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First time overclocking - want to make sure everything's OK

HI!
As the title says, I'm trying to overclock my PC for the first time, and want to make sure it doesn't burn down on me. :D

It's a pretty old system:
Core 2 Quad Q9400
ASUS P5KC
4x1GB DDR2-800
ASUS Silent Knight copper cooler.

OC from 2.66 stock to 3.2

I upped my FSB from 333 to 400, while keeping the RAMs at 400, everything else on auto, including voltages. Running Prime95 for about an hour now, core temperatures sitting at around 55-60, CPU temperature 65-66.
What seems weird is that task manager still shows stock CPU frequencies and utilisation doesn't get higher than 93%. CPU-Z shows the correct frequency. (I'll add a screenshot)

So is the temperature OK, and what could be up with task manager? Also, how long should I run Prime95? I've read it's recommended to run it for a whole day, but is it really necessary?

Reply to shadow of a soul
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  1. Best answer
    I think you are good.
    CPU-Z should show the current multiplier.
    Temperatures are good. Intel will not slow down or shut off the cpu until somewhere around 100c. to prevent damage.
    With your gen cpu, there is an inter relationship between fsb and ram speed.
    If I recall, when you up the fsb, you also OC the ram.

    As to prime95, it uses a subset of instructions that you will not normally use.
    I like OCCT or a similar tester.
    When you stress test, run for long enough the get the temperatures to stabilize.
    More is really not needed unless you think you are very near to the max for your chip.

    As to why task manager is showing less that 100%, I can only speculate that you might have had a bit of throttling.
    Reply to geofelt
  2. geofelt said:
    I think you are good.
    CPU-Z should show the current multiplier.
    Temperatures are good. Intel will not slow down or shut off the cpu until somewhere around 100c. to prevent damage.
    With your gen cpu, there is an inter relationship between fsb and ram speed.
    If I recall, when you up the fsb, you also OC the ram.

    As to prime95, it uses a subset of instructions that you will not normally use.
    I like OCCT or a similar tester.
    When you stress test, run for long enough the get the temperatures to stabilize.
    More is really not needed unless you think you are very near to the max for your chip.

    As to why task manager is showing less that 100%, I can only speculate that you might have had a bit of throttling.


    100°C? Wow, these old CPUs must be more durable than I thought.
    FSB and RAM is related, yes, and upping FSB to 400 also upped the DRAM to almost 500, but I wasn't sure how these generic almost-noname modules would handle it, so then I underclocked the DRAM back to 400.
    How can I check if there's any throttling and what's the reason for it?
    Edit: Intel says Tmax for Q9400 is 71.5, seems pretty close, no?
    Reply to shadow of a soul
  3. If tjmax is 71.5 for your cpu, that is likely the cause of less than 100% busy.
    My suggestion of 100c is what current haswell and kaby lake limits are.
    Older gen processors did run very hot but I thought throttling was a higher temp.
    If, during your stress test, cpu-Z frequency drops below the max, you might assume throttling.
    Or, some stress testers will report that statistic.
    I think there are some monitors that will report throttling.
    For good cooling, your case needs to take in a good supply of fresh air.
    two 120mm front intake fans should do the job.
    You can test case cooling by taking off the covers and directing a house fan at the innards.
    If that helps, look to case cooling solutions.

    If you need a better cooler, look to a scythe kotetsu. a $35 cooler with a 120mm fan.
    Here is a review:http://www.silentpcreview.com/Scythe_Kotetsu
    Reply to geofelt
  4. CPU-Z shows frequency sitting constantly at 3199, as it should with Prime running, I assume. It's the task manager that confuses me.
    Maybe I should step the overclock back a bit for the sake of temperature.

    Edit: stopped Prime95 after three hours, now using it as I normally would for a couple of hours temperatures barely reach 60, I think I'm in the green! Thank you for the replies. :D
    Reply to shadow of a soul
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