How To Overclock

The first step in how to overclock is understanding what overclocking is. It is the process in which we get the internal components of a computer to work faster than they were designed to.  Most often the CPU is the first item that is focused on.  Then the video card and RAM come in.

I will warn you, if you don't have the time or patience, this is not for you.  Learning how to overclock will take a lot of time, and a lot of reading.  Although it takes a considerable amount of time and patience, I find it a fun past time, and the end results are worth while.

The most common overclocking terms are listed below,

  • Vcore - This is the amount of voltage that is delivered to the processor core by default.  Often this is increased in small increments to push the CPU faster.  Voltage increases usually add the most amount of extra heat.  
  • Mhz or Ghz - This is the clock speed of measurement of electrical components.  It is the current measurement of CPU and RAM as well as other computer components.  
  • FSB - This is the speed in Mhz at which the motherboard communicates with the CPU.  
  • CPU Multiplier - Because the speed of a CPU can only be held for short distances, a motherboards information needs to run at a slower speed.  To get the CPU to run at the speed we want, we simply multiply this FSB speed to get the CPU speed.  This is the multiplier.  If your CPU has this locked, the only way to overclock is by increasing the FSB.  

The general idea behind an overclocking, is to first increase the multiplier, then the FSB.  Once the system becomes unstable, you add more voltage.  Basically you keep going through this until you can no longer get rid of the additional heat you are creating.

If you are interested in learning overclocking, get yourself

  • a good heat sink and fan for your CPU.  
  • a CPU temp monitor, preferably the one that came with your motherboard, I find they are the most accurate.  
  • hardware that lets you change the clock speeds.  
  • a program to put your system under full load, I like Prime 95.
  • a solid understanding of what overclocking failed looks like.  
  • go to CPU overclocking and start reading and making clock setting adjustments to your computer today.
  • a good power supply, like a quality Ultra power supply, will make overclocking easier as well, even though it isn't mandatory.
If you've had an error with Prime95, or the Prime95 worker starting 3 and 6 that just hangs forever or errors, we'll do what we can to get you past it.

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Updated October 14 2013

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