Overclocking Newbie Needs Some Help

Posted on 2007-10-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-10
Here are my current specs (combo of what I know and info from SiSoft Sandra):

Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Motherboard
Pentium D 3Ghz (Sandra says it's Pentium D/XE 65nm 2.8-3.6ghz 1.25-1.4V)
800 Mhz FSB (4x 200Mhz)
1.4V Core Voltage Rating (from Sandra)
Just added 2Gb of RAM, bringing me to 3Gb of DDR2 PC2-5300
I have 3 HDs - all are 7200rpm, SATA2 drives (ranging from 160 to 250 gigs each), and they are not set up in any sort of combo RAID fashion - just as individual drives.
nVidia 7900 GTX / 512Mb
Running Vista Ultimate
Idle temperature is about 30 degrees C, and I've seen it up to 50 degrees during gaming.

Okay, so I have never overclocked before, because I'm too leery of things overheating and dying. I've looked up a few articles on it, but they're either for different mobo's or they're a little too complicated (going into dividers and CAS latency and so on, which I can understand on a basic level but not well enough to know how they all work together, and whether or not changing the wrong setting will hose my computer.)

So all this in mind, I just ran SiSoft Sandra memory benchmark with my extra RAM in there, and it doesn't seem to be performing very well. Granted, I don't think I have very top-performing RAM (I think the latency is 5-5-5-12), but I would think it would do better than it did. I think the mem bandwidth benchmark came up with something like 4400Mb/s or so (?), while all of the comparisons were at 5500 or more. One of the suggestions that Sandra made was to try to increase the FSB, which I assume involves overclocking using the M.I.B. utility in the BIOS.

My problem is that I don't know jack about voltages and multipliers and those settings. I've found this article, although it's for the "Royal" edition of my motherboard, so I'm not sure how comparable it is. But if anyone can give me tips or know what good-but-safe settings would be for my setup, I'd appreciate it. I'm guessing people will have different tips, so I'll put a bunch of points on this one for distribution purposes.
Question by:gr8gonzo
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Ok, you can do a few things to better your performance on alot of your hardware in your bios.
    If you are that unfamiliar with the divider, then dont worry about it as most boards dont allow you to tweak the actual divisible value.
    I would start out by hard coding your ram settings in your bios.
    a) Speed
    b) Timing
    c) Voltage
    Alot of boards a out these days allow you to set the individual values for CasL  and voltage for you memory right in the bios. There are several places where you can go and review certain information, but I would certainly stop by here and take a look around in there forums.
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    I found a few posts here for your board.....
    LVL 91

    Accepted Solution

    if you want to overclock, do it step by step
    install speedfan to monitor cpu temps
    -cranck up the cpu voltage only 1 step, and test; repaet till it overheats, or locks; then - just to be sure, step down at least 2 steps (take your time for testing if it heats, or locks up)
    Apply the same procedure for the rest

    Expert Comment


    I hope that helps. I started by reading many guides before attempting anything to make sure I didn't screw up my system. I'm now a regular member of that site since it helped so much :D

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