Pushing the memory
Now even though overclocking the processor at sub-zero temperatures is going to fun, we are looking for the best performance from out memory as well. Enter the DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI motherboard. By setting a jumper on the motherboard, it is able to make use of the 5 volt power rail and you can have up to 4 volts available to torture your memory.
One such animal that loves the voltage are the Winbond BH5 based modules. Mine are in the form of the Mushkin Level II Black DDR433 modules. By maintaining the tight and aggressive memory timings of 2-2-2 and applying the volts, these modules can overclock to some insane speeds. They are usually only matched in performance by modules running loser timings and much, much higher frequencies. Personally my modules have reached DDR544 speeds on this motherboard with 2-2-2 timings using about 3.6 to 3.7 volts.
Another important step when applying so many volts to your memory is to keep them adequately cooled using a fan. Even though you can manually setup a fan on your modules, I am using the Zalman FB123 adjustable fan bracket.
Overclocking the beast
Overclocking is never an exact science. It usually requires a lot of trial and error (and BIOS resets) before you find the best settings for your particular system. I was pretty lucky in this case. In less than an hour, settings were found where the memory and CPU were working together at their highest stable levels.
In this case the CPU proved to pass every benchmark thrown at it at a very nice 3.45GHz with the memory running at 265MHz (2-2-2-6).
Now we've covered the setup and overclocking, let's move onto the benchmarks and see what type of performance numbers we get when running the processor 650MHz over default.
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