Looking to replicate $500 Gaming PC, Need Help Overclocking


Sep 4, 2008
Hello all,

I am building a replica of the $500 Gaming PC in the Build your own section here and needed some help overclocking the cpu.
Here's a link to the article----------------> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-graphic-game,1810.html

I'm using the Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160. And want to replicate the overclock they performed in the article and boost it over 3 ghz. I wanted some advice on how to go about overclocking it, step by step would help, cause they are a little vague in the article on how they did what they did.

Any tips/ tricks would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance.....


Jan 1, 2007
boost the Vcore to 1.5V and put in 400fsb with 8x multiplier and up both NB+FSB+Ram 1 notch and select 1:1 ram multiplier. after stress test and make sure the temp dont go above 70C you can start lowing the vcore until it fails prime. this is the quickest way.


Sep 4, 2008
I can use the software included with the motherboard to do this right?
What do you mean when you say "1 notch"?
And what do you mean by "fails prime"?
Sorry, I'm new to overclocking cpus....

Thanks for the quick reply


Sep 4, 2008
OCing isn't really all that hard until you start getting into the extreme range. First off set the mem divider to 1:1 so you know you can eliminate ram limitations. You can later go back and adjust the ratio for better ram speeds. Make sure you disable C1E, EIST, Virtualization (not sure if you have this one), and floppy controller (if you don't need it) as this will decrease the load on your north bridge. Then I generally give the ram volts a boost up to a bit above manufacturer specs, but never 2.2v or above for a 24/7 OC. Also increase nb and sb volts a tiny bit, but only if you have good cooling.

From that point all that you need to do is increase fsb (about 5mhz at a time is safe), stability test (I prefer custom 2H OCCT test), monitor temps, and when you run into instability increase the vcore a bit.
This helped me the first time:


FIRST thing you do should do is update your BIOS.

You can update your BIOS through Windows. Install @BIOS, extract the files, then run it. You can either manually download the latest BIOS for your motherboard (pick the right motherboard!!!) and then tell @BIOS where to find it, or you can let it connect to the Gigabyte servers and do it automatically. Whichever you prefer. If you are really against updating your BIOS, then just move down further, but the @BIOS from Gigabyte is very good and stable, I've used it a number of times, so I'm not sure why someone who will be overclocking wouldn't update BIOS.

After you update your BIOS, now the fun begins........

Next you need to download some overclocking/monitoring utilities:

CPU-Z (to display your FSB settings, CPU speed settings, memory timings, etc in Windows):

Intel TAT - Thermal Analysis Tool (to monitor your CPU temps), this works with Vista:

Alternatively for CPU temps, you can download CoreTemp. It doesn't work with Vista right now, but it does work with XP:

Prime95 to stress test:
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm (scroll down near the bottom and pick which OS you got)

SpeedFan (to monitor voltages, temps of system stuff):

Super Pi Mod (a quick way of testing the speed of your CPU):

-Boot your computer, hit [DEL] key to get into BIOS.
-When in BIOS, hit [CRTL+F1] to unlock all OC’ing options
-Now you gotta turn a bunch of stuff OFF that will interfere with your OC. Turn these OFF (I don’t have screenies of my BIOS in front of me, so I might mislabel something, but you’ll find it, just look around):
1) disable CIA2
2) disable C1E
3) disable EIST
4) disable Virtualization Technology
5) disable CPUID
6) disable No-Execute Memory Protect
7) set PCI Express (PCI-e) frequency to 100 mhz

-Next, in PC Health area of BIOS, make sure your CPU fan and System fan are set to Enabled, and SMART fan can be set to Auto.
-Set your CPU warning temp to 70C.

-Next go into the MB Intelligent Tweaker area of BIOS. This is where the real fun happens……I don’t know your memory timings so we’re gonna go on the safe side for now and keep them loose…..

-Set Graphics Booster to Auto
-Set CPU Host Clock Control to Enabled
-Set CPU Host Frequency to……this is where you set your FSB, so start medium and go up from there after each stress test on your system. With a 6300 that has a 7x multi, then set this Host Frequency at first to 350. This will give you a 2.45 ghz speed to start off. Ok, now the next settings.........

-Set System Memory Multiplier to 2.00
-Set DRAM Timing Selectable to Manual
-Set CAS Latency to 5
-Set RAS to CAS to 5
-Set RAS Precharge to 5
-Set tRAS to 15

That takes care of FSB and RAM timings. Now onto voltages. This is more hit and miss, depends on your RAM. So we start easy. As you bump up the FSB (Host Frequency), you will eventually need to bump up your voltages too, specifically your vCORE and probably your vDIMM. You *might* need to bump up your MCH a bit too, and this will make your NorthBridge hotter but more stable. Again, the keys to OC’ing are cooling and stability. Ok, let’s go with these voltage settings:

-Set DIMM OverVoltage Control to +0.2v (might only need +0.1v, depending the quality of your RAM)
-Set MCH Overvoltage to +0.1 (leaving it at stock will likely work for moderate overclocks....so it's up to you. But higher OC's may also need a northbridge cooler for $20)
-Leave vCORE at 1.325v……..but it may need to go up as you go higher on the FSB. 1.325v is fine for moderate overclocks.
-PCI-e voltage can stay at Normal
-FSB voltage can stay at Normal, should be fine for moderate overclocks. Higher OC’s should go +0.1v

And that’s it. Hit F10 to Save and Exit. Your system will power down on its own and sit there for a few seconds, then start back up on its own. This is normal. Your boot screen should show the new CPU speed. If all goes well, you’ll boot into Windows. If not, restart and go back into BIOS. Lower your FSB first and try to boot again. It's best to try to lower FSB first, then increase volts next (depending on how high you already are on your OC). But at 2.4 ghz you should be fine. But if you go higher, then it gets trickier getting all the combinations of settings correct and stable.

When in Windows, start CPU-Z. Check what your FSB is at, what your CPU speed is at, and what your Memory speed and timings are.

Then start TAT or CoreTemp to monitor your temps. Note what they are at idle. Then start SpeedFan to watch your voltages, to see if they fluctuate.

Next you want to run dual instances of Prime 95. Create a Prime 95 shortcut on your desktop, then right click and go to Properties. In the Target, add -A0 at the end of the line, but LEAVE A SPACE before the –A0. Click OK. Create another Prime95 shortcut on your desktop, go to Properties, and this time put –A1 at the end, with a space in front of the – sign. Now run both the A0 and A1 shortcuts for Prime 95. Go to Options pulldown, then Torture Test. Select Large Place FFTs for both Prime programs you have open. Then start the Torture Test for both. Watch TAT or CoreTemp….you should see the CPU usage go to 100% on both cores. And your temps will climb very fast. Monitor your temps, take a note of how high they go. And watch Speedfan to make sure your voltages don’t fluctuate too much, high or low.

Assuming everything is fine, you can wait about 10 minutes, then stop the Torture Tests. Then you can restart your system, go into BIOS and bump up the FSB (Host Frequency) higher. I’d say you can probably go to 2.8 – 3.0 ghz on stock cooling before your temps get too hot. Keep your temps below 60C. If they go above, back down the FSB and eventually the volts. You’ll need to find a happy medium where your CPU isn’t too hot and your volts aren’t too high. Hit F10 to restart and go into Windows. Repeat process.

If you get errors in Prime 95 at all, then your system isn’t stable. Generally speaking, you need to either lower the FSB or raise the vCore….but ONLY raise it 2 notches from whatever you already have it set to. Keep rebooting and running Prime95’s until you can run dual instances for 18-24 hours without any errors. THEN your system is ROCK STABLE. Ideally, you get 24 hours stable, but most people will go 10-18 hours. I go 24 when I’m satisfied with my clock speeds and volts.

And that’s all. DONE!! If you can get your FSB to 385, then you now have a computer that runs as fast as an E6700 for hundreds and hundreds of dollars LESS

So it’s basically a simple back-and-forth between higher FSB and voltages, versus keeping your temps low enough. Start with an FSB that will get you 2.2-2.4 ghz, make sure your system is stable and not too hot, then bump it up to 2.6-2.8. Repeat stability tests. If your really luck with your RAM and temps, then you might wanna shoot for 3.0 ghz. But stock cooling will then limit you, and your RAM might as well.

Your biggest difficulty will be finding the right vCore and vDIMM that’s stable and cool for your clock speed. Sometimes you get lucky right away, sometimes not. But the settings I’ve given you should get you a stable OC very quickly. There might be some tweaking, but as long as you don’t go too high an OC, it should get you there no problem and keep your temps ok. You'll probably have your vCore at or below 1.325v with a moderate overclock, which would be great. Higher overclocks, your vCORE will be anywhere from 1.325v to 1.425v.

If you get stable for a long time in Prime95, then you can consider lowering your vCore by 2 notches, and maybe even your vDIMM by 1 notch. This will lower your temps overall. So you keep backing down the volts until you get errors in Prime, then you bump it back up slightly, and that’s your final resting place. Then you try to get your RAM timings down to their stock specs (ie—4-5-4-12 or whatever they say). Then rock solid

If you have a hard time getting a stable OC, bump up vDIMM another notch and your vCORE.

If at any point your OC craps out and reboots on its own, the DS3/S3 mobo is very good at just going back to stock settings and going into Windows. So just go back into BIOS and lower your clocks (FSB) down a bit. In the worst case scenario (I only had this happen once to me when I pushed my OC too high), you might need to clear your CMOS or remove the battery from your mobo to do a complete reset. Just check the mobo manual on how to do this, it’s easy. But it’s a worst case scenario if it won’t reboot at all, though I doubt that will happen in your case with modest overclocks.

One last thing: Depending how high you push your OC, don’t put your FSB at 400….either 395 or lower, or jump to 410 or higher. Don't set your FSB to 400.....it's the strap change number and it'll be hard on your system. So go minimum 5-10 below or higher than 400 FSB.

Hope that doesn’t overwhelm you. Like I said, the first time might take a bit of work. But take it slow at first and you should get there pretty quick after once you get the hang of it. I hope this helps you get there quicker.

OC'ing the 4300.....to get it to 3.0ghz and beyond requires ALOT of voltage increase. The 6xxx chips don't need anywhere need that much juice. So the final volts settings for the 4xxx chip will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.4v vCORE for sure, depending on how high you try to push the OC.

If you are overclocking a 6xxx CPU then you won't need as much vCORE. My 6300 is OC'd to 3.2ghz now and it's only at 1.35 vCORE. And depending on your RAM, you might only need to go vDIMM +0.1v....depends on the quality of your RAM. +0.2v won't kill it though.

If things are stable, try lowering vDIMM and see if it's still stable. You basically want to get the volts as low as possible while still being stable. That's the ideal goal.