Originally Posted by sequitur
what are the negative aspects of overclocking, if any?
If you want to overclock a core 2, its pretty simple and easy.
First look around the net to see what kinds of overclock people are getting so you know what you can expect. Try to find someone with the same motherboard, chip and what kind of cooling they are using.
For example Im using an Asus p5n-e sli with a Q6600, looking around you will see that the q6600 can go up to around 3.4 Ghz relatively easily, but that it doesn't OC as easily as a dual core which can go to about 3.8.
Also Motherboards vary in the amound of stable FSB they can push out, and you might have a chip that can go to 4ghz, but your motherboard might not be able to handle the FSB speed of 500mhz in order to set an x8 multiplier.
Multiplyers are set on the chip (except for extreme editions) and cannot be changed, so in order to OC it is the FSB that needs to be raised, which is why a good quality MB is important.
Also there are FSB holes, you might be unlucky to find that your motherboard won't run if you set a FSB of 425-440 but will run ok at 420 or 450!!! In my case I went for a bigger overclock of 1600 FSB and my computer wouldn't POST - that might be bad news, but I got over the problem by removing the CMOS battery and that reset the Bios back to factory defaults of 1066.
I'd play it safe, you'd be unlucky to find a q6600 that wont run at 3ghz 1333FSB, so thats a good first step to try for.
Hopefully on your motherboard, you can unlock the FSB to RAM. I have DDR2 667, but overclocking the FSB to raise the chip speed would also raise the Ram speed and I didn't want to do that, because I didn't hold up much hope of my ram running at 800+
Fortunately the MB i Have allows me to unlock the FSB:Ram ratio, so I left the ram at 667 - Incidently which is half of 1333, so the ram still runs at 1:1 ratio (FSB's are quad clocked, Ram double clocked, so the real speed is 333mhz for ram and FSB)The negative.
You can destroy your computer if you get silly or are unlucky!
The Power Supply Unit must be up to it. I cant stress that enough! Overclocked compoinents pull more power than ususal, this can burn out the PSU.
I knew that and was OK about it because I knew I had to upgrade the PSU anyway. What I wasn't expecting was that when the PSU died it would spike the MB and take that out aswell. Bugger - that cost me a new Motherboard too.
If you dont cool your chip enough that will overheat and possibly die if it doesn't sense the overheat and back off. Incidently the Intel HSF was up to the job of cooling at 3ghz - afterall, you can get Intel chips that run at 3ghz with the same fan, but you might want to invest in a better tower heatpipe cooler to keep things in check.
Case ventilaton might require a bit of an upgrade. Get a couple of silent 120mm fans.
Basically if you are sensible and prepared to spend a little bit of money, with the Intel core 2 chips there are few negatives to having a sensible overclock.