Q9450 Overclock


Jul 26, 2008
Hi all.

I've done searching on this forum and other forums, and I realize there's already information out there on overclocking the Intel Q9450 processor, but, could I get somewhat of a step-by-step tutorial on it from someone who knows all the precise details?

From things I've read, the Q9450 seems to be an easily overclockable processor. Basically, from some things I've read, you just seem to have to up the FSB in the BIOS to get the speed to where you'd like it (stock for the Q9450 is 2.66GHz; I'd like about 3 or 3.2GHz).

I've tried doing the FSB adjustment, but when I play an intense 3D application (like the game of Crysis or Grid Racecar Driver), my game will freeze up and then the system will crash out and reboot. My graphics card can handle things (it's a GeForce 9800 GX2). Also have a solid PSU, a Corsair TX750. And Corsair RAM, Twin 2 x 4096-6, 6400C5DHX, Speed 800MHz.

And also, when I've tried adjusting things in my BIOS (I have a Gigabyte EP35C-DS3R which has something called an M.I.T. Intelligent Tweaker), I sometimes can't get past the Windows XP Pro booting screen (with that little crawling "blue caterpillar"); that Win XP screen starts to fade in and then freezes there, and then I have to hard boot and go back into the BIOS and undo what I just did just so I can boot to my desktop.

First, check out this screenshot of CPU-Z:


Do you see down where it has the "Clocks (Core #0)" section? It says "Multiplier x 6.0". I read somewhere on the 'Net that it should be "x 8.0"; is this true? Because right above that "Multiplier" it says "Core Speed" and it's reading "2000.0MHz"; shouldn't it be reading something like "2.666MHz", like what my Q9450 is supposed to be rated at stock?

I think this instability I've been getting when trying to attempt to overclock may have something to do with voltages. Yes? No? Possible? On the CPU-Z screenshot I provided, it reads Core Voltage 1.104. I've read that sometimes when overclocking that it sometimes becomes necessary to raise the voltage. If this is true in my case (so I won't get stuck at the Win XP boot screen, or, get crashed out of games like Crysis into a system reboot), could I please get a precise step-by-step on exactly how much to raise the voltage? Things like how many increments? I don't want to overdo or underdo anything and harm or fry my processor.

So.....if anyone out there could give me some step-by-step to squeeze more speed out of this processor, I'd surely appreciate it!!! :wahoo:



Apr 6, 2009
Well, I have a similar board, the Gigabyte GA EP45-DS3R and the Q9450.

The Clock speed varies during use on your computer, when the system is at idle or low use it will be 6x but when the processor gets taxed by an application, or a game it will be at 8x, to see this in action have a game running in a window, like World of Warcraft or run a cpu stress test program like Prime95 and then check CPU-ID.

Now for overclocking, I do very well at 400mhz FSB or a 3.2Ghz cpu speed.

Important things in the Bios - Have the memory set to its default speed, not an overclocked speed. That means changing its multiplyer. I end up with my DDR2 800mhz memory running at exactly 800mhz. The closest to the stock speed of your memory the more stable your system will be. Also make sure the PCIe bus is locked at 100mhz rather than Auto. Again stablizing the rest of the system.

Make sure you have the latest BIOS update for your board, the final updates for a bunch of Gigabytes boards in that time frame dealt primarily with memory timing and tweaks.

You shouldn't need to increase the CPU voltage, just leave the setting on AUTO and let the MB set up the voltage accordingly for this cpu at 3.2 Ghz. However the voltage my MB chose for me is 1.296 VDC as shown in CPU-ID, at Stock 2.66Ghz Auto sets me at 1.01 VDC.

From what I have tested if I take mine over 3.2 then I start to get errors with running "Prime 95 64bit edition" (although that may be because my memory is being overclocked, some memory doesn't like to be overclocked at all). However, running the stress test at 3.2 Ghz I can run for days and days and never have any of my cores drop out of the testing with an error.

I am quite pleased with the Q9450 because not only do I have a stable overclock, it runs exactly like the Quad Extreme 3.2 Ghz with a 1600Mhz FSB at stock speeds. In fact, I think the Q9450 SLAWR passes the manufacturer tests at 3.2 Ghz but was rated at the lower 2.66 speed to fulfill stock quantities. Notice the processor spec numbers for the first run of these cpu's.
SLAWM QX9770 3.2 Ghz Extreme 1600Mhz FSB - (12 Mb cache)
SLAWN QX9650 3.0 Ghz Extreme 1333Mhz FSB - (12 Mb cache)
SLAWQ Q9550 2.83Ghz 1333Mhz FSB - (12 Mb cache)
SLAWR Q9450 2.66Ghz 1333Mhz FSB - (12 Mb cache)
SLAWE Q9300 2.5 Ghz 1333Mhz FSB - (6Mb cache)
Maybe I am just putting too much hope into my idea about my CPU passing the Speed test. But I don't think it is a coincidence that all these CPU's have a "SLAWx" Spec. All these CPU's are of the same design build, and the only difference in them is how they were binned (as seen by the last letter of the CPU sSpec#) after manufacture. Thats why I chose the Q9450, so it would run like the QX9770 at stock speeds, not over stressing anything in my system. And it does it very well!

Good luck, I hope I helpped you, if you hadn't found any previous help.

Gigabyte GA EP45-DS3R motherboard
Q9450 CPU at 1600FSB 3.2Ghz with Zalman CNPS9500 heatpipe cooler
Corsair CM2x2048-6400C5DHX, 4 stick 8GBytes, running at stock 800Mhz
ATI HD 4850 GPU with 512MByte GDDR3 with Zalman VF900-Cu heatpipe cooler
Soundblaster X-FI Music PCI
ATI Theater 650 PCI
ATI Theater 650 PCIe (dual tuner mode in Vista MediaCenter 2008)
Rockfish 700watt power supply (Best Buy House Brand)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 w/ Media Center 2008 update


Jul 16, 2009
i also have a q9450. i had a lot of trouble pushing it and had to do a lot of tweeking on the voltage's to get it stable. i'm not on the comp right now but here are the facts...
q9450 on a foxconn blackops x48 chipset at 3.2 ghz
400 mhz fsb with 8x multiplier
it runs DDR3 on duel channel at 1600 mhz. they're corsair's xm3's rated at 1600mhz.

the voltage on the q9450 is set somewhere around 1.375-1.4v
the vcore is set somewhere around there also.
i overclocked the northbridge a little too.

i'm running on overclocked 4870 video card right now too but that's another story.

for some reason, the q9450 does not like to overclock too well and going even a little above 400 will cause it to be unstable during full load. it takes tweaking but i know it can handle 3.2 ghz on an x48 board. it's amatter of getting just the right voltage.


Sep 15, 2013

Actually, I'm running it at 3.592GHz (it won't go higher :( ) and something like 1.27v.