CPU/RAM overclocking, where to next? A Novice's Tale...


May 4, 2009
Hello everyone!

Firstly, yes I am new. I have finally taken the plunge from being a long time lurker to a registered user :)

As a new person it is therefore only right that I now pester you with some specific questions of my own (ha ha...), I do hope you don't mind :)

I have recently found the courage to build myself a new rig, I had not done so for about 2 years, back then I did a lot of repairs in my local town and spent every penny I had building custom rigs :)


Case: I spent a lot of time choosing my case, as I wanted a lot of space to work in and a removable MOBO tray, I bought the Silverstone Temjin TJ10B and have had it customised, with 2 14cm fans and 2 8cm fans attached to the window, a 12 cm intake fan in the front 3 5" bays, two additional 8cm exhaust fans at the rear and all the appropriate fan controllers.

OS: Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

PSU: Corsair TX 850W ATX SLI

Motherboard: Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48

CPU and Heatsink: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775, Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer

RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB (4x2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz (with an OCZ cooling fan attachment, 2x8cm fans)

Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium with G550W Creative Wireless speakers

System hard drives: 2x Samsung SpinPoint F1 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache in RAID 0

Graphics: HIS IceQ4 4870 1GB Turbo, currently I only have 1 of these but once I have a good enough monitor, I shall get a second to take advantage of my motherboards great Crossfire potential

I use my computer for gaming, browsing the net, watching films and listening to music. I do not make movies or do any thing particularly 'high-tech'. I want to be able to play the most recent games at max settings or as close to max as possible, I am a big RTS and FPS fan but I have also been a massive World of Warcraft addict and I always liked to play that whilst having a film playing on my second monitor (I am aware the running WoW smoothly does not require much more than a hamster in a windows 95 system). So although I do not do anything particularly crazy with my PCs, I do believe I stress them.


I am totally new to overclocking and would like to get better at it:

I have changed my RAM settings from 5-5-5-18, 800mhz, to 5-5-5-15, 1066mhz at 2.1V. At 2.2v, when I turned the PC on, the LEDs would come to life, the fans would hit max-speed, then it would go silent before repeating and starting up fine. I have been using Prime95 and Memtest86+ to check for errors and have had no issues at all at these settings.

I am not however 100% sure these are the best settings and I am very confused as to how to move on from where, to overclocking my CPU.

Question 1:
Should I be looking to set my RAM at 4-4-4-12 at 800mhz or some other variation? Would I see a performance increase?

Question 2:
Will my RAM settings need to change if I overclock my CPU?

I am aware, from reading reviews and various articles, that my CPU is very easy to overclock, indeed that is why I invested in it and I would like to move it up to at least 3.9-4GHZ.

The little I do know is that I should aim for a ceiling of 1.3625 volts on my CPU, as a conservative threshold to avoid overheating. With the 9.5x multiplier I need to aim for an FSB of roughly 400-421.

I have also read that, 1.114V supposedly supports up to 3.66GHZ, /9.5 = 385.3FSB and that 1.395V supposedly supports 4.05GHZ, /9.5 = 426.3FSB, so I may have to be flexible with my upper threshold CPU voltage but with the Sunbeam cooler and the massive air flow provided by my case, things should be ok.

I *think* I am comfortable stepping my FSB in steps of say 20 and when the PC won't boot, raising the voltage. Then using Prime95 to torture the PC for 24 hours or so and see what happens.

But will I need to change my RAM settings? I have read a little about 'CPU:RAM ratio' and I am currently a little confused. I have only just worked out how that multiplier works with the FSB to determine the CPU speed and am very proud of myself. I know there is simply a steep learning curve for me here and I am not afraid to work my way through it.

I hope the community can provide me with some guidance/advice and I would be very appreciative if it could, Tomshardware has gone from making frequent appearances in my Google searches when troubleshooting PC problems, to being permanently fixed to my Firefox Toolbar.

Many thanks in advance!



May 4, 2009
Hmm would really appreciate some help with this :) Taking the Overclocking plunge is not an easy thing to do solo :)


Feb 9, 2009
1) lower latency's help with Core 2 so try for CL4.

2)well the clock speed might need to go higher.

3) each cpu varies slightly and quite a few people get 4ghz on stock voltage so maybe 4.4ghz if you raise it.

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