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| p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Do you have overclocking experience? I need more proc speed... |
The frequency your Q9550 runs at is a product of two parameters, the Multiplier, and the Bus Speed. The 9550 has a locked multiplier and can only be increased up to a maximum value (9 or so, I'm too lazy to look it up). But if you have a good motherboard this is not a problem, since the bus speed can be increased to overclock your processor beyond stock speeds. The bus speed for the Socket 775 processors defaults to 333 MHz, but a good board can run at 500 MHz or higher. Check out the screenshot below for my E8400 (two core sibling of the Q9550) running on a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (the best 775 motherboard for overclocking ever made).
When you bump up the bus speed, the Dram frequency also goes up, so you will have to adjust the ram frequency (lower the ratio) to make the system stable. I am running DDR2-1066 ram in my system. With a bus speed of 500, I set my ram to run at 1000 MHz (or a ratio of 1:1 or 1x500x2 MHz because the ram is accessed twice during each clock cycle). My E8400 runs at a stock multiplier of 9, but as you can see from the screenshot, I reduced it to 8 for daily use since you gain more performance overclocking the bus speed, and because my motherboard offers me so much headroom in this area.
To overclock your processor you may also need to increase the Core Voltage. For example, my E8400 runs at 3.2 GHz stock with about 1.2 volts, and will run 4.0 stable at just under 1.3V and 4.4 GHz stable at about 1.35V.
Play around with your bios settings, the bus speed (sometimes called the front side bus or FSB), the multiplier, the ram speed (often expressed as a ratio), and the core voltage to find the optimal settings.