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Overclocking Q9400 and MSI P45-C51

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Old 06-06-11, 12:01 PM Thread Starter   #1
COLEC
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Overclocking Q9400 and P45-C51


Hello All!

I am new to this forum, so please bear with me.

I am very new to overclocking and was wondering if somebody could please help me overclock my Intel Q9400 2.66 GHz to at least 3.2 GHz and stable.

I tried to do this myself, but every time I end up crashing the system. I actually had better success using the MSI Dual Core Center to overclock in Windows and had a stable system at 3 GHz with no voltage tweaks, but I have read that it is better to overclock using the BIOS.

When I overclocked in Windows all the BIOS settings was on default. My FSB in Dual Core Center was on 376 and FSB/DRAM ratio was 1:2 which gave me a DRAM Frequency of 752 MHz under Memory tab of CPU-Z 1.57.

When I tried to overclock in my BIOS I also left all the voltages and other settings on auto and set the FSB on 376 with multiplier of 8, giving me a CPU speed of 3GHz. When I did this the Bios automatically changed my FSB/DRAM ratio to 2:3 for some reason that I cannot understand. This meant that my RAM was running slower at 500 something. If I put the FSB/DRAM ratio on 1:2 in BIOS, the system would not even boot up. With these settings in my BIOS, my system was unstable, but it was the same speed as I overclocked it to in Windows. That I cannot understand.

What I need is specific voltage settings values for my AMI BIOS as well as ratios for FSB/DRAM and all other ratios and settings. Basically I need all the detail for overclocking my specific system in my BIOS, for I am very afraid of damaging something if I do it wrong. I will give all my system detail next.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66 GHz
MSI P45-C51 Motherboard with AMI BIOS
GeForce GTS 450 OC2
8GB DDR3 1333 RAM running Dual and Symmetric
750W Cougar Power Supply

I am using stock fans in my case, so I am on air cooling.

So what I am asking PLEASE is for somebody to give me the exact values of every setting I should change in my specific BIOS and system to get a decent but stable overclock.

Thank You So Much.
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Old 06-06-11, 12:18 PM   #2
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Welcome..! What I would do is check out the guide in my signature (C2D/C2Q). Problem with cookie cutter settings is that every chip is different. So what might work for one, wont work for someone else. You really need to read up on what you are doing.

Problem though is your ram is slow and you will overclock it fairly quickly. So its likely your ram is your issue right now. Having 8GB of ram, you will need to raise your Northbridge voltage as well.

Check out that guide...

Please post the screenshots of CPUz main, SPD, and Memory tab.

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Old 06-06-11, 12:24 PM   #3
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It also sounds like with your settings on auto, your voltages are probably way too high. Auto tends to overestimate, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I have my 9400 on my wife's rig at 3.4 stable with nice low temps. But the second I even try to bump it to 3.5 my votages had to raise considerably, and my temps practically skyrocketed. I managed to get it to 3.6 max running stable, but it was just too hot for me so I put it at 3.4 for every day use. Definitely set your voltages rather than leaving them on auto. One way I've found that is easy to do it set your voltage to the max value Intel has it rated for, and make small FSB increases until you reach what you want. Once you have that you can start stepping back your voltages in small increments. Once it BSODs or doesn't post, bump it back up a little bit. Just realize this will take time. This isn't a plug and play experience. If you want to OC then you need to take time to learn it, and constantly tweak.

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Old 06-06-11, 12:26 PM   #4
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Also are you running the stock cooler or an aftermarket? If aftermarket which one? If not, you will probably need to look in to getting one. C2Q run pretty hot.

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Old 06-06-11, 12:43 PM Thread Starter   #5
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Thank you so much! I will try this and see how it goes.
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Old 06-06-11, 12:44 PM Thread Starter   #6
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A have only the stock fans and 2 extra fans. Will think about getting some extra cooling.
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Old 06-06-11, 12:46 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Thank You for the advice, I will look at the guide and try to up the NB voltage.
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Old 06-06-11, 12:47 PM   #8
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I merged your two threads, the other being in the Benchmarking forum. In the future please don't cross-post in multiple forums. Thanks... redduc900

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Old 06-06-11, 12:57 PM Thread Starter   #9
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How do I get the max value of the voltages?
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Old 06-06-11, 12:58 PM   #10
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I actually meant do you have the stock CPU Heatsink? If so you're definitely going to need something else. The fans on the case will help airflow, but getting the heat off your chip is more important. If you haven't gotten an aftermarket cooler there are TONS to choose from. A current budget HSF is Cooler Master Hyper 212+. Solid, nothing extreme. I used the Xigmatec Dark Knight on my Q9400 and its performed very well and is a mid-range HSF price wise. There are top end running about $70-$80, but from the sound of it you won't need them. I would think either mentioned above will get you where you want to be as long as the chip itself can handle it.

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Old 06-06-11, 01:02 PM Thread Starter   #11
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Thank you, and sorry for that. I am new to this, but learning.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:05 PM Thread Starter   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbcranium202 View Post
I actually meant do you have the stock CPU Heatsink? If so you're definitely going to need something else. The fans on the case will help airflow, but getting the heat off your chip is more important. If you haven't gotten an aftermarket cooler there are TONS to choose from. A current budget HSF is Cooler Master Hyper 212+. Solid, nothing extreme. I used the Xigmatec Dark Knight on my Q9400 and its performed very well and is a mid-range HSF price wise. There are top end running about $70-$80, but from the sound of it you won't need them. I would think either mentioned above will get you where you want to be as long as the chip itself can handle it.
Yes, I have the stock CPU Heatsink. Thank you for the info, will look into it before going on.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:09 PM   #13
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There is also an EDIT button so you dont have to double and triple post.

As far as the stock cooler, you will not have much headroom once you change voltage and start increasing the clocks. You should run Prime95, Torture test, Small FFT and see what maximum temperatures are. In your case, you want to keep the temps under 85C while STRESS testing.

The guide does cover a lot of this information.

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Old 06-06-11, 01:40 PM Thread Starter   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
There is also an EDIT button so you dont have to double and triple post.

As far as the stock cooler, you will not have much headroom once you change voltage and start increasing the clocks. You should run Prime95, Torture test, Small FFT and see what maximum temperatures are. In your case, you want to keep the temps under 85C while STRESS testing.

The guide does cover a lot of this information.
Thank you. Still new and learning! Will run Prime95 and check my temperatures.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:59 PM Thread Starter   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
Welcome..! What I would do is check out the guide in my signature (C2D/C2Q). Problem with cookie cutter settings is that every chip is different. So what might work for one, wont work for someone else. You really need to read up on what you are doing.

Problem though is your ram is slow and you will overclock it fairly quickly. So its likely your ram is your issue right now. Having 8GB of ram, you will need to raise your Northbridge voltage as well.

Check out that guide...

Please post the screenshots of CPUz main, SPD, and Memory tab.
Just want to ask: If I increase the Northbridge voltage will I be able to set the FSB/DRAM ratio to 1:2 in the BIOS?
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Old 06-08-11, 12:12 PM Thread Starter   #16
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Okay, I have come to the conclusion that this overclocking business is not as easy as I thought. I even put the FSB in the BIOS to 376, which gave me 3GHz, and left all other settings to Auto, and still Prime95 gives me errors after an hours running. The temps of my cores are all 70 degrees Celsius and lower. Never more than that. The FSB/DRAM ratio is then at 2:3, set by the bios automatically and runs at 500 something MHz. I am going to post a document of the settings that are available in my BIOS. I am asking pretty please for settings in this bios, just voltages and settings to start with to get it to just 3GHz or 3.1GHz stable. From there on I will try on my own. But I please need settings to start with. I know this seems lazy, but please, I have tried everything and have no clue what to do. Thank you in advance!

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 Yorkfield 2.66 MHz
Mobo: MSI P45-C51
GPU: GeForce GTS 450 OC2 GDDR5 1GB
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333 (4x 2GB sticks)
PSU: 750W Cougar
Cooling: Stock CPU heat sink and fan with 3 extra case fans (Air Cooling)
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Old 06-08-11, 12:16 PM   #17
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Please post screenshots of CPUz main tab, SPD tab, and Memory tab. As I believe I have mentioned before, its likely your memory holding you back.

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Old 06-08-11, 12:22 PM Thread Starter   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
Please post screenshots of CPUz main tab, SPD tab, and Memory tab. As I believe I have mentioned before, its likely your memory holding you back.
I am at work at the moment, so will do so when I get home. Should the screenshots be taken when at stock speeds or when I overclocked it to 3GHz? When at 3GHz and all settings on auto in bios, I believe the FSB/DRAM ratio is 2:3 and my memory is timed at 8-9-9-9-24. My FSB is at 376 and 1504MHz. Core voltage is 1.24. DRAM Frequency is at 5xx.

Last edited by COLEC; 06-08-11 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 06-08-11, 12:31 PM   #19
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Overclocked please.

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Old 06-08-11, 12:37 PM Thread Starter   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
Overclocked please.
Okay! Will do so when I get home.
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