Heres my results. My system specs are:
Asus A8N32-SLI mobo
Opteron 170 cpu @ 2.5GHz 1.425vCore
Zalman CNPS9500 HSF
2GB Corsair XMS PC3500 @ 250MHz 2.5-3-2-7 2.7vDIMM
Dual eVGA 7800GT video cards
Ultra X-2 Connect 550w PSU
I really haven't overclocked anything in the past except my video cards so a couple of weeks ago I was totally new to overclocking. I have built quite a few systems in the past and worked as a PC tech for awhile but overclocking was and is still a new frontier for me.
I understand how the process of overclocking works now, but I will admit that I didn't try setting after setting to find the best overclock. Someone on another forum responded to a post of mine awhile ago and said that they have the same mobo/cpu/memory setup as me and told me their results. At first I went about overclocking my system in the normal way but I soon realized that it was going to take a LONG time to do it that way. Finally I just decided to jack my system up to what he is running. I guess that proably wasn't the smartest thing to do, and I could probably get more out of this system than I have, but Im satisfied with a 25% OC. I mean, Im not gonna sweat 200 or 300MHz more. FEAR, Doom 3, and Quake 4 run maxed out and thats all that really matters to me anyway. Of course, I probably could run all my games at max even if I didn't overclock a thing but I didn't drop all this cash to run at stock speeds. I'm by no means an expert when it comes to OC'ing but I would guess that if I jack things up any higher than I would have to sacrifice my RAM timings. Plus I didn't jack the vCore up any so I didn't think that I would really damage anything by just plugging the other guys settings in.
As far as the vCore voltage thats what the mobo was running by default. I just lowered the HTT multi down to 4x, cranked the HTT up to 250MHz, put the vDIMM to 2.7 like the other guy did, (I don't know what the vDIMM was before I set it to 2.7 but the BIOS said to not go beyond 2.9 so I assumed it was safe), and put my timings the same as the other guy at 2.5-3-2-7.
I haven't ran Prime95 or Memtest at all but I've played a few hours of FEAR and Quake 4 and had no problems whatsoever. I guess it's all good. I might run Prime95 or Memtest later but as long as my games run smoothly then I'm not really gonna worry about it too much.
I have a Lian-Li PC-65 case with 4 80mm fans in it and I think that is keeping my temps a little high. When I take the side of the case off the temps drop a good 4 or 5 degrees. I'm idling at about 41 or 42 but when running FEAR it only goes up to about 45. Im using Arctic Silver 5 and at the suggestion of a person who responded to another one of my posts, I took the heatsink off, tweaked the retaining bracket a little so I would get better pressure, cleaned the AS off and reapplied. No difference. It was worth a try though. I read a few reviews before getting this heatsink that said some of them were concave. I checked mine and its not concave. Im still saying its the case driving the temps up a little. The same dude that told me to tweak the bracket claims that he has a CNPS9500 and was idling at 25 and 40 under load with an Opteron 170. Im no expert but I find 25 a little hard to believe but thats what he said.
In my case, even though it has 4 80mm fans, the front two are blocked by the drive cage and the top fan is blocked by the PSU wires. The rear fan is pretty much all that is wide open. For this reason I regret getting this case but is a badass case and I love it. Its beautiful. I will never buy anything but Lian-Li cases in the future.
Anyway, like I said before I could probably get more from this system but I ain't gonna lose sleep over it. a 25% OC is good enough for me especially since I can keep my RAM at 1:1 and have such low timings.
A few people have trashed my PSU choice and say that its no good. All the reviews I read before getting it said it was a good PSU. Plus its chrome and modular. Not to mention the UV reactive flex-force cables. I know that it all boils down to the performance of the PSU and asthetics aren't what matters but I've had no problems in the several days I've been using it. Asus Probe reports steady voltages.
I guess thats about it. Thanks for reading.