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Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Overclocking…

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Hello. I've been a silent lurker of Overclock.net for a while and I finally have a reason to post (and register).

I recently got a new computer (or not "new" but you know what I mean) and I'm looking into overclocking as I want to get the best performance I can (within reason).

My specs:

Windows Vista Home 32-Bit

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz (In EVEREST it says 2666MHz (8×333)
The Stepping (or revision) is E0. Cache is 12MBs, etc…
I know this can go a lot higher and that's what I'm aiming to do.

Two ATI Radeon 4850s (512MBs of RAM each, I do plan on upgrading to a nice 6850 very soon) (I have Crossfire turned off as Bad Company 2 plays 10 times better with it off.

4GBs DDR2 RAM @ 400MHz (Apparently. The BIOS says 800MHz but CPU-Z says 400. Is the former just the FSB speed and the latter the actual clock speed?) (Plan on upgrading this too sometime in the future)

My PSU…not really sure. I need to open the case and check that out…
Pretty sure (from research) that it's at least 650W.

Motherboard: 0PP150 (apparently)

It's a Dell XPS 630i, by the way.

Anyway, on to the point. I want to overclock the CPU. I read the Newbie's guide on these forums and a few other hints and tips on some other sites, and I've been a sort of hardware person for a long time. Built computers before, know a lot about the parts, etc…but I like to stick more to software things rather than hardware.

So when I go to the BIOS and go to "Overclocking settings" (or something like that) it has everything disabled. I can enable the ability to change the RAM speeds and timing speeds, but the CPU is locked. There's another menu in "Advanced" that's called "CPU Feature" and from there I can change the multiplier (I guess). Not sure what my BIOS is and how updated it is. Should I know?
So basically, I just want to know what method I should use for this. I was hoping to get the Q9550 up to 3.4GHz.

I won't bother trying to overclock the graphics cards. I'm just going to get a 6850 in a few weeks and I'll be happy with that.

If you need any more details, etc, just tell me. I'm not trying to overclock right this second so I don't mind if it takes a few days/weeks to get it working.
Thanks in advance.
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634 Posts
Oh...lucky you. A 630i...ouch. Good luck. Dell and their proprietary parts, crappy bios, and WEIRD modded SLI/Crossfire hybrid nFORCE motherboards.

Go here for some valuable info....


You have to be careful. Especially if you never overclocked.
You'll have to monitor temperature and voltages....careful not to burn your chip....

I assume that you're using the DELL-provided CPU heatsink....try to raise fan speed to 100% on it....make sure your case cooling is up to snuff...you need airflow.

The BIOS on those motherboards is not really tweakable.
My buddy had one and he ended up swapping everything in it...finally he ditched the whole thing..

You have to raise the FSB from 333 up. It might impact your RAM. Because overclocking your FSB will also overclock your ram, unless you "un-tie" your RAM from the FSB (by changing FSB/RAM ratios)..that's if that Dell BIOS let you...

Go for 450MHz (if the board let you). That will give you 3.6Ghz. If you want 3.4GHz only, you need a FSB of 425MHz X 8 = 3.4GHz. You'll have to raise the CPU voltage a bit, I'll let you read forums and find the "SAFE VOLTAGE"
I had a Q9550 and I kept it running at 3.6GHz for almost two years. Actually, my buddy bought my CPU/MOBO/RAM/Cooler combo and still run those clocks.

The Q9550 is a sweet CPU...

Your RAM is DDR2 (so yes the 800 is 400 x 2....playing with numbers here)

138 Posts
From the above site
This thread is specifically for assistance overclocking your Dell 630i, with an oem 650i motherboard. Overclocking is achievable with all processors OTHER THAN the Q9000 series cpu's. Unfortunately, the stock motherboard does not allow the Q9k series cpu's to be overclocked. If you have a Q9k series cpu, you are going to have to upgrade your motherboard, which isn't difficult, and there is another sticky thread already started with tips on how to change it.
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