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I'm going to preface this by saying that this is my first time attempting to overclock, so I'm apologizing in advance for any hand-holding that will occur. I've done some measure of reading, but a lack of literature on my specific processor, plus my crippling fear of actually damaging any components prevents me from jumping right in before I've found some advice/clarification.
Around christmas time I bought this processor and this fan/heatsink because the stock fan seemed rather weak. Before I actually DO anything, I'd like to do some kind of stress test with default settings to see if my setup can even handle overclocking. I'm assuming it can, but like I said, crippling fear and all that.
To the more theoretical, from the reading I've done, I've seen overclocking explained as something as simple as changing the CPU multiplier/frequency, (I know most CPUs lock the multiplier, but I've heard the Black edition phenoms don't) and others as complicated as having to apply some ratio of overclocking the CPU to overclocking RAM in order to make it stable. And what about tweaking the voltage of each?
I know overclocking is usually done through the BIOS, but I'm wondering if any of those programs like the AMD Overdrive tool actually do the same job. There were certainly options for such when I poked around, but everything I've read/watched seems to point right to doing everything via the BIOS, so I'm not sure.
And lastly, is there any general consensus as to what the safe range for overclocking is? At 3.4 GHz I'd like to hit something 4.0+, but I'm not sure if I'm being overly ambitious.
Really, any direction is appreciated. It's a subject where I'm kind of starved for knowledge but when I read other articles/forums that deal with other processors I'm never sure if I'm misunderstanding the information given