Overclocking advice for Intel Q9550

aln688

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Hello all. I am new to overclocking and need some advice.

I own an Intel DX48BT2 motherboard with 2 x 2GB of Kingston DDR3 PC11000 HyperX 1375 RAM. I'm considering buying either the Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3.16GHz or the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz CPU.

I would like the Q9650, but at $230 more than the Q9550 for only 0.17GHz, it seems to me like a waste of money. After researching between the Q9550 or E8600, I think the Q9550 is the way to go for "future-proofing" my system.

My question is this, the Q9550 uses a multiplier of 8.5. If I wanted to overclock the Q9550 to 3.2GHz, is it a simple case of raising the FSB to 376, making 376 x 8.5 = 3196? If I do that, is the RAM affected at all? Is anything else required to be adjusted?

For this I'll be running with the stock Intel cooler, mainly because I'm put off the size and weight of after market coolers. I do have a copper Intel cooler as well as an aluminum one, I'll likely use the copper one with some AS5.

Thanks for any advice you can provide.
 

lucuis

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Since this is going to be your first overclock, my suggestion is to do as much research as possible. Google Q9550 OC, or something similar to see what works for other people. Generally something similar will work for you.

But first the basics. I'm going to guess you don't want to break anything your first go :) Take a look at this article, it should leave you with little or no questions. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overclock-quads-duals-guide

In short, you might not get that OC till you get a nice aftermark cooler, because of heat. RAM will be affected unless it's unlinked from the fsb. cpu voltage, or vcore will likely need to be raised to reach that speed. Also depending on your motherboards fsb support you may need to up the nb voltage.

NOTE: If your running vista i'd recommend purchasing another 2gb RAM. Good Luck, and be patient, if your not it may lead to something being damaged.
 

aln688

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I did read the overclocking guide, thank you. The point I'm still unsure of is the FSB:RAM divider, I'm going to read up on this. My RAM is Kingston HyperX 1375 speed, if I go for a 376 FSB then RAM being quad-pumped would make my RAM operate at 1501, I'm unsure if it'll take that speed or not.

If 3.2GHz is pushing it for an overclock, then a modest overclock to 3.0GHz would be fine with me, I'd rather keep things cooler and not under stress in my system. For OS, I'm using Windows XP Professional x64, great OS, I've managed to find quite a lot of 64-bit apps for it.

I'll Google some more on Q9550 overclocking...
 

lucuis

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Oh ok, as for ram divider. It looks as if you have it synced. Ram isn't quad pumped though, it's double pumped. Your fsb is quad pumped.

376fsb = 1504fsb = 752mhz ram

Therefore

400fsb = 1600fsb = 800mhz ram

Now since your RAM would be heavily underclocked if you do that, i'd just set it to unsynced/unlinked. Basically you can change the fsb and your ram will remain clocked at it's rated speed. BUT if your feeling ambitious and have LOTS of time on your hands, leave it synced. Once you have got your CPU OC 100% Stable, you can then proceed to tighten your ram timings. I'd suggest you research that first :)

Lemme know how it goes.

 

aln688

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Oh thanks for the correction on the RAM, I always thought RAM was quad-pumped, my error.

For 3.2GHz, this would be 376 FSB x 8.5 = 3196. My RAM would be running at 752MHz?

For 3.0GHz, this would be 352 FSB x 8.5 = 2992. My RAM would be running at 704MHz?

So with my HyperX RAM being 1375MHz, this would be sufficient to reach 3.2GHz as above? I thought for some reason I would need to buy the 1600MHz HyperX modules instead for this overclock?

I haven't actually got the CPU, I've decided on the Q9550 but holding off until Monday to order it from Newegg, I believe the E0 stepping CPU is superior.

Right now I'm set on the CPU choice, it's just whether or not my RAM is capable of running at the overclock speeds I can't determine.
 

lucuis

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Correct you are. For comparison, i have my Q6600 running at 3.2ghz with a 1600rated fsb. My ram is running synced with it at 800mhz.
 

aln688

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So for 3.2GHz with the Q9550, I understand that 376 FSB is what is needed, but this results in the RAM running at 752MHz? That seems so low considering these Kingston HyperX modules are rated at 1375MHz. Is this 752 supposed to be x2 or something? Would you say my 1375MHz RAM modules are sufficient to overclock to 3.2GHz?
 

lucuis

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Yup synced your ram will run at 752mhz. You may choose to run them at there full 1375 if you unlink them from the fsb via a bios option. Although it won't really do anything in terms of performance because the fsb will be a bottleneck.
 

aln688

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When you say synced, do you mean a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio? So do you think I can keep my 1375 RAM and not have to go up to the 1600 HyperX modules?

I have to admit, on Newegg the customer comments section for the Q9550, I saw people who had obviously stated they overclocked the Q9550 but stated they had 1066MHz RAM! I thought how come?

I'm hoping I can keep the RAM modules I have, but if going to 1600MHz modules means an easier overclock, I'll do it. I only want to go to 3.2GHz, no higher.

Also, third party coolers, something I have no experience with, are they much heavier than a standard Intel HSF? I have to admit, I look at reviews for items such as Artic Cooling Freezer 7 and think once the motherboard is sat vertical an HSF like that will likely rip the sockets out the motherboard due to its perceived weight.
 

roadrunner197069

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Dude your ram will be underclocked @ 1:1. It will work if your motherboard is compatible with it.

You could use 667 ram and hit the speed you seek. Yup I said it "667" 6677 runs at 333 so it would need a mild overclock to run 376.


Your better off to scrap the motherboard you chose and get a DDr2 Mobo. Like a Asus P5Q-pro or similar. Buy your self some ddr2 800 ram, crank the FSB to 400 x 8.5 and boom you got a cheaper faster system then what your original plan was. 3.4GHz.

I dont know what the FSB wall on the Q9550 is but it might beable to take 500x 8.5 with some 1000 ram or 1066 ram. The motherboaerd I mentioned will certainly go that high.
 

aln688

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Thanks for your input, but I already have the motherboard and RAM, I'm still able to return the RAM if I have to, still under 30 days since purchase.

Quite eye-opening when you said I'm "underclocking" my RAM! Here I was thinking the 1375Mhz RAM was actually going to be not enough!

So just to summarize a different scenario - the Q9550's multiplier is 8.5, I could set the FSB to 400 in order to hit 3.4GHz, but what speed would my RAM be running at with a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio? Bearing in mind my RAM is rated at 1375? Would it be running at 800Mhz?

One other item, the RAM I have being 1375, is that a "fake" number? Is its real speed 687.5 (1375/2 for double pumped)?

Thanks again. One more question (I'm full of questions today!), the Artic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro, do you use the compound it comes with or scrape it off and use AS5?

Cheers.
 

roadrunner197069

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Your starting to understand the ram now, you are right. You dont have to run the ram @ 1:1 but it dont give any more performance not to.

Its not a "fake number it is effective FSB" double pumped! Motherboard/CPU FSB is Quad pumped on Intel systems.

The Artic Freezer 7 Pro is a piece of crap! Only slightly better then stock cooling. A xigmatek 120 Pipe cooler would do way better for about $10 more.
 

Granite3

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My Q9450 made it to about 3.0 before needing more voltage, and producing more heat.

3.2 the heat climbed about 3 C, and at 3.4 another 3c or so. 3.6 it went 7c hotter, so I backed it to 3.4ish, with a modest boost to chip and NB voltage.

This was on a 790i board, so I was able to unlink the ram/fsb, and get an easy OC.

That extra .5 multi should make it a cake walk to 3.4. Good cooling is a must, mine is water cooled.
 

aln688

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What does it mean to unlink the FSB/RAM? Does this hurt performance of the RAM's operating speed? Finally, is this an overclocking feature of the motherboard?

I'm using the Artic Freezer 7 Pro. To be honest most coolers are over the Intel recommended 450g limit, I'd be cautious of the long term effects of stress on the motherboard.

Thanks for your input.
 

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