How to Overclock your CPU

Overclocking is a procedure often done to make a computer perform faster. The process can be applied to certain hardware components to make it perform at a higher clock rate.

The clock rate refers to the number of clock cycles per second. Clock rate is measured in hertz. It refers to the speed the computer performs simple processes.

Overclocking can be done on a number of computer parts such as:

  • processors
  • video cards
  • motherboard chipsets

The process is often done by computer enthusiasts who want to make their computer system run faster. Some computer resellers overclock a low-cost system and resell it at a profit.

Computer parts are marked with a specific performance rate. These can be the exact rate at which the parts passed standard testing. Some parts are even marked at a lower rate to ensure that it does not malfunction. Manufacturers may rate parts at a lower rate to make sure that they can be sold at a standard rate instead of being marked as a high-end component.

Before overclocking a computer, you must make sure that your system is capable of handling the changes. Make sure to check if the motherboard of your system is capable of being overclocked. Some chipsets lack the features that allow you to change the clock rate.

An overclocked system requires more power than the original system, but using incorrect settings or too much power can damage it. Overclocking the computer will also make it generate more heat. A new cooling system may be needed to counteract this effect. The system may become unstable after it has been overclocked. The warranty of the computer will also be voided once the system has been modified.

Two Ways to Overclock

There are two ways to overclock your CPU. Each has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. The first is through manipulating the CPU multiplier and the other is through the motherboard’s front side bus (FSB).

  1. When using the multiplier, computer users:

    • can only overclock the CPU and nothing else
    • can diagnose any problems easier because no other components are involved
    • have more freedom because it is relatively stable with the other components.

    Although it is the most preferred way to overclock the CPU, it also possesses some disadvantages. The multiplier method can only be used for high end CPUs.

  2. The Front Side Bus is the most common method of overclocking the CPU. It can effectively speed up the rest of the computer system.

    However, there may be times that other components of your computer will not be able to keep up once you’ve overclocked the CPU. Components like RAM have a tendency to slow down with an overclocked CPU.