My recently built system has the Intel E2200 dual-core processor at 2.2GHz. I hear that these processors are very OC-friendly, and I'm interested in taking mine a bit further. My cooling stuff is all stock, which is the only issue I can foresee. Does anyone have any advice to offer on overclocking this processor (i.e. how to do it, whether I should, how far, etc.)
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
A Phoenix from the ashes
18th April 2006
First off, download Everest, and tell us what your idle and load temperatures are. That'll give an indication of how far you can OC with a stock cooler. Depending on your motherboard, you can edit it from the BIOS. If not, download nTune, and you can edit stuff like you would with a normal application. You have to change the FSB speed. Do so in increments of about 10-20MHz and do a stress test after each one. You can use something like Prime95 for that. Ideally, you want your CPU to last about an hour with each increment, but when you get to a final speed, let it run for as long as it can, hopefully ten hours plus. Limits: Around 70 degress C under full load (during testing) 1.312 core voltage
Right now (just been browsing websites for a couple hours and running iTunes, no heavy gaming recently) it reads:
CPU: 27 C CPU core 1: 28 C CPU core 2: 24 C GPU memory: 37 C CPU ambient: 35 C
Most of the other stuff (voltages, etc.) is cut off because it's a trial version of Everest.
My E2180 (quite similar to your E2200) is a stock 2.0ghz processor. It has a max (or locked, I forget) multiplier of 10, and stock FSB of 200mhz (10x200=2000mhz). I am using the stock cooler, running mine at 3.0ghz (10x300) for the last 5 months without any problems. I did not touch the voltage, the only other setting I messed with was the ram multiplier, slowing it down a bit to keep the system stable. The idle & load temps only rose about 2-3 degrees.
How to do it and how far you can go also depends on your motherboard. Enter the bios and look for the setting for the front side bus speed and adjust that. When overclocking your cpu, try to keep your ram at or slightly below it's rated speed if possible until you really get the hang of it. Most ram doesn't like to go too far beyond it's rated speed and your system either won't start or will be unstable.
Chances are you can start with a generous increase on your E2xxx series processor, they really do overclock quite well for a cheap cpu. It should likely handle 2.8ghz with ease, and I would suspect up to 3.3ghz. Even the lowly E2140 in my daughter's PC is entirely stable with a 50% FSB increase on it's stock cooler.
For testing it out, do what The_Daedalus suggests above.
So what should I set the FSB and the multiplier, etc. to try 2.8GHz for this processor?
I would also like to try OC'ing my 8800GT via RivaTuner. It's 600MHz default, how bad would it be to take it to 660? I saw a factory-overclocked version on Newegg with that speed, but I don't know if it has the same cooling system. And what should I do to the memory clock if I do that?
Well, depending on your multiplier, I think yours is 11x, just do the math. If it is 11x, then a FSB of 255 will bring you up to 2805mhz. Be sure to watch your ram speed though or figure out where to set the ram divider in your particular bios.
Also, prior to overclocking, you may want to find the little jumper on your motherboard to reset your bios to defaults. My Gigabyte will do it automatically, which is a nice feature, but my Asus board needed to be manually reset by moving the jumper.
What motherboard are you using?
As for your 8800GT, careful how far you push it on the stock cooler. I slapped a Zalman on my 8800GT SC (660mhz stock speed) and it still doesn't like to OC well at all. 675mhz is about as far as it likes to go. Seems the factory overclcok took up most of the headroom it had. But each card is different. I would suggest using rivatuner to overclock your video card.
On a side note, my 8 series card's lack of overclocking potential is a bit of a letdown after I voltmodded my 7900GT and pushed the stock 500mhz up to 670mhz. (I dont recommend voltmodding to anyone though unless frying your card is a risk youre willing to take)
I have an ECS motherboard, I dunno if it's auto-reset though. Worst case, I could find the jumper easily enough.
A Phoenix from the ashes
18th April 2006
DO NOT go straight to a 255 FSB. Download Prime95 (Can't remember if Everest has a stress test built in) and run a stress test (make sure it's on both cores if it's dual core). After about an hour, post your max temperatures reached.
Being slow/safe is good too, but reason I suggested starting higher is I've yet to hear of an E2xxx series (it's a lowered L2 cache Conroe) that couldn't do that relatively small jump on the stock cooler; Usually it can handle alot more. Most (all?) of the E series hit a FSB wall, where it goes from entirely stable to not posting at all with one small increment, even if you reduce the multiplier. So starting at 255 really isn't unusual at all, especially with a relatively low stock idle temp of 27 degrees. I've yet to see the temps get too high with my two E series, they hit the FSB wall before temp issues ever arise.
FYI - Here's a thread about the E2xxx series and the FSB wall: Does your E21x0 have a FSB wall?
I prefer the find the speed it can't handle quickly and then back it off a bit approach, rather than spending hours slowly ramping it up. I do however keep an eye on the temps, and have all the stock temps beforehand. Once it doesn't post, I'll back it off a bit and slowly ramp it up to find the "sweet spot". Then comes the heavy PRIME testing or in-game testing. But that's just my approach. ;)
Could running the Prime95 "torture test" overheat my CPU and damage it?