View Full Version : How to overclock...

Paul G
05-03-2007, 01:15 PM
Ok, so here's the scoop. For over 12 months I've been building a large jet cockpit in my basement. This involved learning lots about working with wood etc, to build the physical structure. I averted buying a near top of the line PC until just recently and settled for the following:

Intel Dual Core 6600 processor / 4mb Cache
4Gb DDR2 800 RAM
320Gb SATA2 Hard Drive
EVGA 680 Conroe Motherboard (A1)
EVGA 8800 GTS 320Mb Video Card (Single)
Windows Vista Business (32 bit)
700W PSU
My other equipment is:

FSX Deluxe
Go Flight Professional Autopilot, radios, multi-function displays, multi button/rotary unit
Saitek X52 Joysticks (x2)
Custom built jet throttle unit
Optima X700 Digital Projector and Wolfline 1.8 Gain ScreenNow I was not expecting FSX to run with all the display settings set to maximum. I also acknowledge that my system is not top of the line, as the technology has been available for about 6 months or more. However I'm quite surprised how quickly the frame rate drops into unacceptable levels, and this leads me to my question.

I realize that many people overclock their motherboard, memory and video card. However, this is all a mystery to me. To increase the performance of my set up,

1. Which components can/should I overclock?
2. How is overclocking achieved (i.e. in BIOS, Windows?)
3. Can the motherboard, memory, processor and video card all be overclocked? Which one is most effective?
4. How do I know how much i can overclock a component?
5. What's the best process to avoid the system becoming unstable? I guess the answer is to overclock moderately and fully test before going to the next level

I'm figuring that there's people on this forum who have a similar set up, in which case it would be great to get some actual figures and specific instructions. But any advice is greatly appreciated.

With thanks,

Paul G

05-03-2007, 06:17 PM
Hi all your hardware is perfectly overclockable.

The core duo 2 6600 is very popular amongs overclockers because it can be easily overclocked to make it faster than the 6700.

The multiplier of the E6600 is locked so you have to overclock by increasing the FSB (front side bus), thiss will also overclock your ram, But with ddr800 this is no problem.

The standard multiplier of the e6600 is 9, the front side bus is 266 (the core duo has a quad pumped fsb so they advertise with 1066 Mhz FSB.

This gives the following list:
266 FSB x 4 = 1066 MHz frontside bus
266 FSB x 9 = 2400 MHz CPU-clock frequency
266 FSB x 2 = 533 MHz memory clock frequency (so a stock e6600 only needs DDR533 Memory)

now if you would overclock your fsb to 300 Mhz it would give this:
300 FSB x 4 = 1200 MHz frontside bus
300 FSB x 9 = 2700 MHz CPU-clockfreq
300 FSB x 2 = 600 MHz memory.clockfeq

with ddr800 you could bring the FSB up to 400Mhz. (1600 quad pumped). That would give you a cpu clock frequency of 3600 Mhz (where 2400 is stock)
This is a theoretical speed. It can be reached, but not with every processor and only with extremely well cooling and done by people who know what they are doing.

Dont try this at home though. This will fry your processor if you dont cool it well.


Overclocking means you have to increase FSB and processor voltages to a level where you get an acceptable speed without errors/crashes.

You will need to change your processor cooler. The stock cooler doesnt cool well enough when you overclock.

The graphics card can be overclocked as well. Some brands even supply their own overclock software.

Btw, the 332 bit Vista doesnt handle 4 gigs of ram very well....for that amount of ram the 64 bit version would be better.

in short to your questions:

1. processor, graphics card, ram
2. processor in bios, graphics card by software.
3. all are cost effective, processor has most efficiency when done well.
4. trial and error, increase by small stepps till you get erroneous behaviour
5. increase overclock by small steps, cool well...test for hours/days.

Your motherboards has to be suitable for overclocking. I dont know your motherboard, so dont know its specs.
I use the Asus striker extreme which is the overclockers heaven.



There is alot of info to be found about overclocking online.


Paul G
05-03-2007, 10:36 PM
Thanks Stef for the detailed response, and the warnings too. My motherboard is the EVGA Nforce 680I SLI LGA775. I think this is popular with overclockers as well.

The warnings about overheating would explain why cooling has become such big business. I bought an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro which is massive and it's keeping the temperature around 40dec C, but that's in the bios. Presumably when I crank up FSX in Vista it has to work harder. Is there any way of monitoring CPU temperature within Windows? I'm guessing it's down to motherboards.

From your information, it sounds like the way ahead is to make small steps and closely monitor temperatures, performance & reliability. I'd rather have a system that performs at 90% of maximum but is 99% reliable, than one that blue screens or worse.

Thanks again for your response. This has really demystified it and I can now read further a feel a little less lost.

Cheers -


05-04-2007, 04:15 AM
The Nforce680i is a great chipset.

A processor temp of 40c leaves you plenty of room for overclocking.

A good program to monitor your cp temperature is CoreTemp: http://www.thecoolest.zerobrains.com/CoreTemp/

A good program to test/stress/monitor your cpu for errors is SP2004/Orthos:

Allways modestly increase the FSB frequency, 5 Mhz steps to be safe.
Leave the PCIexpress frequency fixed to 100 Mhz
And the PCI clock to 33,33 Mhz.
(these are stock frequencies for both last busses)

Also leave the Memory and CPU voltages on their stock values.

Then slowly increase the FSB frequency modestly...test intensively with the mentioned programs and increase again.

Continue this till your system starts making errors.

Now its time to increase voltages. again in small steps,
When you start increasing voltages the Core temp will go UP. Monitor closely and test for hours at higher frequencies.

If your overclock your pc this way and test long times its unlikely you will destroy your cpu. If you clock too hight the testprograms will show errors and/or your pc will crash. You enter the bios, throttle back and no harm is done.
If you overclock by big steps, you might stress your cpu beyond its limits at once and destroy it beyond repairs.

At what spead you can get it depends on productionbatch. Some are extremely overclockable, others less.

below some links to overclocking guides:

Most do the overclocking in bigger steps than i told you. Thats because most overclockers know what they do. If you do this the first time i advise you to be more modest and VERY CAREFULL.