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The Golden Rule of OverClocking:

Don't ever start from you desired OC, work your way UP to it; also never use "auto
overclocking" tools from your motherboard manufacturer. They nearly never
create a stable system. Do not copy other peoples settings, use them as reference
while working your way up. Understand that this candestroy components if you
don't overclock safely. Also I am not responsible for anything, even if you follow
mine or anyones suggestions with OC you can damage/destroy components.

Now with that in mind I keep getting PM's for help on overclocking, more so with proper
powermanagement. I figured I'd write this up rather than answering the same questions,
and so people can have a resource and learn from others.

First and foremost is cooling, if you have stock intel cooler that came with your CPU forget
about overclocking. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Spend 30-50$ and get a better
cooler, it's cheaper than replacing a degraded CPU. Now there are diffrent types of cooling
I'll categorize them and give some examples:

This guide will be in 3 parts spread across this post and the next 2 posts:
1. Basic terms, tips, and how to start over clocking
2. How to adjust your SSDT to get proper power mangement when past 4.2 ghz that
multibeast supports
3. Advanced topics (will judge what to put here from the questions and reception of parts 1-
2)

"Regular" Air Cooling:


While technically the stock Intel cooler falls in this category, again don't use it if your
overclocking! Regular air coolers use heatsinks and fans to cool the chip, these heatsinks
generally always have heat pipes. A heatpipe is a closed liquid loop that flows with heat,
and helps taking away from the processor into the fins of the heatsink.
Good regular air coolers would be:

 Xigmatek Dark Knight II


 Generally anything that is 30-50$
 Will provide decent enough air cooling to reach 4.1-4.3 with an Intel i7 2600K

"Extreme" Air Cooling:


Extreme air cooling is really just larger, heavier, bigger fan'ed version of regular air coolers.
They work extremly well however, better than a lot of closed loop water coolers (Corsair
Hxx, Antec Kühler's). Some of them are also incredibly quiet, with ocasional 140mm fans!
Things to remeber, these are incredibly large–google compatibility with cases and
motherboards before hand. Some will not let you use all your ram slots (unless you have
low profile or better yet samsungs very low profile memory)

Good extreme air coolers would be:

 Noctua NH-D14
 Noctua NH-L12
 Thermalright SiverArrow
 Thermalright Archon (My pick)
 Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
 Generally anything that is 60-120$
 Will provide decent enough air cooling to reach 4.6 with an Intel i7 2600K

Closed loop water coolers:


These are mostly hype, they are self contained water cooling units that really are used when
you can't fitand extreme air cooler. Most don't match the levels of an extreme air cooler
either, my Thermalright archon had better results than a Corsair H100. Benifits are ability to
fit more M-ATX builds than an extreme air cooler. Drawbacks are they are
sometimes loud when at full blast while OC'ing. Pumps have been known to die too. Can't
expand the water loop.

Good closed loop water coolers would be:

 Corsair "H" Series


 Generally anything that is 60-120$
 Will provide decent enough cooling to reach 4.3-4.6 with an Intel i7 2600K

Custom loop water coolers:


If your serious about overclocking the custom water loop is the way to go. They can be built
to fit any situation, can cover your graphics card, can be as loud as an F-16 taxing to as
quiet as a paper airplane. It's all up to how you build it. I suggest checking out
overclock.net for more info.

Good custom water cooling:

 Generally will cost $250+


 Will provide decent enough cooling to reach 5.2 and beyond easy with an Intel i7
2600K

Now that we have coolers out of the way you have an idea of the limits your cooling
solution. I'm going to write this as not a step by step (as that's impossible) but explaining
what to do, best practicies, and the tools!

Vcore (not to be confused with VID):


First thing is first, find your upper vcore limt. This is of personel opinion (again google for
other advice) but here are my suggestions:

 Regular air coolers, 1.33-1.37v


 Extreme air coolers, 1.38-1.4v
 Closed loop water coolers, 1.3-1.38 (depends on quality, they vary a lot)
 Custom loop water cooling, 1.45 though you probably know your own limit already!
This limit is what you'll want to watch for while your upping voltages, multipliers, and BCLK.

Note: when to give up and stay where you are. If your going from 1.33 to 1.38 to get
another 100mhz, it's not worth it. Or when your at 4.8ghz, and you can get it stable at 1.4v
but to cross the 5ghz threshold I need to be at 1.44v (though then drops back down
substantially, I do have a stable 5.6ghz at 1.52v)

VID (not to be confused with Vcore):


This is what the processor "Calls" to the motherboard for voltage. It's a table that has
diffrent levels, however intel tweaks each processor slightly so the same "VID" on one
processor might have a diffrent voltage result between two CPU's. That is why "stock"
voltage at turb range anywhere from 1.200-260v.

How do you verify a stable Over Clock?


Simple! You stress test! When your over clocking you go in small steps, especially for those
that are new or doing so for the first time with a new chip (each chip has different
characteristics, mine is really solid at multiplier OC'ing with low thermal, but it requires
vcore at a slightly higher rate than others. Other chips can't use all 59 multipliers, and rely
more on BCLK adjustments to hit higher frequencies. Some suck and can't get past 4.2
even with the best of equipment!)

To stress test you can use Prime95's blend test, or my favorite OCCT's Linxpak test (with
AVX enabled). Now I personally always test in windows, tools like CoreTemp (to watch
temperatures) and CPUZ (to watch VID, VCORE, and Multipliers) have no equal on mac!
Coretemp I've found is better than even a tweaked fakeSMC + HWmonitor.

So testing normally works in this order:


1. Make your changes
2. Boot into windows and start Prime95/OCCT
3. Run it and wait for erros, I generally run it for at least 10 minutes when I'm trying to
reach my target.
4. If there is an error, either fall back on multiplier and see if it's stable and stay there or
add more vcore/adjust BCLK!

For final overclock long term testing, just follow the above with 1-2 hours of solid Linxpak
testing!

So how do you Over Clock your CPU?


Start off by adjusting the turbo multiplier by 1 notch each time, then test for stability. If it
passes keep going till you get an error in stability testing, now you've more or less found
how far you can OC on stock voltages. If your on regular air cooling, think about quitting at
this point, the headroom left in OC'ing is almsot not worth the cost (as my note states in
VCore section); it's your call! Now your going to raise your vcore which leads me to my next
two notes on straight vcore and offset vcore.

Straight Vcore:
This is what most people think of when adjust vcore. Even though you are raising the vcore
you are raising it 100% of the time. Even when your processor is at a low x16 power state it
might still be getting 1.4v, not the 1v that you might have otherwise. This causes more
strain and most of all higher thermal properties on the CPU. This can cause degradation
over time. I would never exceed 1.34-8v of straight Vcore voltage on a Sandy Bridge
processor! Unless you change system components often!

Offset Vcore (suggested method):


This is the suggested method, what it does is adds an offset to the VID. The CPU might be
asking for a VID that normally results in 1v. With an offset of .05 that will ~become 1.05v
(it's not a 100% perfect straight science!). The bonus to this method is that your not stuck
at "full power" vcore constantly, thus allowing the processor to wrest, have lower thermal
properties, and generally last much longer. I argue that by using offset (unless your doing
something that takes 100% of the cpu constantly) you can push higher Vcore voltage
without worry. Can easily add .02v to any cooling solution.

Now that your raising, raise slowly, no more than 0.010v at a time, test stability, and
repeat. Remember when testing do not be concerned with the voltage varrying slightly,
when it drops a hair amount that's called vdroop. This can be solved with more advanced
techniques which I will go into later in the advanced section in the next post.