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E6750 upgrade to 9400Quad core


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#1 voxman

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 14:57

Since my upgrade path right now keeps me in the LGA775 pin mode, I asking for opinions if this is a worthy upgrade. I've got a Dual Core E6750 running at 3.2Ghz. Using Windows XP.

The Quad Core 9400 runs at 2.6, but I do have an aftermarket air cooler.

I can get a 9400 for $100, and that price point is just right.

I'm not thinking of a total upgrade, i.e I7, memory, mobo until SOW and probably later than that.

So…opinions, recommendations?

Thanks
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#2 Baal2

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 15:43

I went from a e6600 to a q9400 and i am VERY pleased of the performance improvment in ROF, especially in MP.
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#3 SYN_Mike77

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 15:44

Quad core seems to be the key to this game.
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#4 MattM

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 15:58

It should give you a huge performance boost in ROF, but in other programs that don't support quad-cores (or not even dual-cores), you're performance might actually go down a bit.

If you can run ROF fine for now (i see you're running WinXP so you shouldn't have those stutters everyone else have with Vista and Win7 correct?), then i would wait and upgrade to an I7 later on.

It took me a while to decide to upgrade my CPU aswell (from E6300 to Q9550), because the 775 is pretty much dead technology, but that was last October. Now i wouldn't even consider upgrading an 775, unless i would be really short on money and desperately need an performance boost right now.
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#5 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 16:32

Vox,

I have Q9650 and Q9550 (Gozr has Q9550 too) - and thought a lot about the next in line Q9400. The Q9400's big brothers differ mainly in double size L2 Cache.

Q9650/Q9550 have 12MB L2 with multiplier 9 - 9400 has 6MB L2 with muliplier 8. All of us who have tried have easily milked out 4.0 GHz from the 2 more expensive chips.

Unfortunatley, I don't have Q9400 to test on, so the rest is my best guess. You could anticpate an "easy to get" (means no water/freon/liquid oxygen) OC on it of around 3.4 to 3.6

What's all this mean to ROF? Best estimates are about 10 to 15% between Q9400 and Q9550, considering cache size/multipliers and most importantly the threaded application your buying it for.

I recommed you try to find Q9550 if you can. If not - the Q9400 is going to smoke that E6750 so much, that your going to think your on another planet :)

You win either way, but might anticipate longer use out of the Q9550.

Since CPU is major performance component in this sim, I'd spent the extra (70 to 90 dollars) on Q9550, if this is a long term upgrade.

If it's just short term upgrade - your looking good with Q9400. Q9550 is best performance price/point, better overclocker and better RAM access.

Want to see what an I7 920 does for you, BTW - next time TB and I do FPS checks - we'll share them. My memory is about 5%. New MB, DDR3 RAM, etc. This is why, Q9550 and Q9650 remain at higher price points.

Man, I write too much…

S!

Gunny
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#6 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 16:39

It should give you a huge performance boost in ROF, but in other programs that don't support quad-cores (or not even dual-cores), you're performance might actually go down a bit.

If you can run ROF fine for now (i see you're running WinXP so you shouldn't have those stutters everyone else have with Vista and Win7 correct?), then i would wait and upgrade to an I7 later on.

It took me a while to decide to upgrade my CPU aswell (from E6300 to Q9550), because the 775 is pretty much dead technology, but that was last October. Now i wouldn't even consider upgrading an 775, unless i would be really short on money and desperately need an performance boost right now.

Good point concerning maximum clocks and non-threaded applications. Vox is an Il2 fan also so that's a consideration - but not with Q9550.

S!

Gunny
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#7 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 16:52

BTW - In the three operating systems I have ROF running on - Win XP 64/Win XP 32/Vista 64:

I've only had stutters, for about a week last year with E8500. Of course as a beta tester, I routinely install/uninstall, update drivers across 3 O/S's. I wish I could get them, find them and help people with them - but I just can't get the damn things.

I know folks are having issues - I believe that they are, and for the life of me - I can't replicate. I read every stutter thread to no avail. I would not make any assumptions yet about XP/Vista/Win7/32 vs 64.

I buy the O/S I liked the best. This month, I've been running mostly in XP. This week I shifted back to Vista 64. Who knows, maybe I'll find something…

S!

Gunny
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#8 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 18:10

Since my upgrade path right now keeps me in the LGA775 pin mode, I asking for opinions if this is a worthy upgrade. I've got a Dual Core E6750 running at 3.2Ghz. Using Windows XP.

The Quad Core 9400 runs at 2.6, but I do have an aftermarket air cooler.

I can get a 9400 for $100, and that price point is just right.

So the 64 million dollar question is - what can you get a 9550 for?

I went from a e6600 to a q9400 and i am VERY pleased of the performance improvment in ROF, especially in MP.

After thinking about all that stuff I posted above….. Baal2 may have the most important point.

S!

Gunny
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#9 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 19:02

All the advice is sound. The bottom line answer though, to the question, would be an easy "yes".

Even if you only get mild overclocks on the Q9400 (say, to 3.2ghz) you'll see such a big difference in RoF that you'll wish you'd have done it a few months ago.
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#10 BroadSide

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:07

I havent over clocked my i7 920 (specs in sig). I have a MONSTER after market cooler (about the size of a football…no kidding), and have decent (not great) RAM.
I havent oc'd because I figure I wouldnt see that much of an improvement…10% isnt THAT much faster.
I get about 40fps with smooth background,and only the most minor shimmering (I have Nhancer working to help with the shimmering, which is BAD without it).
I get down to the 20fps range in large fights.

For the life of me, I cant see how people get such high fps with their older cpus/gfx cards.
If I take Nhancer out of the mix, and have the HORRIBLE shimmering again, I can get 60+fps.
but its not worth it.

So….do you think its of any significant value to OC my I7?
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#11 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:15

10% of the average may not be that big of a deal. However, many times the 10% that folks quote is the average value of frames - not the minimum, average, maximum spread of values.

I've found that even though I may average only 3 to 4 fps from a change, the min values may climb by 8 fps or more, and the same goes for max. 20 fps vs 28 fps can feel like a huge deal.
The point in all of this oc mess or small average performance gains, is the increase at the minimum value.

I recorded some values last time I tested real hard (that's several days of testing) - and if I can find my values before I fall asleep at my keyboard - I'll post some examples to illustrate what I mean.

S!

Gunny
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#12 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:12

Put even a mild overclock on that i7 920 (say, to 3.2ghz) and you'll easily see some improvements in your performance. As Gunny said, the key to me is the "minimum" frames I achieve. If that figure is never below 30fps ( my recorded minimum fps with my current oc is about 38 btw).

I don't use enhancer right now, though I've used it extensively in the past. I run 1920x1200 with everything maxed out EXCEPT landscape ("med" to eliminate rof.exe errors). I have AA @ 4x, AF @ 8x and, like I said, everything else peaked out.
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#13 voxman

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 14:04

Thanks for the advice guys. I'll probably pull the trigger on this one. Just have to have some time as well to install and enjoy…..but that's another story.
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#14 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 15:09

Don't be a slacker brother. CPU installation = 15 minutes max.

The solid oc, though, that's another matter, but you probably want to let the new one burn in a bit first anyway.
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#15 GOZR

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 18:45

I agree with Gunny on that Vox.. Sorry i didn't know you were looking for advice on hardware and posting here..

Microcenter sale the Q9550 for 159 or 169$ i would choose a Q9550 over a Q9400 for Cache and FSB .. It will be a big change for sure.
For the moment i have both a Q9650 and 9550 both SLI's with the Q9550 you will wait the next gen CPU easy.

It's a tight more money but much smarter choice.
many mother board will have difficulties OC Quad that have low multiplier like the Q9400 due to a too high FSB.

For my part i'm jumping the whole i7 920 cpu line to the next 6 cores.
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#16 BroadSide

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 04:25

Put even a mild overclock on that i7 920 (say, to 3.2ghz) and you'll easily see some improvements in your performance. As Gunny said, the key to me is the "minimum" frames I achieve. If that figure is never below 30fps ( my recorded minimum fps with my current oc is about 38 btw).

I don't use enhancer right now, though I've used it extensively in the past. I run 1920x1200 with everything maxed out EXCEPT landscape ("med" to eliminate rof.exe errors). I have AA @ 4x, AF @ 8x and, like I said, everything else peaked out.


We have the same mb and cpu….
Can you tell me how to OC this mb? The only other OC I did was an old Asus board on a p3 450.
It's been a while… :)
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#17 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 13:48

@ ReadyMan;

Here's a link to the HardOCP site that specifically discusses OC'ing the P6T: http://www.hardocp.c...king&sa=Search ">http://www.hardocp.c...earch/?cx=00376 … sa=Search+[H]ard|OCP#1392

I did mine about a year ago and might miss something, but here's pretty much all I did:

1. Turn OFF Turbo and speedstep
2. Set Vcore to 1.35v (some people keep theirs a bit lower, but I was lazy and cranked it up the first time through…going on a year now without a skip)
3. Set RAM voltage to 1.66v (yes, there will be a warning as MS only suggests 1.65, but it's o.k.) and make sure it's listed at the only supported setting for the i7 920, 1066mhz. This way as you overclock your cpu, the RAM will step with it. My RAM is in my sig but at a Bclck setting of 190 (x20 = 3800mhz), the RAM sits at 1523mhz thus I don't even have to oc my RAM. If your RAM spec is lower than 1600mhz, though, you may have to either oc your RAM a little or settle for a slightly lower CPU oc.

There was a nice video Kyle did over there (I'll try to find it) that describes the process with screenshots and good explanations as he went. The whole process was so easy it's ridiculous and took literally 5 minutes (it took more time to do the video than actually do the oc)

Using simple math, if you step your Bclck in increments of 5, that will represent 100mhz on your oc (i.e. 175 = 3.5ghz, 180 = 3.6ghz, 185 = 3.7ghz, 190 = 3.8ghz)


Here's the link with video…take a look: http://www.hardocp.c...s_p6t_ram_ocing">http://www.hardocp.c...ews/2008/11/05/ … _ram_ocing

And another that might be helpful;
http://www.hardocp.c...rclocking_heat/">http://www.hardocp.c...rticle/2008/11/ … king_heat/

:geek:
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#18 BroadSide

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 17:05

thanks for the links!
I'll give this a try next week when I have a few minutes to read it all.

Here's the specs on my RAM…not the best stuff, but not bad either:
Brand CORSAIR
Series XMS3
Model TR3X6G1333C9
Type 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
Tech Spec
Capacity 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Speed DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
Cas Latency 9
Timing 9-9-9-24
Voltage 1.5V
Multi-channel Kit Triple Channel Kit
Heat Spreader Yes
Features Compatible with Intel Core i7 series CPU for Intel X58 Motherboard
Recommend Use High Performance or Gaming Memory
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#19 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 17:55

Not too much to read if you just watch the little video I linked towards the bottom of the post (I think it's about 10 minutes long). But, without overclocking your 1333 RAM, you should still be able to get to 3.4ghz or somewhere close to that. Still well worth the effort.

And you probably won't have to set your RAM voltage to 1.66 either.

;)
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#20 BroadSide

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:33

If I dont set my ram voltage, then basically I'm just upping my cpu multiplier, right?
I watched the video…seems really basic.
Wondering if my ram is worth overclocking. I'd be happy with 3.4, especially if it's super stable.
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#21 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 12:11

Without accepting any responsibility for anything that may go badly, I'll say this,

If I were you, I would:

1. Set my CPU Vcore to 1.35v.
2. Set my RAM freq to 1066.
3. Turn off Speedstep and turbo
4. Set base clock (bclck) to 150 (up from stock 133).

This would give you a 3.0ghz overclock and would allow you to check the adjusted frequency of your RAM as it is stepped in concert with your bclck setting. Depending on how much more room you have on your RAM, you can then increase your bclck by 5 (to 155) and check it again. That would be 3.1ghz. Then inch up your bclck to get the RAM to its rated 1333mhz and see where your CPU freq ends up. Save and exit the BIOS and run some stress tests. You can use Prime95 or Orthos. Both are free and doing even a quick 10 minute test will show some results of stability.

If you get an OC you're happy with that shows initial stability after your quick test, I'd say run it again for an extended period. I ran mine overnight for about 12 hours. There were no errors so I ended the test. Some people want 24 hour satbility, but I'm not that anal.

A couple simple and quick BIOS adjustments and you'll quickly see how easy it is.
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#22 BroadSide

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 15:19

Thanks TB!
That's what I needed.
Just didnt really understand that ram OC.

I built this system to OC (but I've been happy with the initial speeds for over a year now, so never saw the need to OC). It should handle things pretty well.
I appreciate your input and taking the time to walk me thru it.
I'll post my results (super busy now, so it'll be a few days).

Thanks again!
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#23 BroadSide

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:10

I sent you a pm with a few questions TB :)

OC is going well. I upped the BCLK to 166, which puts my ram at 1331mhz. Running prime95 now and things have been stable for almost an hour, tho temps are 75 to 80.

I reduced the CPU voltage to auto from 1.35 as this didnt seem to do anything for me but give higher temps.

I'm leaving it at 3.32 (166) for now, which is still quite a jump from the original 2.67.
There doesnt seem to be any real burden on the system at all. Would like to get more from it though…

BTW, thanks for your help TB and Gunny!
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#24 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 13:44

Thanks, ReadyMan - just glad to see you getting the most out of all this…..

S!

Gunny
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#25 voxman

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 14:13

Guys, just letting you know that the 9400 CPU is on its way. Got it for $90 (cashed in some reward credits)…so we'll see how this pans out. Thanks again for the responses.
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#26 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 14:14

Oh, Vox - you are going to be sooooo happy..

What a GREAT price….

S!

Gunny
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#27 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 15:20

I sent you a pm with a few questions TB :)

OC is going well. I upped the BCLK to 166, which puts my ram at 1331mhz. Running prime95 now and things have been stable for almost an hour, tho temps are 75 to 80.

I reduced the CPU voltage to auto from 1.35 as this didnt seem to do anything for me but give higher temps.

I'm leaving it at 3.32 (166) for now, which is still quite a jump from the original 2.67.
There doesnt seem to be any real burden on the system at all. Would like to get more from it though…

BTW, thanks for your help TB and Gunny!



Here's a copy/paste of my pm response (I saw this AFTER the PM):

Well good for you! I told you it was really a piece of cake. You just needed to step into the water a bit for it all to make sense.

First, with your bclck at 166, your CPU is running at 3.3ghz! Not bad for free, huh? Even if you don't mess with it any more than that, you'll see a nice increase in overall performance from the stock 2.66.

Now, to address your first question, I'd say it's a good idea to always monitor temps while testing. Yes, your temps are a bit on the high side if they're going over the low 80's under stress, and the 93 is getting close to being a "concern". The reality is, though that the thermal threshold on these CPU's is set at 100 degrees and you should be o.k. even at those high temps. The downside is CPU life expectancy when you start getting over 80c.

With Vcore on auto, Bclck at 166, RAM running at a resultant 1331mhz and temps in the mid 70's, that sounds like your sweet spot. Personally, I wouldn't push the ram too much beyond its rated frequency. On the other hand it wouldn't hurt anything (since you now have some stable numbers recorded) to go ahead and bump the Bclck a point, reboot and run a quick test. No telling what you might be able to get to.

Either way, I'd take the established settings you currently have and run 8 instances of Prime95 for a few hours if not overnight. I prefer to run it while I can check on it occasionally so prefer to do it in the afternoon, but if you start it at 9p and it runs smooth for an hour or so, let it rock overnight. Check your results in the a.m. and turn it off then. I ran mine for about 12 hours though true "enthusiasts" like a 24 hour test for better proof. Even though Prime95 isn't the most stressful test you can get, it's still tougher than any app/game you'll throw at it, RoF included.

To summarize, my recommendation would be to leave Vcore on auto, set your Bclck to 166 (to keep within happy limits of your RAM) and rock & roll at the settings you've already semi-established as stable. Of course, I'd see what Bclck I could get out of the auto Vcore setting, but if it fails to boot, you may not know if it's your RAM bucking those settings or if your Vcore setting was a bit light.

Ultimately (aint hindsight a bitch?), you could get a 6GB kit of Dominator 1600 and wind that Bclck up even farther, but going from your current 3.3ghz to, say, 3.6 - 3.8ghz (which would be the limits of the 1600mhz RAM without overclocking) may not be worth the effort.

An i7 920 running 6GB of good RAM at it's maximum rated frequency and running at 3.3ghz aint no slouch partner.
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#28 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 15:30

That's great news Vox!

Even a mild oc on that quad will pay very nice dividends in this sim and still crank IL2 (or anything else, for that matter) at max settings.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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#29 voxman

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 13:57

I got the Q9400 yesterday and installed it, but the computer will not boot into Windows. It will post, get into BIOS no problem and even get into SAFE mode, which is how I'm typing this. But as soon as I start Windows normally, it will either freeze at the startup screen, or just a little after the icons are all displayed on the desktop.

I double checked my heatsink and paste to make sure everything seemed right there…only problem is the paste is about 3 or 4 years old (Artic silver)…and it's been in a tool box in the Garage. Fans are spinning fine.

Just some specs:
Motherboard is an Asus P5KC, with 1203 Bios…latest for this CPU. Running with two sticks of 1MB each of OCZ XTC GOLd DDR2-800 memory. The Power Supply is an OCZGXS700, 700W power supply. Graphics card is an ATI HD5770 Vapor X.

I've cleared CMOS, removed all physical USB devices from the computer, disabling them in Device Manager…not sure if a driver is causing a conflict.

Again, I'm able to type this whole plea for help in Safe mode with Networking….so it seems that the computer works, but something is mucking with it at start up.

Any help would be appreciated…or I'm back to the Core Duo.
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#30 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 14:03

Just curious;

When in the BIOS, does it recognize the CPU properly and is its frequency listed correctly? Without trying to send you on a goose chase, I'd recommend going to ASUS or their forums and searching/asking for similar posts/issues.
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#31 Baal2

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 14:51

You first have to update the bios since the p5k original bios won't support any quad.
You will find the P5K.Rom on the asus forum

Edit: forget, i see that you have already updated the bios.
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#32 TX-Gunslinger

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 14:59

Great advice Baal :)

Vox,

When I obtained the last quad, Q9550 - and the Motherboard that I installed it in - which is an EVGA 680 (older) - I had the exact same problem.

I updated the bios and VIOLA! it worked….

Bios upgrade is very, very essential…

S!

Gunny
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#33 voxman

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 16:08

Just curious;

When in the BIOS, does it recognize the CPU properly and is its frequency listed correctly? Without trying to send you on a goose chase, I'd recommend going to ASUS or their forums and searching/asking for similar posts/issues.

Thanks for the suggestions guys….I'm at work right now, so I'll probably be brief on my answers.

Yes, the CPU comes up with the right settings. Although the L1 cache has a funny value….see being at work I can't check it…but I'm assuming it's right as the L2 cache is 6MB, but the L1 is lower. Other than that all other indications are that it's correct.

I checked Asus's website for any mention of this and out of 37 pages…nothing. But I have discovered that this MOBO might just be a POS and may not be able to run this CPU. :P

BIOS was updated for the correct CPU.

I asked one of my IT guys here for any suggestions. He thinks that I may have to run a Windows repair as it may be that the old core duo settings need to be removed from the system. He also suggested that I run the INF file to update the cpu drivers. I thought I did that, but it might be a viable solution….again something to try tonight. Also I might move the memory sticks around as well….

It's just strange that I can run in Safe mode…even ran antivirus, and malwarebytes without fail for 45 minutes or so….weird.

Again, guys, much appreciated for your help.
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#34 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 16:50

Any news Vox?
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#35 voxman

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 05:46

Unfortunately I had to reinstall my OS. Not sure but there must have been a bad driver that interfered with the CPU. Really strange. I tried the repair reinstall and that was no good. For some reason I accidentally installed a second boot copy of XP…that was doing this sort of thing when one is tired…should have learned from a previous time. But that second copy was encouraging, because I could see that I was booting up and loading up without any freezes.

To make a long story short, since I didn't want to futz with removing this 2nd copy and dealing with any registry errors…etc. I went for a full boot. Plus all my data was saved on another two drives. I managed to get a pretty good chunk of installation on Friday night (whilst watching Hockey playoffs), but had to go out of town and return back until late this afternoon.

I've resumed installing and am now in the process of a defrag after installing IL2 4.09 and UPN21 versions. Everything runs fine so far. Will start the process of tweaking over the next weeks…

That 15 minutes has taken a bit of time ;) :lol:
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#36 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 13:03

…That 15 minutes has taken a bit of time ;) :lol:


:?
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#37 voxman

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 14:33

Ok….Got the game installed last night and even though I thought I saved my view setting profile, it wasn't quite right. I may have not grabbed the right files.

Nevertheless, I spent about an hour setting some of it up and flew a little off line. What I noticed was a bit more smoothness than before. I've yet to overclock, etc. as again I need to finish installing programs, plus defragging, and fine tweaking Windows (removing processes..black Viper's list).

Hopefully this weekend I'll get a little time in to tweak.
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#38 voxman

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 14:34

.
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#39 Baal2

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 14:44

You can try it straight online, i doubt you need to OC it ;)
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#40 TX-Thunderbolt

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 15:36

You can try it straight online, i doubt you need to OC it ;)

I would definitely say to run it a few days, at least, before putting any type of overclock adjustment on it. You may find it performing adequately as is.

Although, as long as I've known you Vox, I know it'll be "tweaked" a bit one way or another soon enough. :P
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