I want to overclock my CPU

I have a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 running at 3.16ghz on a Gigabyte EP35-DS4 board with 4gb of DDR2 RAM. I haven’t got a clue how to overclock a CPU, so I hope you can help.

The e8500 is very OC’able. The limitations are cpu cooling, are you using the stock cooler? if yes then you will need to upgrade it, unless you want to just try a small OC for now. Your MB is good, but what is the brand and model of your RAM?

One of the first things you want to do is make sure you have the latest BIOS loaded in the MB.

I built the machine myself with the intention of overclocking it at some point so I bought a Scythe Andy Samurai Master CPU Cooler. The memory is 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12, DHX.

Okay so some tools for you to download after ofcourse the latest bios is installed in the MB firstly. 1) Memtest86+, make a bootable floppy or cd. 2)CPUz 3)coretemp 4)superPi 5)Prime95. Make sure they are the latest versions. You can go a head and run superpi for the 1M setting and record the time, make sure the internet is off and your not multitasking or even playing with the mouse when benchmarking with superpi. After you OC you can run superpi again and see how much cpu speed you’ve gained.

If you care about gaming performance you can download 3dmark06, or Vantage (if your using Vista). And run those benchmarks to establish some baseline benchmark scores.

[QUOTE=eric93se;2116320]Okay so some tools for you to download after ofcourse the latest bios is installed in the MB firstly. 1) Memtest86+, make a bootable floppy or cd. 2)CPUz 3)coretemp 4)superPi 5)Prime95.[/QUOTE]

Any idea where I can get these programs?

c’mon you can find them, when I want to dl somthing I usually type in google “download something”. softpedia is another good site to find free software.

Is this stuff freeware or will I have to pay for it?

All free…and that can be revealed by a Google search, too. :wink:

Memtest86+ comes in three different ways, first is a pre-build bootable ISO, second is a bootable binary and third an installable package for creating a bootable floppy. Third version are compressed in .zip and .tar.gz.

Which do I need? I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, so I need laymans terms.


If you want to make a bootable CD/DVD, go with the bootable ISO. Burn to a CD/DVD using ImgBurn or whatever software you choose.

If you want to make a bootable floppy disc, choose the third option [as a .zip file].

They both serve the same purpose. :iagree:

I have lowered the CPU multiplier from 9x down to 7x and I have increased the CPU host frequency gradually from 266mhz and ran Memtest last at 350mhz, but everytime I go back into the BIOS, it says that the CPU host control is disabled and I have to enable it again in order to change the frequency. The frequency stays at what I last set it to, but shouldn’t it stay enabled when I save the settings?

I guess its just a safety feature, but as long as it keeps your settings your fine. So, you’ve lowered the multiplier and raised the FSB, thats a good start, but not what we want for what you want to achieve. What your on your way to doing is finding the maximum FSB, but thats really meant for people who are going for extreme results. So go ahead and set the multiplier back to 9, and you can leave the fsb.

Fist thing that needs to be done is the memory has to be set at a safe level so that it doesn’t make errors early on. Most 2x2 kits don’t oc very well, so we will under clock them to make some head room. I’ll be referring to these bios screens, they should be the same as yours link. Under “standard timming control” there are four values, they should be 4-4-4-12, most likely they aren’t. The other thing that has to be done at this step is the voltage of the ram has to be increased, where it says “DDR2 overvoltage control” set that to +0.2V, just like it shows on that web page. Run memtest right after doing this. If memtest makes any errors after at least an hour of running, then try increasing the memory voltage to +0.25V and test again.

I got most of the knowledge I have so far from Wikipedia, and it says on there that I should first find my maximum FSB and then raise my multiplier one step at a time as it will have a greater impact on overall performance to have an FSB overclock as opposed to a higher multiplier. I don’t think the FSB is actually increased at all after reading up on this issue on other forums. It seems other users with a similar setup (MB & CPU) also find that the CPU Host Clock Control is disabled when they go back into the BIOS.

I’m not sure I want to increase the voltage as it’s suggested that this can reduce the life expectancy of the component(s). How serious is this?

I don’t know how old that wiki page is, but max fsb doesn’t equal max performance on the new conroe chips, its an okay way of OC’ing there’s nothing wrong with it, but its been shown that a higher fsb doesn’t yeild more speed (at the end of things anyway).

With the ram, okay your right to be concerned, but remember your OC’ing and to make things stable, voltages will needeth to be increaseth. The Bios defaults most memory to 1.8V and very loose timmings, this sucks for the most part because you paid for fast ram! Your ram can definitly support 2.0V, so by adding 0.2V to the factory 1.8V gets you there.

Ok, I trust your judgement. But what about the CPU host clock control? Is there a program that will tell me how much the speed has increased, if at all?

I don’t see what the problem is with the cpu host control. Its not a big deal to re-enable it each time you bump up the cpu speed.

you might want to disable the “robust graphics booster” since that will overclock your PCIE bus, we don’t want that to interfere.

So now set you multiplier back to 9. Increase your ‘cpu host frequency’ to about 350 (this is just a slight overclock) and no voltage increase for the cpu should be necessary at this point. Now realize that we don’t want to OC your ram, right now it will only get a small OC, but as you increase the cpu speed you then have to change the ‘system memory multiplier’ to decrease the ram, just try one after the other to see which one puts the ram at a safe speed (safe being below 850MHz) its okay if its a lot lower, right now your are oc’ing the cpu and later the ram can get finalized. When booting into windows you can run coretemp, cpuz. So you can start Prime95 and run either small ffts or large ffts doesn’t matter. Watch the temperature in coretemp to see that it stays below 65C or so, let it run for at least 10 minutes. So basically you have to repeat the above, maybe increasing the fsb another 10-20 each time, eventually prime95 will fail or windows will fail to start or the system while running prime95 will just restart, thats when you have to start increasing the cpu voltage to make it stable, initially it will take 0.50-0.100V increase to get it stable again, after that it should be smaller increments. Your chip should be able to get to 3.8GHz pretty easily. You don’t want to go over a total of 1.4V for the cpu, in cpuz it will tell you the actual cpu voltage.

to see how much faster the cpu is working, you can run the superpi program and run the 1M setting, it will calculate the value of Pi to the 1 millionth decimal point, as you increase the cpu speed it will be able to calculate this faster.

I just got a E7200 and OC’s it to 3.5Ghz, might remove the cpu cover (IHS) to cool it down better. Your chip is soldered to the metal cover, but on mine (more budget) they only glued the sides down and the chip makes contact to the cover with thermal paste, but yours is soldered down which is much better at transferring heat.

when the CPU Host Clock Control is selected, it says on the right to set the system voltages to Auto to optimize system voltages. I did that and ran Super PI. Before I changed the system voltages setting it took 20 secs to calculate, but this time only took 16 secs.

I can’t disable the “Robust Graphics Booster”. The only options are Auto (default), Fast and Turbo.

I’m gonna spend some time going through the steps you have outlined above, but as I was reading the manual I came across a feature called the C.I.A.2 which sounds like it could be a good idea to use.

C.I.A.2 - CPU Intelligent Accelerator 2 (C.I.A.2) is designed to automatically adjust CPU computing power to maximize system performance. C.I.A.2 allows your system bus to be changed dynamically based on CPU loading through the use of 5 preset states which are as follows:

Crusie - Increases CPU frequency by 5% or 7% depending on CPU loading.
Sports - Increases CPU frequency by 7% or 9% depending on CPU loading.
Racing - Increases CPU frequency by 9% or 11% depending on CPU loading.
Turbo - Increases CPU frequency by 15% or 17% depending on CPU loading.
Full Thrust - Increases CPU frequency by 17% or 19% depending on CPU loading.

I went into the BIOS and changed the “system memory multiplier” from “Auto” to “2.00”, which lowered the frequency from 924 to 7xx. I then booted into Windows and ran Core Temp and CPUz. Both cores were idling at around 58 - 63C. I ran Prime95 and the core temps shot up to 85 - 89C. You said to make sure they stay below 65C, so I got worried and stopped everything. After I got worried, I went into the BIOS to change things back until I heard from you, but the “system memory multiplier” had reset itself back to “Auto” and the frequency was now 800 instead of the 924 it was at before.

I noticed that after I changed the “system memory multiplier” from “Auto” to “2.00”, CPUz thought that I had 5gb of RAM instead of the 4gb that’s actually there. It saw 3gb in one slot. After rebooting, it’s gone back to 4gb. Is this normal?

This is all very confusing :confused:

When OC’ing you don’t want the MB to do anything automatically, because it won’t be the best choice, whether it be setting the voltage or automatically OC’ing. So you should disable all of those. Overclocking is a bit like photography, you can have an expensive DSLR camera set to auto mode and get fairly good pictures, or you can learn to set values and get stunning pictures.

Did you by any chance remember the cpu voltage in cpuz when the system was running so hot?

Is your cpu fan running full speed, or is the system controlling it. When OC’ing the fan should run full speed all the time.

Your memory timming are set loose, 5-5-5-18, thats fine for now at least your memory won’t be a problem while oc’ing.

I can’t remember what the core voltage was then, but it’s running now and it’s at 1.36v after I changed it to 1.4v. The core temps have gone up from 63-65 to 72-75 in the space of around 20 minutes of running Prime95, but they seem to be staying at that temp for now.

I changed some settings in the BIOS as follows:

Limit CPUID max 3 - disabled
No-Execute memory protect - disabled
CPU enhanced halt (C1E) - disabled
CPU thermal monitor - disabled
Virtualization Technology - disabled
Full Screen Logo - disabled
Memory multiplier - set to 2.00
System voltage control - manual
Lock PCI-E frequency at 100MHz
PCI-E Overvoltage - normal
(G)MCH Overvoltage - +0.1v
CPU Voltage - 1.4v