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 Post subject: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May 2013
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:54 pm 
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I build that machine, part for part. I only substituted a 500Gb SSD and added a total of 16Gb DDR3 memory. The article was excellent on page 66 but you mentioned that you overclocked it to 4.2 Ghz and it did not even break a sweat. I used the same cooler you used and motherboard. The Gigabyte GA-X79-OP4 was quite impressive. But I don't want water cooling and really want the 4.2 GHz you promised. How do I get that board up to those specs? I tried using the simple features in the BIOS but my rig is registering 3.8 GHz during Super Pi stress test. How did you set that machine to run at 4.2 GHz and is this constant, even when idling, or can it go to 4.2 GHz when needed? Somebody Please explain. I for sure do not want to burn out my new video card, memory, CPU, or motherboard by inputting wrong values. :shock:

Image

Can you answer this please?! Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:43 am 
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I've only done overclocking a few times, but if I were to guess, you should be getting your hands dirty in either the multiplier (which isn't going to happen since I don't believe it's unlocked) or the base clock.. which requires some finger crossing because you have to go after the memory controller and make sure the bus speed doesn't exceed what the RAM likes.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:31 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:
I've only done overclocking a few times, but if I were to guess, you should be getting your hands dirty in either the multiplier (which isn't going to happen since I don't believe it's unlocked) or the base clock.. which requires some finger crossing because you have to go after the memory controller and make sure the bus speed doesn't exceed what the RAM likes.


I appreciate the advice but getting my hands dirty with the only $2,000 in parts that I can buy once in a great many years is a bit scary. The article was written to show how to play Crysis 3 on a budget and the original parts list was $1,600 without a DVD drive. I doubled the RAM and SSD space to make the machine a keeper. I won't get this chance again and followed the article as a step by step guide. To experiment with overclocking and blow my $400 video card, CPU, or motherboard "learning how" is a bit too scary for me. It would have been nice for Maximum PC to include the overclock steps or settings so that one really could build this machine as written in the article without having to take extreme chances with very expensive parts. I tried some of the "safer" methods in the BIOS but even though the BIOS shows a setting of 4.2 Ghz, the machine tests out at 3.6 Ghz under the Pi test and it is rather extreme.

Personally I really needed that article to be a bit more complete than it was. If everything was on par, like including the DVD in the parts list plus giving the overclock settings, I would have given that article a 9 or 10. As it is, a 6 maybe? I think that Maximum PC had a great opportunity to show newbies how to build a powerful, really nice rig from scratch and be proud of it but blew it due to lack of article space or maybe the author just got tired of writing, I just don't know. :(

Thanks for your reply.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Even if you have the same chip/mobo/memory/psu/etc. That does not mean that you can get to the same overclock as the next guy. Each piece of electronics is unique.
Also, I wouldn't want to post my overclock settings. Here is why. Someone else tries my settings and their cpu blows a gasket and lets the 'magic smoke' out. :shock:
Then they try to smear me all over the 'net because I ruined their cpu with my overclock settings. :evil:
Even if I tell them that I don't want them trying this at home, someone will do it anyway and the above will happen.
Sorry, I ain't gonna go thru that.
There are many, many online articles about overclocking. Read and learn. The most important thing to remember doing any overclocking is to change only ONE setting at a time and don't change it by much. Then stability test. Do another change and stability test. Keep going until the machine is unstable then back it off a notch or two. Preferably two.
If you change several things and then the machine won't run, which setting was it that you changed that won't work? You then have to change all those settings back again and start over.
You still want my oc settings? Not gonna happen.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:35 pm 
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dedgar wrote:
Even if you have the same chip/mobo/memory/psu/etc. That does not mean that you can get to the same overclock as the next guy. Each piece of electronics is unique.
Also, I wouldn't want to post my overclock settings. Here is why. Someone else tries my settings and their cpu blows a gasket and lets the 'magic smoke' out. :shock:
Then they try to smear me all over the 'net because I ruined their cpu with my overclock settings. :evil:
Even if I tell them that I don't want them trying this at home, someone will do it anyway and the above will happen.
Sorry, I ain't gonna go thru that.
There are many, many online articles about overclocking. Read and learn. The most important thing to remember doing any overclocking is to change only ONE setting at a time and don't change it by much. Then stability test. Do another change and stability test. Keep going until the machine is unstable then back it off a notch or two. Preferably two.
If you change several things and then the machine won't run, which setting was it that you changed that won't work? You then have to change all those settings back again and start over.
You still want my oc settings? Not gonna happen.


...wow! That was rather, er, uhm, ...extreme. Look dude, I am not asking how to make dynamite at home for some real fun on the 4th of July. The article said that the CPU, GPU, cooler, and motherboard in that machine:

    Intel Core i7-3820
    MSI GTX-670 PE
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
    Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4

Oh wow, the article is actually online and not just for magazine subscribers in hard copy. Here it is, this is what I build, all exactly the same but I bought a dual layer DVD-RW, doubled the same RAM, and doubled the same SSD capacity. Here is the article:

http://www.maximumpc.com/play_crysis_3_budget_2013

Even if you did not build this rig or care about it, this is still a good read, go read it if you have the time.

And what was said is:

We’d like to point out that the Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler let us take our Core i7 CPU from 3.6GHz to an overclocked 4.25GHz without breaking a sweat or making a peep, despite using just a single 120mm fan. Stock temps were around 30 C idle, with temps dipping into the mid-50s under load. The GPU hovered around 70 C when overclocked—not bad for a core clock running 17 percent faster than stock speed. MSI's copper heat pipes and dual fans helped there, for sure.


So if the Evo cooler can safely bring that rig from "3.6GHz to an overclocked 4.25GHz" "without breaking a sweat or making a peep", then I want to know what settings were used. Maximum PC is all about PC enthusiasts who want a power rig for gaming or entertainment, dam any kind of spreadsheet or business application. Just about every PC website out there stresses business applications and software, go look at any of the Ziff Davis magazines like PC Magazine. All business, cell phones, and stuff to get work done. This is for playing and playing hard. The book regularly shows in depth "How To" articles on water cooling extreme rigs. Personally, I don't think it is worth it. Water + delicate and expensive electronic parts do not mix and they for sure are not going to mix in any rig I build. For what? A few hundred more megabits per seconds? Just buy a faster CPU and be done with it. Never have to worry about springing a leak or maintaining a water cooled system.

Yep, they do post disclaimers like to be careful with this and not do it if this is not your bag. Maybe even disclaim responsibility if a hose breaks shorting out your rig or you blow your video card, RAM, or CPU messing around. I subscribe to the mag, believe in the mag, and even built one of their recommended rigs for myself because they did all the homework of what fits good together, will give the most bang for the buck, would not cost 3 grand (Although it was still very expensive.), and could even overclock without breaking a sweat. They could have posted one more paragraph or two, maybe with an illustration or screencap of the BIOS settings, showing how they got that machine to "3.6GHz to an overclocked 4.25GHz" "without breaking a sweat or making a peep". Do I want mine to run at 4.2 Ghz? Sure, especially since I have all the hardware to do it. Do I want to try and figure that out on my own, NO!

I made a costly mistake once, I had a AMD 2.6 Ghz I think it was, great machine, with an expensive ($400 at that time) nVidia video card. Spending that kind of money on a video card sounded like insanity to anyone I know, but I wanted the performance and I paid for it with a PNY card. Great rig. I wanted to upgrade to a faster CPU and bought the 3.2 Ghz one to replace it with, same model, faster clock speed. Installed it and was shocked to see my rig running at 800 Mhz. Huh? Went back to BIOS, made sure settings were correct, but no matter what, the BIOS would not go over 800 Mhz for that CPU. (Later on I found that the motherboard only goes to like 3 Ghz and that was it's limit.) So I thought I would get my hands dirty and start messing with the clock and bus speeds. I bumped them up a little, saved the BIOS, and upon reboot, started crying when I saw pink, yellow, cyan, blue, white, and every other color happy face, heart, club, line art, and all sorts of weird ASCII characters all over the screen. I knew right away I blew the video card. Yanked out that CPU, reset the BIOS, and rebooted, but the $400 video card was damaged permanently. Blew some of the on board RAM, I believe. Windows worked alright, but I would get tearing on the screen and all sorts of artifacts in any video game with accelerated graphics. Since that GPU came with a lifetime warranty, I sent it back and had to wait 6 weeks for PNY to send me a new one. They had no more in stock and instead of just sending me one model up, they made me wait 6 weeks until they got a new shipment from overseas.

So, no, I don't mess with clock and bus settings unless I see someone running it already on the same rig or see it published from a respectable company like Maximum PC. I do not want YOUR SETTINGS unless you are running an identical rig and do not mind discussing it. I am well aware that things like rooting your phone or overclocking your rig will void your warranty, but my phone and tablets are rooted, I know what I am doing and like the new Jellybean version of Android, plus taking out all the Verizon bloatware. Now if I brick the phone doing it, I for sure cannot complain to Motorola or Verizon about it, that would be my problem, my fault, and I have insurance. I have bricked it a few times but managed to get back into the AP Fastboot menu and reinstall the OS and root again.

Dude, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to reply in a discussion thread when I ask a question, but I would hardly hold you or the magazine responsible if I were to take steps that I know could possibly damage my stuff or void the warranty. But if we didn't root our phones or upgrade or trick out our rigs, what would we need the magazine for? We could always read PC Magazine and learn a whole lot of Excel, Powerpoint, or Access shortcuts to make our business presentations more stylish and maybe get the job done faster. That is not what Maximum PC is all about. You have to give us some credit for being advantageous and doing stuff like this. Otherwise I would have a Dell Dimension something or another with built in graphics and an Xbox. :P

Easy to post a screencap with the settings used in the article and printing a disclaimer saying it was a test machine, stable, but any attempt to overclock your CPU could result in damage or void your warranty. The BIOS looks like this and I did up the CPU Clock ratio to 4.2 Ghz. This is shown in the BIOS but the realtime speed display shows 3.8 Ghz. Puzzling, one must have to dig deeper into core voltage, memory clocks, block clock, and a host of other things, too many to just "diddle with" and hope for the best. This stuff cost too much for me to experiment with like that. I need to see it done first and then copy or tweak from what I have already seen to be working fine.

Image

If you had asked this question and I could answer it, I would. If you were brainless and had no clue to begin with, what would you be doing here, building a successful rig right out of the magazine pages when you could have just bought one at Office Depot or Tiger Direct? We are all enthusiasts and like to amp up our rigs. I appreciate your input but the magazine frequently does post overclocking articles, they just cut this build a little short in that department, IMHO. Thanks!

~Ohmster


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:04 pm 
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We used to have an overclocking section for exactly these kinds of questions.

dedgar is right, though. If you just plug in their values, you could easily fry your rig. Identical hardware is never quite identical.

Take it slow and ramp up your OC a little bit at a time. Increase the speed, test, burn in, and then increase again. This way you'll find the actual limits of your hardware and you'll be able to run at a comfortable speed.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:56 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
We used to have an overclocking section for exactly these kinds of questions.

dedgar is right, though. If you just plug in their values, you could easily fry your rig. Identical hardware is never quite identical.

Take it slow and ramp up your OC a little bit at a time. Increase the speed, test, burn in, and then increase again. This way you'll find the actual limits of your hardware and you'll be able to run at a comfortable speed.


Okay, that is a sensible answer. But the simple method given in the BIOS to move up the CPU speed to 4.2 Ghz does not actually work. There are a myriad of options to adjust to get the unit overclocked. Vcore, block clock, memory timing, memory voltage, and several others that I cannot remember off the top of my head. There are complex formulas for figuring this out and unless one is a math junkie or computer fanatic that does this all the time, knowing just what to adjust, what it will affect, what NOT to touch, and how it will affect the rig are all major issues that are not addressed in this glorified Gigabyte BIOS system. The only common consensus is to NOT adjust anything too far, just small bumps, test machine for booting, stability, temperature, and results. For someone who has not ever done this before, this is beyond a daunting task, this is downright impossible. Even trying to read some of the overclock guides is too confusing to pick out a sane path to go by. Too many options to choose from. Do you want full time OC, OC under load, power-saver mode enabled, all cores or just some, and all of this stuff is too confusing to even begin to *think* of where to start.

If I had a buddy who was good at this stuff and got to see it live and have it explained, "hands on", then I could do it. But playing with all of these values that are critical and can fry your CPU, Motherboard, GPU, or memory instantly if the wrong value is inserted is just to scary to even try. Since Maximum PC easily got it to push well over 4Ghz on air cooling without breaking a sweat, they could have at least spent a little time discussing what values were adjusted and how they would affect the machine. That in itself would probably require a full article and I guess there was no room for it nor did the author have the time or desire to write such an article. Looking at all the things you can adjust, there must be at least 15 separate things you can adjust, any one of which can toast the rig. Maybe I will try the OC forum to see if there are any friendly people there with similar hardware who could give me some basic starter information, something to go on, what to expect, and how loose or tight to be with these changes.

Here is a really good example of what I am talking about:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2647&page=7

Tells you everything you need to know, right? Tells you how easy it is, no? Here is a good quote from the bottom of the page:
To sum up, overclocking to 4.3GHz is dead easy. Just bump the CPU multiplier to x43. Overclocking beyond that will require a bit of skill. Without wading in the necessary territory of voltage adjustments PCSTATS squeezed 4.375GHz from the Sandy Bridge-E processor by using the 1.25x BCLK Gear Ratio... though with a little more time even greater speeds are easily on the horizon!

I would be happy as a clam with that but what CPU multiplier are they talking about? I see a host clock, base clock, BLCK/PCIe clock, CPU clock ratio, and a CPU frequency. Which one of these cryptic terms is "the CPU Multiplier"? Not to mention the voltages and memory settings.

I still wish I could make the rig push the 4.2 Ghz that was mentioned in the article without having to graduate Harvard to do it. :(
I have been a computer enthusiast for at least 20 years but I always have shied away from overclocking because I cannot see the sense in putting water, hoses, and radiator on your rig just to gain a few hundred megahertz to run with. Would not be worth the trouble or expense to do and maintain, why not just buy a faster CPU? This rig with the Evo cooler is supposed to OC to 4.2 Ghz without breaking a sweat, to me that means you can bump this up to 4.2, run it like that, and at worst, it might take a year at most total off the entire lifetime of the rig, if even that much. I am not unhappy with the machine performance, to me this is the best computer I ever had. But the lure of getting over 4 Ghz easily out of this machine is seductive and allegedly "easy" to do. I just wish someone would explain how to do it, straight up, safely and give some sort of guide on what to do, exactly. That or go be a Maximum PC intern for a year and learn that way. But really, I am too old to be a free coffee gopher for some company, I really do have bills to pay and need the money for time spent working.

Thanks!
~Ohmster


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:21 am 
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Dude. There's nothing that complicated about overclocking. While everything might seem tedious, it's because you want to ensure that you're not you're going to kill your part right away and that you have a stable machine. Overclocking means running the part out of spec. Just because MaxPC got a i7-3820 to reach 4.2GHz, doesn't mean everyone else can, because that part was only rated for 3.7GHz. There is no easy solution other than adjust the parameters and test. And if that's too much for you, then you can stop right here about overclocking. It's not an exact science. There is no magical formula you can use, because every part is going to yield different results (even if often times those results land on the same number).

If you want some pointers though...
  • You can only adjust the BCLK on the CPU. Anything about a multiplier goes out the window because you don't have a K designated part.
  • If you adjust the BCLK, chances are your memory controller will need tweaking because it too runs off the BCLK. You'll just have to make sure you're not running your memory beyond the speed it was rated for
  • Start by adjusting the BCLK in 5 or 10MHz increments and make sure it passes POST, and hell, even going into Windows if you want to go that far.
  • The moment the computer chokes up is when you've reached the maximum the BCLK can be adjusted to. Reset your BIOS settings and use the BCLK value that last worked and make sure it still works.
  • If you're feeling ballsy you can push past that point by adjusting the voltage upwards, however from what I read a while back, a good rule of thumb of the limit that you should stop at is 10% of the voltage the CPU is normally rated for (Intel says that the maximum voltage for a 3820 is 1.35V, so no more than 1.4V). Then you can do some more adjustments to the BLCK as necessary
  • Whenever you hit a stopping point and you've found the highest settings that will work, you have to throw it with a round of CPU stress tests. Give it Prime95 for a few hours at the minimum. This is to ensure that your CPU is stable, will not produce errors, and that it's temperature is manageable.

However, the last time I overclocked was on a Core 2 Duo E8400 so my knowledge may be outdated. I haven't bothered with it sense because I don't really care and for gaming, my processor isn't going to be "obsolete" any time soon.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:23 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:
Dude. There's nothing that complicated about overclocking. While everything might seem tedious, it's because you want to ensure that you're not you're going to kill your part right away and that you have a stable machine. Overclocking means running the part out of spec. Just because MaxPC got a i7-3820 to reach 4.2GHz, doesn't mean everyone else can, because that part was only rated for 3.7GHz. There is no easy solution other than adjust the parameters and test. And if that's too much for you, then you can stop right here about overclocking. It's not an exact science. There is no magical formula you can use, because every part is going to yield different results (even if often times those results land on the same number).

If you want some pointers though...
  • You can only adjust the BCLK on the CPU. Anything about a multiplier goes out the window because you don't have a K designated part.
  • If you adjust the BCLK, chances are your memory controller will need tweaking because it too runs off the BCLK. You'll just have to make sure you're not running your memory beyond the speed it was rated for
  • Start by adjusting the BCLK in 5 or 10MHz increments and make sure it passes POST, and hell, even going into Windows if you want to go that far.
  • The moment the computer chokes up is when you've reached the maximum the BCLK can be adjusted to. Reset your BIOS settings and use the BCLK value that last worked and make sure it still works.
  • If you're feeling ballsy you can push past that point by adjusting the voltage upwards, however from what I read a while back, a good rule of thumb of the limit that you should stop at is 10% of the voltage the CPU is normally rated for (Intel says that the maximum voltage for a 3820 is 1.35V, so no more than 1.4V). Then you can do some more adjustments to the BLCK as necessary
  • Whenever you hit a stopping point and you've found the highest settings that will work, you have to throw it with a round of CPU stress tests. Give it Prime95 for a few hours at the minimum. This is to ensure that your CPU is stable, will not produce errors, and that it's temperature is manageable.

However, the last time I overclocked was on a Core 2 Duo E8400 so my knowledge may be outdated. I haven't bothered with it sense because I don't really care and for gaming, my processor isn't going to be "obsolete" any time soon.


...OMG! Genuine helpful advice and tips. Wow, "at wong wast!) -"Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht"

I talk a lot and have been politely branded as "loquacious" on many a web forum, sorry. I just can't help it. Just skip down if you don't have the time or interest to read on my history. :roll:

Actually, I will answer you now, then yak if you have an interest, to give you a reply that you can see right away. Digital ICs like CPU, memory chips, pretty much ANY digital chips are very, very fussy about their power and voltage requirements. If it is a 5 volt chip, you had better see 5 clean volts at that Vcc terminal of the IC. 4.7 or 5.3 was NOT good enough and was NOT okay. 5.1 maybe okay, but the requirements are very strict to be accurate and CLEAN! A 1.5 volt PCU WILL DIE at 1.7 volts, not kidding. So I am a little skittish about adjusting these values. But to overclock, one is pushing the IC outside of it's designed working limits, thus the IC will require a bit more power to perform what you want it to do, thus higher voltage. But like you said, careful with the voltage and all adjustments must be in very small increments. Let me check that 10% rule of yours, I like the sound of it.

(1.5 volts) x 1.1 (100% plus an additional 10%) = 1.65 volts.

Yeah, I like that ten percent rule. That is dead on accurate and safe. Nice! I will put that into my tool/rule/formula toolbox. Thanks! Yes I want the pointers, that is what I have been begging for. Ahhh, the block clock, BCLK is worth going for to gain a decent speed boost but that alone can only go so far. Yes, I get it about boot testing and then stability testing, I need a stress test to run it on, I have been using that Pi test because it does make the CPU run really hard because it is pretty much trying to calculate a value that, I think, theoretically has no final result and one could do some complicated mathematical crunching and forever get closer to a "final" result. But it gets harder and harder to compute as the decimal point vanishes off the left side of the screen. But, it is not a good, true stress tester. I will look for a better stress tester, this Prime95 might be good, and Maximum PC always lists the tests it uses. I think SiSoft Sandra is another good one. Anything to get the CPU off of it's lazy ass and start to kick ass. No time or room for idling here kiddies, time to get that heat sink HOT! Then see if it can hang in there, dies, gives the dreaded BSOD, and watch the internal or CPU temperature to make sure it remains in it's defined safe operational zone.

Yep, I think to get more speed out of the CPU, anything more than 200Mhz, we need a tad more voltage for the CPU and if we go high, then the memory as well. I would like to not mess with memory voltage and timing, bus timing and clocks, and even the CPU voltage and too many of the obscure settings. What I want is to make this rig run at 4-4.2Ghz, be stable at all times, not overheat, and purr like a kitten and roar like a lion. One thing that I really like about this build is that the chosen parts will make a darned good and powerful rig, a genuine keeper for sure. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is huge, totally air cooled, and was not really difficult to install. It is bad ass and will keep that CPU as cold as you can get it with air cooling. Nice. I love this build so much that I went double on the RAM and double on the SSD size. A few hundred more dollars but totally worth it. Imagine 32Gb RAM in your desktop PC? God, you could run ten things at once and never even dip into the page file. I could not do 32 but was able to get 16Gb of the specified memory into the machine and I am sure that will be more than ample.

So yeah, we start with BCL, up it in very small increments, get a feel for what the total speed increase is and get a rough formula for how much clock increase will yield so much CPU increase. Check for POST and boot, when I get up a bit and it passes POST, then go to windows and stress test to monitor stability and temperature. Stop and back off a bit when these things become apparently an issue. Appreciate the K series advice, leave the multiplier alone. I will probably have to boost the CPU voltage a tiny amount, but not much. I do not want to burn this thing out anytime soon or anytime at all.

LatiosXT, you say "I don't really care and for gaming, my processor isn't going to be "obsolete" any time soon." If you don't mind me asking, what is your rig? CPU, graphics, memory, specs or brand/barebones or home built? You must game and for someone that reads Maximum PC and who knows as much as you do, I would not believe that you run a junk rig. Although for budget reasons, many of us are running rigs that we wish were newer, better, faster, or more powerful. For me, one very big deal was the SSD. I have been reading about them now for some time and the AWE factor on how fast it boots and runs has been too seductive for me to ignore. But for budget reasons, I had to wait to get my money, build my dream rig, and this time, an SSD will be the OS drive. My old rig is still purring along (Read below how I keep it running after 6 years if interested.) and yet booting and rebooting was something I always dreaded. Booting would take a minimum of 5 or more minutes before I could grab the mouse and keyboard and actually start "doing suff". A reboot with updates could take over ten minutes! Boot times like that are flat out ridiculous.

This is really the end of my reply, the rest is my story about my previous PC and some of the things I learned while building, having, and fixing it. Those with no interest in this part are free to go, thanks everyone!

Part of it is my fault. I love this freeware called "Search Everything" and could not even imagine to have my own desktop PC and not have it. If you are not familiar with this neat search utility, it is basically a search engine for your entire system, no matter how many drives you have. I installed like 3-4 large hard drives and broke them down into 4 partitions each, thinking smaller partitions would give plenty of storage space for various files, different partitions for different things. This ended up being a bad idea because I have "too many hard drives" in Explorer because of it. I got to the point of plugging in a USB flash drive and not being able to access it because I had too many hard drives (partitions) and virtual optical drives with Clone Drive and Daemon Tools. I cut that out now and use the entire 512 Gb SSD for Windows and programs (Games go on additional storage real hard drives.) and bought a huge 4Tb storage drive and that I only cut in two. This worked out pretty well but I put two of my storage drives from the old rig, 1Tb drives cut into 4 partitions. Dumb idea, might use Partition Magic to join then back into two partitions each if this becomes an issue. Starting to drift here...

...oh yeah, boot time and Search Everything. This software is amazing, here if interested:
http://www.voidtools.com/
I am not a big fan of installing PC search engines like Copernic, Windows already has a search tool built in but it is horribly slow. Search Everything builds a very fast database of everything you have. If you allow it to start with Windows, it will always be ready to do a fast search, no matter where you put the file. It does file names, dates, sizes, etc., but not file contents. Having so many files and disks makes finding things infrequently used is difficult so I pop open Everything, put something like "geico txt accounts !bills" and it will immediately find my Geico car insurance information, web URL, login and password so I can pay my bill. You can use paths in the search or exclude files. The I put geico because that is the name of the file, txt because it is a txt file, accounts because it is in my accounts folder, and !bills to exclude everything after the bang or exclamation point. I pay online so I keep all of my paid receipts as pdf files rather than print them all. By excluding the bills folder, I do not have to pick through years worth of paid bill files. The point is that it finds anything as fast as hell. It finds the file before I even finish typing in the search criteria. Just imagine for a minute, of using Windows Search to find this geico.txt file, somewhere on one of 12 "hard drives". The Windows Search alone would probably take 15 minutes, this is why I love Search Everything so much. Allowing it to load with Windows makes the database do a quick sweep for any changes. It is pretty fast but with many physical hard drives and many hundreds of thousands of files, this process can add minutes to my boot time. Not many, a minute or two, but put that on top of everything else and boot time was horrible! I never want to reboot, not even after updates because it took too long. I cannot believe the difference the SSD made. Boot time now is about 20 seconds! Holy crap, it really, really is that fast! I will never build a rig again without an SSD OS drive.

BTW, Search Everything does not have to load with Windows. It can be run like any other program but before you can search, it will have to do a fast sweep of the drives. It is fast but nobody wants to wait just to search, even if it is less than a minute. Loading it with Windows stops that but takes away some memory. With 16Gb of memory, it is not an issue.

Dude, you gave me enough to feel confident enough to start playing with the OC. I will research these items first to be sure of what I am doing, but you gave me enough advice to at least consider and begin the project now and I appreciate that. I share a little history about myself and how to repair motherboards out of necessity. I think this is an insane idea but when you have no choice, it is an option that has so far, always worked for me.

Any advice is always welcome from anyone. Especially if you have a GIGABYTE GA-X79-UP4 motherboard, and a Sandy Bridge i7-3820 CPU. Thanks guys!

Thank you, thank you. Believe it or not, I am an electronic technician since graduation in 1982. Home electronics; TV, VCR, Plasma, amplifiers, receivers, CD and DVD players and recorders, open reel, turntables, DAT tape machines, and all that. Started with analog devices at the time, amps, Marantz and Pioneer receivers with the tuner string and dial, power supplies and such. Then came digital. First thing was a Phase Linear CD player. Cost $2,000.00. And, it was mostly analog circuits but for the digital circuits which for the most part, were discreet transistors and some IC's. I never seen such a thing before. Knew a LOT about electronic circuits and how to fix them, but this thing? What the hell is it and how does it work? I hooked it up to my bench receiver and speakers and tried to play "Carmen", a classical CD. The CD seemed to be working, the disc would spin up, the red LED laser pickup monitor was visible so you could see it as it moved across the disc, and it seemed to be moving, but somehow, "struggling". I turned up my receiver loud, trying to hear a hum or anything at all to tell if the amp circuits were working. At least, that is how it starts with amps, tape players, and turntables. Nothing. Nada. Quiet as a mouse, even at full volume. I examined the boards and to my horror, they were a LOT of them, chock full of transistors and small pots (Screwdriver turn-able variable resistors). Whoa, doing a setup or calibration on this thing would be one mother **cker!.

Okay, so good tech that I am, I remove the laser pickup, clean the polished rails with acetone to get off all the old sticky grease and lube them up with a good, white lubricant. Cleaned the laser head, cleaned the lens with optical paper bits in hemostats and Windex. Reassembled the entire thing and tried again. Amp on bench is turned up LOUD. I hear nothing, again, at all. That is, until the pickup read the TOC of the disc and began to play track #1, "Carmen". This particular song goes from dead silence to a huge loud boom of cymbals, horns, and bass drum. The sound was SO LOUD and clear it so surprised me that it knocked me off my stool, into the water cooler, the water bottle fell over and dumped on my head, and I sat on the floor, soaking wet, totally amazed at this totally cool new "thing" and how loud and crystal clear it was. Yeah, I fixed it by instinct and my mechanical/analog experience. Since I had only worked up to that point on analog devices like turntables, tape decks, microphones, and tuners, I expected some sort of sound to come, a faint hum, ANYTHING. But digital sound is not like that, there is no hum or background noise. You get crystal clear digital sound, or ...nothing at all. (Well, if you get a bad DAC circuit, it can sound pretty bad.) That was amazing. Then everything became digital or digitally controlled. Gone were the hated tuner strings, power buttons that clicked, and somewhat easy to track and troubleshoot days. I was trained in microprocessors and digital circuits in school so now this stuff was for real.

I have been building, fixing, upgrading, installing, networking, and web designing for years and out of pure experience and downright need or lack of funds, had to repair some motherboards myself. Now let me make this clear. NOBODY repairs motherboards or computer boards. It is simply too difficult, not worth it, and the right thing is to replace it or buy a new computer. But my last rig is an AMD quad core 3 Ghz w/4Gb DDR RAM. Had a good mid range PCIe 16 nVidia card, Hauppauge WinTV card, and was "Da Bomb" at the time. That I built 6 years ago. I always kept it running, up to date, clean, and fixed anything that broke right away. Around 5 years later, I was getting a random BSOD in Windows and it was troubling. Not often enough to pin it down, but unsettling to say the least. They became more frequent and as you know, all you can do is pretty much pull the plug and lose whatever you were doing. ...and hope it starts up again. Most of these I found to be due to heat issues. Clogged ducts, dead fans, and the like. Easy to troubleshoot, run the box with the case open and if it stops, you pretty much have it narrowed down to heat. Remove the CPU fan, clean all the fins with a brush and canned air, clean all ducts and blow out the case, replace any suspect fans. This would fix most of the BSOD cases I came across. The darned BSOD screens are so cryptic that I don't even thing the software designers know what the hell they mean. But mine were consistent and different. In the BSOD message was "Page Fault in non-paged area" or something of the sort. Page Fault means memory. I opened the case and examined the RAM. Yep, right at the memory bank slots were three electrolytic capacitors. One of which was quite bad. Top puffed out and ready to split like popcorn in the oven. Very clearly a bad component. (Remember, I am a highly skilled and experienced electronic tech, component level. So I can spot things like this with certainty.)

I know this is a bad motherboard and am extremely broke at this time. I got an AMD Phenom II X4 945 3 Ghz CPU look for a new AMD socket AM2+ motherboard with DDR2 and PCIe x16 with some nice PCI slots available. Not remembering this is a 5 year old part, I am shocked to see that nobody has such a part. All DDR3 and PCIe now, Socket AM2+ and DDR2 is yesterday's papers, nobody wants or has them anymore and this was a "killer" machine when built and still outperforms many brand new stock OEM desktop PCs. Now to repair my PC and this is NOT optional, I pay all my bills online and keep receipts, have all my records as Word docs, text files, or Acrobat pdf files. I have all of my bills and favorite bookmarks and important email on that machine, plus all of my digital binary music and video files. This machine must be fixed or replaced. ...sigh. New motherboard, now need new CPU, now need all new memory DDR3, and who knows what else. Can this get any worse?!! Now I am broke and need at least $500-600 minimum to fix my rig. Oh this totally sucks man, I do not have the money. But what I do have is technical knowledge and better yet, plenty of hands on experience. I can cash that in if I have to.

What do I know?

1.) Maybe 10 years ago, there was a capacitor company that supplies all the electrolytic capacitors for over 90% of ALL motherboards and they ran many bad batches of capacitors, sold them, and they were built into millions of home PCs. Several OEM manufacturers plus motherboard manufacturers had to give warranty replacement for these units due to the bad caps. Electrolytic capacitors are probably the ONLY thing in your PC that is not 100% solid. Transistors, diodes, resistors, ICs, even all small non polar capacitors are all 100% solid. An electrolytic capacitor is an amazing thing. A capacitor is nothing more than two plates with a wire on each, very, very, very close together without touching each other. The bigger the surface area of the plates and the smaller the distance between them, the higher the value of the part. Making small value caps is easy, they are literally two plates close together and coated with ceramic or some other substance and look like discs with two leads. Easy to make small caps like 22pF, 100pF, and the like (a picofarad is one trillionth of one farad, the standard of measurement for capacitance.) Such small value capacitors are invaluable for tuners and radio frequency tuned circuits, and to remove high frequency noise from data and power lines. But power supplies need BIG value capacitors like 100uF, 10,000uF, or the kind used in most motherboards, 1,000uF to 2,200uF in value. (A microfarad is on millionth of one farad. An actual Farad would be SO huge it would fill an entire room and have no practical value except in maybe some sort of mammoth power supply experiment.

Electrolytic capacitors have one very major difference than any other electronic component. It is basically a long strip of metal, maybe aluminum, and one side is oxidized or "rusted" on purpose. It insulates that one side of the metal. This very long strip of thin foil is coated on the oxide side with a gel that has the desired dielectric characteristics. It provides the necessary close electrical contact that must occur between the uncoated side of the foil and the other electrode, perhaps another strip of very thin foil. This now gel coated strip is tightly rolled up like a jelly roll, pushed into a small aluminum can, leads attached to the uncoated foil side and the other conductor protrude out the bottom of the can and it is sealed with a rubber plug. Whammo, you now have an amazingly powerful capacitor in a very small package! All really cool stuff and very good news, now electronics can be manufactured into very small packages and boards. Bad part is that because this part relies on an internal gel that must remain wet for the entire life of the part, electronics get warm and hot when in use, the gel begins to evaporate, deteriorate, expand, or dry out, the capacitor will fail and this is not a maybe, it will fail. But should have a decent lifetime of up to and sometimes beyond ten years. Yes, capacitors can be checked like any other electronic part, but to manually test each one would take way too long and be difficult because many times the part must be removed to get a really accurate test. BUT, any electrolytic capacitor that shows leakage on the board, or is bulging, or the top expanded or split open is totally bad and may as well be gone from the board for what it is worth.

2.) Computer circuit boards are extremely well made and very long lasting. High voltage or high current boards are different, they get hot and heat kills. But PCs run on low voltage and each board requires small amounts of current for the most part. These things are so reliable that you can put them into satellites, shoot them into orbit, and expect them to work for 50 years! Anything made that does work and lasts that long is a darned good part. There are no high voltages or currents to "blow the parts", heat is addressed seriously on computer parts. Anything that gets hot gets a big heat sink and fan to keep it cool. All parts are well made, rugged, and solid so they rarely fail. But the electrolytic caps are the weak link. They not only can fail, but do and will fail. And when they bulge they are easy to spot and definitely bad. If you spot one or more bulging capacitors on your motherboard, it is bad, and either has failed, is failing, or will fail very, very soon. Electrolytic capacitor can tops are perfectly flat and are usually scored to split open if they heat up and pressurize to prevent them from exploding.

In my instance, page fault meant memory problems. The bad cap was smack dab in the middle of the active rows of memory modules used. Since the store had no replacement AM2+ boards with DDR2 and PCIe graphics, and nowhere online could I find anything available for my parts. I thought I found one, ordered it, and got stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it was an AGP board, and I am not backtracking to AGP from PCIe x16. No choice, have to try and fix the board. The cap is definitely bad, nothing else seemed stressed, burned, or damaged. So I replaced the cap and my rig fired right up, no more BSOD! Maybe 6 months later I started seeing the BSOD again, another inspection found another of the 3 caps bad, so this time I replaced the remaining 2 capacitors, they are 50¢ parts, and the rig runs fine ever since. My mom just had her Dell go bad, CPU fan would roar at full speed, machine would not boot at all. On the motherboard were 3 out of 5 bad caps. I ordered them from MCM electronics for 49¢ each, replaced all 5 of them, and her machine is purring like a kitten. Replacing caps on a computer motherboard is NOT and easy or quick thing to do. It requires skill, experience, and patience. I used a butane soldering iron, solder wick, solder, acetone, and a LOT of patience to get this done. I have tech friends who also out of necessity, replaced the bad caps on their motherboards and they ran fine after that. The trick is PATIENCE and keep the hot iron off the board as much as you can. These boards are as many as 6 layers deep and are NOT made to be repaired. The only reason you can do caps is because they only have 2 leads, so you can heat both leads at once by adding more solder, when hot enough, gently rock and pull out the old cap, then with a lot more patience and time, wick away the solder in the holes. That part is really hard and too much time of iron on board will lift the copper and then the board is shot.

That is the end of my story. Thanks for the overclocking advice. Would love to hear from someone with the same board and CPU, but I got good advice today.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:26 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5544
Because I saw a question addressed to me in that blob of text... This is my setup:

CPU: Core i5-2500
RAM: 8GB DDR3-1600 (currently set for 1333, because my motherboard was getting antsy)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-ZX68-UD3
GPU: GeForce GTX 670

And the rest is pretty irrelevant. However, why I say that I don't care about bumping my CPU speed and that I claim it won't be obsolete anytime my system runs most games just fine at the moment. Not to mention that in practically all games, the GPU is the bottleneck of system performance, not the CPU. Looking at a lot of CPU reviews, you could get high performance even with a Pentium tier processor if it's coupled with a high-end GPU.

Also the performance benefit going from what I have to say a Haswell or even a one of the hexacore processors would be too minimal to justify the costs.


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:04 pm 
8086
8086
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 9
LatiosXT wrote:
Because I saw a question addressed to me in that blob of text... This is my setup:

CPU: Core i5-2500
RAM: 8GB DDR3-1600 (currently set for 1333, because my motherboard was getting antsy)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-ZX68-UD3
GPU: GeForce GTX 670

And the rest is pretty irrelevant. However, why I say that I don't care about bumping my CPU speed and that I claim it won't be obsolete anytime my system runs most games just fine at the moment. Not to mention that in practically all games, the GPU is the bottleneck of system performance, not the CPU. Looking at a lot of CPU reviews, you could get high performance even with a Pentium tier processor if it's coupled with a high-end GPU.

Also the performance benefit going from what I have to say a Haswell or even a one of the hexacore processors would be too minimal to justify the costs.


Ha hah, "blob of text". That's funny. Yeah well, I tend to go off on tangents sometimes. Sorry 'bout that matey. :o

Yeah you got a good rig. That would play most any games at a decent frame rate and resolution. I am not sure about your CPU speed but it looks like that CPU goes up to 3.7 Ghz so what you have is good stuff. But you are right about the GPU bottleneck. What makes today's games so glorious are the fantastic graphics. The downside to this is that sometimes the graphics are so fantastic that they eat up the bulk of the disc and we are left with a 12 hour game instead of many tens of hours of fun game play. The graphics are so good in many of them it is like being part of a Disney movie but instead of just watching all of the fantastic animation, you are the star of the show and get to make all the desicions that will determine what you see and how "the movie" plays out. I don't know if you ever played Half Life. My friend got me into the game when it first came out and I played that entire thing to the end. I was amazed at how long the game lasted. It was well done, the graphics were good for that time period, and all of the various places you had to travel through were mind boggling. Like going to that Zen planet and working your way through it. Freaking awesome, man. Then came Half Life 2. There was a LOT of build up and excitement over this release, it is one of the few games that I purchased pre-release and had to wait for the final version release and delivery.

The game was awesome and the graphics stellar. Alyx was a great character and added a lot to the game. The monsters like huge spiders were awesome and taking them down with rocket launchers super cool. But overall, the game did not give no where near the amount of hours as the original game did. The game was over way too fast and I was a bit disappointed about that. I think the graphics overtook the story in Half Life 2 but it was a lot of fun, just not as much for as long of it.

I think that Lara Croft in Tomb Raider was one of the first games I played where I really noticed the graphics and was overtaken by the beauty of it. That is when I really started to pay attention to the graphic quality of games. I never finished Tomb Raider because the gameplay became stupid and repetitious. Swing, jump, and climb all of these really difficult cliffs and stuff, only to miss this really hard jump near the top and have to do it all over again, and again, ...and again. Then the ducking knives and saw blades and stuff. Getting killed by this one very difficult timing to get past this last blade. I gave up because it was just not fun doing this difficult climbing, ducking, and jumping stuff, only to fall off and try all over again. NOT fun. Not even Lara's boobs could make up for that. :P

Doom was probably the first best graphic games I played. I had an SX-80 16 Mhz PC at that time and could only play it if the screen was reduced to the size of a playing card. I bought a new computer just to be able to play Doom at full screen size. I will not even get started on Doom or else I will talk for days. LOL!

I got the same video card as you and yes, it is a good one for the money. I never used to pay over $100 for a video card because nVidia always had something that worked just fine for somewhat less than a C note. But I did bite the bullet once years ago and spent $400 on an *nVidia card for and the difference it made in the games was huge. And this card was not cheap either. I have a good video card now and will always get at least a mid to high level video card now since for what we do, it is highly important to get a good card. Shame about having to downgrade the memory speed but your speed is not what I would call "slow" or anything like that. 8Gb is certainly good, I just went 16 because I had this one and only chance and memory is one thing that really sucks to be low or running out of. I do a lot of stuff at once now with two monitors, mostly because I can and also because it is fun to watch TV on one monitor while doing email, web surfing, graphic work, or web designing on the other. Most of which I do all at the same time. Since upping my memory to over the 2Gb I used to work with, I quickly got used to having a lot of RAM and once you get used to that, it is hard to drop back down again. You got a good rig man, you are right, what you have will last a long time.

* The $400 video card was glorious. I had a 2 point something Ghz CPU at the time, bought the exact same one at a 3.2 Ghz speed and it showed up as an 800Mhz CPU in my rig. My PC slowed to a crawl. Nothing I could do would make that machine recognize the exact same CPU only at a higher speed so I thought that to tweak the bus speed a bit might get it noticed and performing up to par. After doing that, I saved and when the machine rebooted, instead of the plain white boot text on a black screen, I got all the colors of the rainbow in clubs, hearts, happy faces, line art, and assorted odd text. I had no real idea of what happened but the bottom of my stomach fell out, I just *knew* that somehow I just blew my fantastic new $400 video card. Put the settings and CPU back, restarted, no dice. Video card really blown. It was a PNY card and came with a lifetime warranty so I got a new replacement. But later on I found out that the motherboard supported up to 3Ghz and nothing further. Trying to get that 3.2Ghz CPU to work where it couldn't is what spooked me on adjusting timing settings that I do not fully understand. :(

I might not even overclock my rig because performance has yet to be any sort of issue at all. It would seem to be more of a bragging rights thing than a genuine necessity. But it might be fun to play with a bit, if I am sure that it will be safe. This Gigabyte board has a neat save config slot section so if you get a good setup, save it in one of the slots when exiting and if any problems, just restore the save. I have used that option a couple of times already since playing with the BIOS.

Thanks for sharing and for the advice. Happy gaming dude! :D


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 Post subject: Re: How did you overclock to 4.2 G for Crysis 3 budget. May
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:22 pm 
Java Junkie
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:23 am
Posts: 24238
Location: Granite Heaven
TheOhmster wrote:
Okay, that is a sensible answer. But the simple method given in the BIOS to move up the CPU speed to 4.2 Ghz does not actually work. There are a myriad of options to adjust to get the unit overclocked. Vcore, block clock, memory timing, memory voltage, and several others that I cannot remember off the top of my head. There are complex formulas for figuring this out and unless one is a math junkie or computer fanatic that does this all the time, knowing just what to adjust, what it will affect, what NOT to touch, and how it will affect the rig are all major issues that are not addressed in this glorified Gigabyte BIOS system. The only common consensus is to NOT adjust anything too far, just small bumps, test machine for booting, stability, temperature, and results. For someone who has not ever done this before, this is beyond a daunting task, this is downright impossible. Even trying to read some of the overclock guides is too confusing to pick out a sane path to go by. Too many options to choose from. Do you want full time OC, OC under load, power-saver mode enabled, all cores or just some, and all of this stuff is too confusing to even begin to *think* of where to start.


Exactly. It is complicated. That's what makes it fun.

Quote:
Here is a really good example of what I am talking about:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2647&page=7

Tells you everything you need to know, right? Tells you how easy it is, no? Here is a good quote from the bottom of the page:
To sum up, overclocking to 4.3GHz is dead easy. Just bump the CPU multiplier to x43. Overclocking beyond that will require a bit of skill. Without wading in the necessary territory of voltage adjustments PCSTATS squeezed 4.375GHz from the Sandy Bridge-E processor by using the 1.25x BCLK Gear Ratio... though with a little more time even greater speeds are easily on the horizon!


Sure. And it will probably work.

Or it could fry your PC even if you have exactly the same components. Not all components are identical -- even if they're the same spec.

I'll use CPUs as an example. Intel doesn't make a batch of 4.2GHz Core i3 CPUs. They make a batch of Core i3 CPUs and test a significant sample from that batch. If they all perform within their very conservative tests at 4.2, then they'll assume that the entire batch can run safely at 4.2 and sell them as such.

Most of those CPUs can probably run faster -- but testing every CPU is expensive so they do things in batches. As a result, we can overclock most of their chips.

What happens, though, when MPC gets a particularly good 4.2 and you happen to buy one that isn't fit for 4.4? You try the same settings that they did and POOF, you have a fried CPU.

There are two solutions: don't OC, or learn the magic mumbo jumbo. It's not actually all that difficult, but it does take some reading.

There are sites, as you linked above, that are willing to just dump the numbers and let you take your chances. This isn't one of those sites.

When MPC says 'this chip can easily do this', they're saying 'easy' in the same way that a tuner site will say that a Subaru WRX can easily do 350HP at the wheels. 'Easy' for an enthusiast involves hours in the shop, hours of research and painstaking work.

I've been overclocking for years -- and it took me weeks to find the comfortable limits of my current CPU. If you want to do it correctly, and safely, it takes time.


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