Basic Overclocking Guide for Intel C2D Processors

Overclocking Overview

Overclocking Overview

Let's get familiar with the settings listed in your overclocking panel before doing anything else. Head in to your BIOS's overclocking panel, on Abit motherboards it's the uGuru Utility. Your page should look somewhat similar to this option-wise:

BIOS Overclocking

Please do note that the speeds and settings shown in these pictures are not reminiscent of what you should expect or immediately try. These are my own personal settings and we will be covering each of the settings on this page one-by-one.

External Clock: This is what is known as the FSB (Front Side Bus) speed. This number is what controls your actual CPU clock speed.

Multiplier Factor: This is the CPU's multiplier. This number by default will be different depending on which CPU you have purchased (ie. E6300=7x, E6400=8x, E6600=9x, E6700=10x, X6800=11x, etc). Depending on your motherboard the multiplier can be lowered, but never raised unless you have an Extreme Edition CPU.

N/B Strap CPU As: This is what's referred to most commonly as the Northbridge's "boot strap". This is the clock speed of Northbridge itself. Setting this to your motherboards highest allowed option is always a good idea as it's going to reset the chipset to an already overclocked state rather than resetting to it's base clock frequency. To put this simply: The faster the Northbridge speed, the higher you should be able to raise your FSB speed.

DRAM Spec: This is where you can set your RAM divider. This indicates how fast the memory operates in contrast to how fast the CPU is operating. This option is going to vary by board manufacturer as to what works best. Some boards don't like 1:1, some don't like 2:3, and some don't like 4:5. Play around with this or do some research on your board to see which option people are getting the best results with. Just keep in mind that if you are going to use anything above 1:1 you need to have RAM capable of very high clock speeds.

CPU Core Voltage: This allows you to set the voltage in which your CPU receives. More voltage usually means the ability to clock further. However there may be other limiting factors and raising this option to high without the proper cooling can KILL your CPU. So please use caution when setting this value. This value is commonly referred to as "vcore".

DDR2 SDRAM Voltage: This allows you to set the voltage in which your RAM receives. The same goes for this value as with the CPU value, setting the voltage too high can cause your memory to overheat and prematurely die. Make sure you have adequate airflow around your memory when running anything above 2.2v This value is commonly referred to as "vdimm".

MCH & PCIe 1.5v Voltage: This allows you to set the voltage in which your chipset receives. Most Intel chipsets thrive on voltage and raising this value can almost exponentially give you greater overclockability. But again, same as with the CPU and RAM values, setting this to high without adequate cooling can result in a dead or crippled motherboard. This value is commonly referred to as "vmch".

Now let's look at the benefits and side effects of changing some of these values.
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