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First Ever Overclocking Experience...

Well I got bored today and decided to educate myself in the fine art of overclocking. Needless to say, my attention span for reading walls of text on the subject was a bit limited, and after 2 hours, I just decided to watch a couple of videos and print off a guide and do it that way.

The big thing for me was that I run my computer air cooled only, stock cooler on my CPU and all, and so I knew that even though my E8500 can easily get to 4ghz, I wasn't going anywhere near that. Even though I'm still a bit of a computer newb, I knew that in order to keep my CPU alive for any length of time, I wanted to keep the core temp under 70 C when under maximum load. Word has it on the world wide web that its best to keep something called the TJ Max at around 30 C (and I took that as meaning you want to keep the core temp 30 degrees below the CPUs max of 100 C).

So onward I trekked! First I wanted to go to the upper end of what I thought I might manage on air, which was 3.8ghz at something like 1.3 volts. That was a bit much as it was going to hit the 80s under a load so scratch that. Next I tried 3.5ghz at around 1.2 volts. This was much better, and I played around with the volts, eventually hitting the ground at around 1.15 volts without blue screening.

I wanted to get a bit more, so I finally fell on 3.6ghz at 1.15 or 1.2 volts (can't remember, but with "vdroop" I'm around 1.13 volts. This actually gave me temps only 1 degree above the 3.5ghz setting and so I think I will stick with this.

I'm not content with the temps entirely though. I idle around 42 C, and after running the hour long OCCT stress test (runs your CPU at 100% for the whole time, save a couple of points where it drops to 50% for a break) both cores top out at 69 C. These aren't bad temps at all, considering it's summer and my room itself is about 22-24 C.

I think I will take my good friend, Chilidragon's advice and purchase a good heatsink for my CPU. I have no idea how much of a drop that will provide, but if it can get me idling in the 30's and loading at 60-65, then I'm a happy camper. If it does even better, then awesome! I will then jack it up to 3.8ghz and have a happy party. As a side note, I should probably mention that I use Real Temp 3.0 to get my readings. My understanding is that the sensor on the chip itself is the Tcase, or the temp inside the cap of the CPU, and is usually 10C cooler than the core temp. Correct me if I'm wrong, as that would be a bad thing to mess up on haha.

Before I wrap this up, I have a question for all of my computer saavy pals. If the computer doesn't blue screen, is that a definitive sign that you're supplying enough volts to the core? May be a stupid question, but it'd be great to know! Also, any other OC tips, hints, or things to know in general, would be much appreciated!

Have a good one!