Q9400 Overclocking - not so bad

cappster

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So I decided to pickup the Q9400 at microcenter for $180 which I thought was a good deal. Buying the CPU made me want to upgrade from my POS MSI P965 platiunm MB to a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P. I am very glad I did, because I have been able to push the Q9400 to 3.6 on air so far. Temps run between 50-54 degrees C max on small fft's while running prime. I could probably go further, but I am pretty happy with what I have. I am only running 1.3 voltage and ran prime for 17hrs no problem. I know the Q9400 is not known as the greatest overclocker, but it has given me a very nice price/performance ratio. The only discrepency that I have is the the temp sensors. Two work fine and the other two won't register a temperature below 38 degrees C. I just wanted to share what I think is a decent setup for anyone else who is mulling upgrading their system.

 

l4dsg

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Hi i have a q9400 and ud3p too,
what ram and cooler are u using ?
i wish to overclock it to 3 ~ 3.2 what voltage would u suggest.
New to my system looking for more advice from you.
TIA
 

cappster

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I am using a Zalman 9500 cooler and 2x2gb 1066 corsair dominators. Overclocking to 3.0-3.2 should be fairly easy. The first thing I did was just leave the cpu voltage on auto and put the FSB where my clock speed showed as 3.2. I will say that I have my cpu voltage @ 1.3 (have to set a little higher in BIOS, because CPU-Z shows as 1.29) at my current clock speed of 3.6 so anything around or under 1.3 should be fine. I had to manually change the ram timings and strap ratio. About the only thing I disabled was the c1e power saving so it wouldn't change my multiplier when the processor wasn't working hard. This is the easiest board I have ever overclocked. It was almost comical how easy it was. Are you using stock cooling or do you have an aftermarket cooler? Even with a stock cooler, the clock speed you are aiming for should be easily attainable.
 

l4dsg

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Hi Thks for the reply,
i intend to get the Noctua NH-U12P before doing the overclocking.
or do u have a better silent cooler to recommend?
my ram are team elite 2 x 2gb 800.
This should be my 1st attempt to try overclocking ~.~
so will be trying 3.2 for a start till i know more about
extreme overclocking and a pair of better ram.
 

cadder

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I bought a Q9400 at microcenter, and my ud3r and S1283 are on the way. I'll be assembling it later this week. I'll see how far I can go with it, then probably drop back a few notches for everyday use. I'd like to be able to run it at 3.2 without pushing things too far.
 

l4dsg

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Hi Cappster,
i used a Xigamatek Red Scorpion instead =x (easier to install haha...)
Ermm my 1st time overclocking... seem easy..ud3p too easy?
Please take a look if anything is abnormal, as in the temperature etc .
The screen shot as below
Thanks in advance

 

cappster

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I will take a look when I get home as I cannot see the screen shot at work. Have you tested the stability of your rig? Also, have you run any benchies pre and post overclock to see the improvement of your overclock? That is what I always do. I went from around 11,500 stock to 14250 overclocked in 3dmark06.

Cadder: 3.2 on the Q9400 should be no sweat for everyday use. You can probably achieve that with a little bump in voltage no problem.
 

cappster

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Everything looks good to me. Temps seem a little bit higher than mine and you have a better performing CPU cooler. How much thermal paste did you put on to your CPU? I would check this link for properly applying thermal paste and compare it to what you did.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appinstruct/as5/ins_as5_intel_quad_wcap.pdf

Your temps are still within acceptable limits so you are good. Everything else looks good though. I would run prime for a while to check stability I would also run some other benchies like 3dmarkXX to make sure your system doesn't hang or crash. And overclocking this board is pretty easy especially at the clock speed that you wanted.
 

l4dsg

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Think i gotta get the arctic cleaner and thermal paste and another back plate. Feel the push pin kinda loose.... will post again here soon,
thanks for the guide^^
 

l4dsg

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tried arctic cooling mx2 idle temp raise by 2degree but load temp drop by 3degree, overall more stable temp now.~.~ some how only one of my core will stay idle at 30 ... the rest is 39~40
 

catski1

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Hey Cappster. I just picked upthe Q9400 at Micro Center and took a look at the aftermarket coolers. My problem is that the really nice/high functional HSF sets may not fit onto my board/Case well. Will 3.2 do okay w/ Stock HSF? I dont game really but do a lot of media encoding/audio recording/producing.
The Case is a Lian Li PC-V600B and the PSU mounts sideways on bottom and looks like a tight fit between the stock heatsink and the top of PSU.
Maybe you have a suggestion/some answer to steer me in the right direction?
Thanks in Advance...
 

l4dsg

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Just my 2 cent. Actually to overclock to 3.2, whether or not to get a better cooler depends on your temperature, if u get a hot chip like mine >.> which load temp @2.66 is 65degree with stock... i do need a better cooler when i need to oc to 3.2. If your chip is stable and cool i dun see a need to get a better hsf.

regards
 

Vilho

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Hi, I'm planning on getting a Q9400 and maybe overclocking it in the future. Do you guys know which stepping I should buy? 'Cus AFAIK at least in the Q6600 there's a big difference in which stepping you buy. Thanks.
 

peanutpc

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i got my Q9400 @ micro center and overclock to 3.6ghz on 1.275v and it was OCCT and P95 stable. but i don't need 3.6ghz so back down to 3.0ghz.

this week, i'm gonna try pushing it to 4.0ghz on air just for fun.

i have xig s1283 as a cooler.
 

vii288

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hey there peanutpc,when you overclock the q9400,what did you set the DRAM timing and the frequency..

plz help me !!!
 

vii288

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hey there ,when you overclock the q9400@3.6ghz,what did you set the DRAM timing and the frequency..

plz help me !!!
 

cappster

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I set it to 2.00B. I have since backed it down, because while prime ran fine, system instability was evident in normal operations. I have since changed it to either 2.00A or 2.40 A, but I cannot remember what setting I chose. What kind of RAM do you have?
 

vii288

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OK,i am using the Corsair Dominator 1066 mhz 2x2gb
 

iguana007

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I am running Q9400 at 3.2GHz on MB Asus P5Q3 and I have 4GB RAM DDR3 at 1600MHz and clocks 9-9-9-24.
Ran Prime test for whole night and stable ... and temp is in idle 32 Celsius and 100% stress on all cores 71 C.
All I did is changed FSB to 400 and FSB strap to 400 and RAM frequency to 1600 MHz in BIOS on my MB - all other settings are default ...
 

cappster

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71 degrees Celsius is a bit on the high side. I usually don't like my cpu to run over 60. I've been happy with my setup, but now the prices of Core processors are at a point where I would probably go with one of those if I were upgrading. That is unless you just want to do a processor swap in which case I can understand.
 
Hello. I have GA EP45-UD3LR (which i find similar to yours) and again a q9400. I am with stock cooling and when I overclock it to 3.2Ghz I get around 40-48 degree temps and around 1.3 Voltage. Is this good enough? Or do you suggest I change something. My voltage is on auto settings.
 

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