the price.
What I have been running is the Corsair H50 with 2 Nexus edge 120mm fans on there. The corsair is a leakfree, very easy to use watercooling solution that is a closed loop. Meaning it does not need any user intervention to fill up or maintain, it works straight out of the box.
I am currently running a 7 computer renderfarm and I have used these units with great succes. They are relatively small compard to their tower heatsink counterparts and do not stress the motherboard with the weight of a tower. They are also relatively small. The newer corsair H60 is even smaller yet a tiny bit pricier.
My current machines run a 1.3325 vcore at 3.8 or 4.0 Ghz. Under full load they are 76 degrees which is a safe margin. If a CPU becomes hotter than 80 degrees something is either wrong with your cooling solution, case heat buildup or your vcore is too high (1.4vcore is usually considered too high, 1.35 is the max to keep temperatures within reasonable levels.)
When you overclock a CPU the heat it emits increases almost exponentially by every couple of Mhz. This means that a 4.0 Ghz CPU runs a lot hotter than a 3.5 one. With this comes the problem of your case heating up. Also your motherboard and ram tend to run a lot hotter.
What many people forget is that not only your CPU temp needs to be low but your case temps as well. I suggest looking into outfitting your case with some quiet 120mm fans that can cool your case down adequately.
A couple of 120mm fans and a good CPU cooler and you are ready to go